I. LOVE. CHRISTMAS.
I usually go all out for Christmas – decorations, food, and tons and tons of presents. I buy things on sale, shop on Black Friday, and get the best deals so my kids can have lots to open. That’s what my mom always did, and it’s how I remember Christmas.
So that’s what I’ve always done. Except last year… last year it was all a little too much.
The kids had so many gifts from us, from grandparents, and from extended family that they were overwhelmed and exhausted after opening all the gifts. They picked a couple things they really liked, or grabbed a few big boxes, and just played with those. Everything else sat unwrapped and forgotten.
They had more stuff than they knew what to do with. I felt ridiculous for spending all that money on things that didn’t really matter. And from that moment on, I wanted a different kind of Christmas.
This year, life looks very different. We live in 900 square feet instead of 2000, so we actually do not have room for anything else! In fact, we only have room for the things we absolutely love, and I’ve spent most of the time we’ve lived here purging everything that we don’t actually need. These last few months of cleaning and organizing have grown in me a true love for a life that is simple and meaningful.
And that’s what our Christmas will be like, as well.
I’m still decorating like crazy, and baking all the good food, but our focus will be more on family time together, shared experiences and simple joys. Not so much on presents.
Still, gifts are my love language, so we’ll be doing a little bit of shopping. We’re using the 4-gift strategy this year: Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. Fun, right? Each present will be well thought out and meaningful, and cutting back on all the STUFF will allow the kids to really enjoy what they’ve got.
Most of all, my hope is that a simple Christmas really helps us all focus on what matters most – the gift of Christ, sent for us.
So to help us all get a little more focused and embrace a simple, meaningful Christmas, I’ve put together this gift guide for the whole family. Each section offers 4 suggestions for gifts that are fun, useful, and meaningful – things that the whole family will love!
I hope it helps inspire you as you prepare to shop for presents this Christmas! And make sure to read all the way to the end – I’ve got a freebie you’re going to love as you plan, shop, and wrap!
AN INTENTIONAL HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY!
Gifts For Moms:
1. Roomba – This is the best present Jon ever got me. I kid you not. I press a button and it vaccums for me. Hear that ladies – I NO LONGER HAVE TO VACCUM! And it works very well. We’ve had ours for almost 4 years now and it’s still awesome. Men, if you love your wife, you will buy this for her ASAP.
2. Handbook for Life – I love this keepsake book from the Cultivate What Matters shop. It’s a beautiful place for a mom to write down her memories, favorite recipes, family history and more. Perfect gift for a sentimental mom who desires to pass a legacy onto her children.
3. LuLaRoe EVERYTHING – I am officially obsessed with LuLaRoe clothes. If you haven’t tried them, you must do so immediately! They are the comfiest, most flattering clothes I’ve ever worn, and I love them so much. You can only buy them through a consultant, and you can find their sales groups on Facebook. My two favorite groups are here and here!
4. Amazon Prime Subscription – This is another one where I will say MEN, YOUR WIVES NEED THIS! Free two-day delivery, plus access to Amazon Now, which is a grocery delivery service that has saved my life on more than one occasion – this is a must-have for busy mommas!
Gifts For Dads:
1. Bose Wireless Headphones – Jon loves his wireless headphones and uses them for everything, especially running. These are a huge win in our house!
2. Nintendo Classic – If your hubby grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, he will love you forever if you get him this classic Nintendo for Christmas. Talk about a blast to the past! I was in line at a restaurant the other day, and the guy behind me was looking this up on his phone and telling his wife, “Okay, I can get a Nintendo on eBay for this much… or I can get it on Amazon for this much… which one do you think I should get?”, while the wife just rolled her eyes. But the point is, he wanted one, and I’m guessing your guy will too.
3. Remote Control Car – All guys love remote control cars. You know how I know? Nathan got one for his birthday and I already have to replace the batteries in it because Jon was playing with it for too long. Yep, JON. Not Nathan. And it was so much fun watching him play with it. Grab this Ferrari for your hubby, and enjoy how much he laughs while he plays with it. But also, get extra batteries, mmmkay? Just a thought.
4. Dollar Shave Club – I got this for Jon for Christmas last year, and he loves it. He gets a new package of razor blades every month for super cheap, and every now and then he throws in something else, like shave lotion or hair gel. Their products are all high quality and come in hilarious packaging. This is a cheap gift that he will keep getting every month!
Gifts For the Kids:
1. Owlegories – These DVDs are quickly becoming a favorite in our home. Faith-based, adorable, and so much fun – this is the perfect gift for your little ones. You can get one DVD or the complete set of 4! (They even have a Christmas one!)
2. Wedgits & Design Cards – This is another gift that both Nathan and Jon love! Not gonna lie, I love them too. They are so fun! These blocks fit together in lots of different ways, and with the design cards, your kiddos will be occupied for hours, using their critical thinking skills to make the designs on the cards. These are AWESOME!
3. Mosaic Sticker Art – If your kids like stickers, they are going to LOVE these. I always keep a few packs around for times when I need the kids to play quietly and independently. Each pack comes with everything you need – it’s a no mess craft that is super fun.
4. Kindle Fire for Kids – Amazon is having a huge sale on these right now, so I just ordered two for the kids! A pink one and a blue one. What I love about these is that they are kid-safe, and come with awesome parental controls. Plus, you get a year of FreeTime (their kid-safe access to books and games) AND a two year warranty that includes a complete replacement if your kid breaks it. And they are seriously on sale right now!
