We’re not in emergency shopping range yet, but we’re getting down to the wire. Do you still have people on your list you’re struggling to buy for?
*Enter this list of things Mary loves or has bought for others that were a hit*
Here’s the background on gift lists: I love when people share what they’ve buying or have received. It helps me give better gifts. But if you’ve been around here for a while, you might see a few things pop up more than once. That’s because I really only tell you to buy things I have experience with: things I currently own and love, things I have purchased for others, things I know are good.
I could easily just select cool things off the internet (where there are endless cool things) and tell you to buy them. But I’m not that exciting or creative. I’m sure you have your own awesome wish list from the world wide web. This is stuff I’ve spent my own money on or things that have been gifted to me that I think were great gifts.
So what I’m saying is, you can trust me. I tried to include something for everyone–except little babies–I didn’t come up with any good baby stuff because I don’t have any babies right now and I’m not really shopping for any either.
I’ve included links to Amazon because it’s easiest for me, but get them wherever you love to shop. I’m not the boss of you.
I could watch YouTube and Instagram makeup videos all day. I won’t actually do what they’re teaching me, but I like watching it. Kind of like the Olympics, I’m amazed someone can train like that as I watch from my couch with snacks. But I have learned the importance of some makeup brushes. You could buy this for any female and win Christmas. Bonus points if you buy it for a teen who happens to love getting fancy to take selfies in their bedroom.
My girls asked for more of these for Christmas. Harper got a set last year, and I’ve heard for almost twelve months that they needed more because they can’t make a whole town with the ones they have. We do a family gift on Christmas morning (last year it was a few boxes of puzzles to work on), and I don’t normally take requests for it, but I’m ordering another set for them. There are lots of different options so don’t click the link and roll your eyes at the $100 set. That’s not what I bought last year, and it is not what I will be buying this year either.
State-shaped cutting board
This is fun gift for anyone who loves to entertain or is obsessed with kitchen stuff (I fall into both of those categories). Or maybe you need a hostess gift for a party you’re attending? This would be an amazing teacher gift too.
Cozy Minimal Home book
If I didn’t have this, I would add it to my own Christmas list. It’s full of practical and realistic advice for making our homes cozier without just cramming them full of stuff. It’s helped me see my house differently and her practice of “quieting” a room has helped me calm some spaces that I knew felt off, but I could never figure out why. If you need a gift for someone who loves home decorating or designing, this would be a perfect gift. (Also, a good hostess gift!)
All the Graham girls LOVE an electric blanket. Ellie and Harper’s rooms are a little drafty in the winter so buying them electric blankets last winter changed their lives. There’s nothing more decadent than climbing into a warm bed in the middle of a freezing cold room. You could also keep one on the couch if you’ve got a drafty living space. Basically, who doesn’t need an electric blanket? (Unless you live somewhere warm year round–then I strongly dislike you and please keep your smugness to yourself.)
Bungee cord kit
You know what guys like? Bungee cords. They like strapping things to the roof of their cars. They like bungee cords for all household answers. They’re good for camping. Bungee cords are the new duct tape. You can never have enough bungee cords, just ask Chris Graham.
I’m not here to sell you oils. Yes, I use them. No, I don’t want to hear about your team opportunities or about switching brands. But I do think everyone should have a diffuser. We just use oils primarily through diffusing. We have them in our bedrooms, the kitchen, and in my office. I have one at the studio too. We diffuse when the air feels dry, when we have stuffy noses, when we’re stressed, when we need some help sleeping. Diffusers can also be used as humidifiers–just fill them with water and add moisture to the room.
Bluetooth speaker lightbulb
I got this last year (two years ago?) at a Favorite Things party, and still think it’s such a great gift. Getting one for a kid means they can have a color-changing lightbulb in their room which feels magical. Because it’s bluetooth, you can stream music through it and so it’s good for bathrooms or kitchens too. I kept one in my home office and when we moved into a new space, it came with us. We use it for background noise when we host events and it’s just fun to have a strobe light in the office.