Gifts For Teens:
1. Amazon Gift Card – I feel like this is self-explanatory. It’s the next best thing to cash. Get one of these for your teen and they will think you are the coolest ever.
3. Cool Wireless Headphones – These wireless headphones come in all sorts of fun colors, and are sure to be a big hit!
4. Kindle Fire – This Kindle comes in fun colors too, and looks a little more grown up than the kid version, but still has great parental controls. And these are way cheaper than an iPad, but do most of the same things. I call this a win.
Gifts For Everyone:
1. Ticket To Ride – This is our very favorite board game, and our whole family plays as often as we can! In fact, we’ll probably play a few times over Thanksgiving. It’s competitive and so much fun for the adults, and it’s got trains, so the kids love it too!
2. Chronicles of Narnia Audio Set – My kids are really into Narnia right now, so we’ve just started using this Audio Set that I bought last Christmas. This is SUCH a great audio recording – it sounds like everything is happening in real life! If you love C.S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia, this is a must-buy. (And it’s on sale for half the price I paid for it!)
3. The Story Bible – We love this Bible so very much. This is our family Bible, and each story comes with gorgeous illustrations, questions, a prayer, and an activity. It includes MANY more Bible stories than most story Bibles do, and it’s very theoogically sound. If you don’t already have this Bible, it would be a perfect Christmas gift!
4. Disney Dreams Puzzles – We are puzzle people, and these are our absolute favorites. Grown-up puzzles based on scenes from our favorite Disney movies? YES. PLEASE! Our current favorites are Beauty and the Beast & Cinderella, but we’ve got a ton of them!
Gifts For Readers:
1. Grace Not Perfection – I have so enjoyed this book by Emily Ley. It’s the perfect gift book for the holidays – a beautiful mix of personal story and practical tools to help you let go of perfection and really embrace a standard of grace. Buy this one for all your mom friends!
2. The Magnolia Story – Who doesn’t love Chip and Joanna Gaines? This memoir is sitting on my shelf and I cannot wait to pick it up over Christmas break, when I can just sit and enjoy it. (Ha, who are we kidding, I will probably read it in the bathroom on my five second pee breaks. I’m a mom.)
3. Dear Mr. Knightley – We read this one in book club this year, and it’s so very good. I was sucked in almost immediately, and I didn’t want it to end!
4. Big Little Lies – Maybe one of my favorite fiction reads ever. Liane Moriarty has a way of twisting plots to keep you guessing and still TOTALLY SHOCKED at the end! I love her books so much, and this one is my favorite.
5. Kindle Paperwhite with Kindle Unlimited – This is my favorite way to read on-the-go. I can keep my Paperwhite with me, and read it in pick up line, or at the gym, or whatever. And with Kindle Unlimited, I get access to a TON of books. I love it so much, and your reader-friends will too!
Gifts For Planners:
1. The Organized Life Planner – Shameless plug, I know, but I am SO excited to get this planner into the hands of you planner people! And from your comments and emails, it seems like you’re just as excited as I am! If you’ve got a friend who loves to plan, and has been looking for the planner that finally puts everything in one place, send her The Organized Life Planner. Or maybe, you know, just get one for yourself!
2. PowerSheets – PowerSheets are my very favorite goal setting worksheets, and they pair perfectly with The Organized Life Planner. Grab the yearly workbook, or one of the undated six-month workbooks, and be totally ready for the new year!
3. Bullet Journal – If you’ve got a friend who is a die-hard bullet journaler, this is the best journal I’ve found. Cute color, dot grid, and quality moleskin. I love this one! (To see how I’ve used a bullet journal in the past, click here.)
4. Papermate Flair Pens or Bic Atlantis Exact Pens – These are just my favorite pens in the whole world hands down. I use the Flairs for any color coding, and the Exacts for any basic writing. Your planner friends will love these too!
5. Happy Stripe Stickers – These stickers from Emily Ley are the best quality I’ve found, and the most beautiful colors. I buy all my planning stickers from her store!
Gifts For Your Faith:
1. Journaling Bible – This journaling Bible is a wonderful gift for anyone who spends time in the Word. It’s a beautiful Bible, with plenty of room in the largins for notes or artwork. These come in many different cover options, if this one isn’t your favorite! (You can read how I use mine here.)
2. Write The Word Journals – I use my WTW Journal every morning during my quiet time. It’s the perfect space to write out Scripture, and then journal your prayers for the day. I could not love these more, and they would make an absolutely beautiful gift.
3. None Like Him – This is one of the best books I’ve read lately on faith. It talks about who God is, and how He is different from us – and why that’s a good thing. In a culture where we’re often told how great we can be, it’s so very good to find a book that points us to Christ instead of ourselves. This is a fantastic read.
4. Frixion No-Bleed Markers – These ERASEABLE markers are amazing, and I use them pretty exclusively for highlighting in my Bible. They come in a pack of every color you need, and they don’t bleed through the pages of my journaling Bible. I love them!
I hope this list proves to be helpful as you get ready to shop for the holidays! In fact, to help you out even more, I created a simple tool you can use as you plan to shop for your Christmas gifts!
Download this free Christmas Gift Planning Kit!
The kit below includes two printables to help you plan the gifts you’d like to get for your family and friends – one basic list, and one based on our four-present strategy. It also includes a set of printable gift tags to top your gifts! And it’s all yours for free!
Click here or below to get access!
Happy shopping, friends!
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