I know some people just think smart plugs are lazy. Wait, you don’t want to turn that lamp on so you do it with your phone or voice? But it’s more than that. We put our Christmas tree on a smart plug so we can use the timer function then not worry about climbing behind the tree to plug it in. We have a few lamps on smart plugs too; every morning, the one by my couch comes on a 6 AM so I can wander down with my coffee and read my Bible. When we travel, I like to randomly turn lights on when we’re not home and I can do that through the app. Yes, we still use our fat, lazy hands to turn some lights on–that’s not what the smart plug is about.
Who doesn’t love a fresh package of Sharpies? NO ONE. No one hates Sharpies. It’s against the law–these are good for teacher gifts, teenager gifts, mom gifts, dad gifts, and friend gifts. When in doubt, a new package of colorful sharpies (or all black! I always need black ones!) is an easy win.
3D Sandbox kit
I got this for my nephew this year. My sister was thrilled when he opened it. Your friends and family will be too if you give this moldable sandbox with dinosaurs. It’s a good sensory gift, plus it’s just fun. Can’t go outside to play in the sand? Bring the sand inside. A gift only a butthole would give. And I’m totally a butthole.
Chris currently carries his license and bank card in a clear ID tag cover. It’s embarrassing, but he refuses to stop because he hates all wallets he finds–they’re all too bulky for his tiny butt cheek. A while ago, I heard John for Young House Love Has a Podcast talking about this wallet and how much he loved it. So now Chris is getting it for Christmas. He doesn’t know this yet, so I hope he started reading this post and then gave up at the diffuser paragraph.
Set of bamboo kitchen spoons
Okay, technically, I have not bought these yet. I’m working on downsizing and getting rid of things and I realllllly want to get rid of all my kitchen utensils and buy these. But that makes NO sense because all my current utensils are perfectly fine. So I need you to buy this pretty set of bamboo utensils and give them to someone. I follow a girl on Instagram who loves them and I trust everyone on the internet.
I gave these colorful wool socks as part of my Favorite Things gift this year. They’re machine washable, comfortable, and warm–a perfect stocking stuffer or friend gift. You didn’t ask this question, but as someone with big feet who often doesn’t like the cute socks everyone sells because my giant feet don’t fit them well, these actually fit! Finding a sock where my heel actually goes to the colorful triangle where your heel is supposed to be doesn’t happen often. (Bonus gift idea: I also gave everyone a silk pillowcase because I’m obsessed with mine. It sounds like an old lady gift, but it’s not, I promise. Just Google why you should sleep on one and then make the switch.)
We’ve been in a relationship with Alexa for over a year now and things are differently getting more serious. We have two: one in the kitchen and one in our bedroom. Music, weather, and answering random questions are how we use her most of the time, but she’s hooked up to the smart plugs too so she can turn on lights when we need. Ellie asked for one this year; I like that she can listen to music without taking an iPad into her room (where she occasionally plays games without permission…) and we can sync the Echo Dots to talk to each other without yelling across the house.
NIV study Bible
I’m still telling everyone to use this Bible to read the Bible from beginning to end. The research, history, and explanations help make sense of things in understandable language and easy connections. I don’t think this would be a great beginner Bible–it might get overwhelming and confusing if someone is coming in with very little Bible knowledge–but for someone looking for a new Bible study, I’d highly recommend you gifting this to them and encouraging them to spend 2019 falling in love with God’s Word.
Rose water facial spray
Stocking stuffer, friend gift, hostess gift: this rose water facial spray is light and subtle. I don’t like the smell of roses (or most floral smells), but this is tolerable and fresh. I spray it on in the morning with a cotton ball, and it just feels refreshing. I don’t think anyone will be upset if this little bottle shows up under the tree.
Don’t limit this camping hammock to just camping. Yes, you can use it in the wilderness, but it’s also good for the backyard, the college kid who loves the quad at school, or for an afternoon at the park. I think everyone should own a hammock; this one folds up easily, is portable, and has amazing reviews on Amazon. We have two similar ones for camping, and between the girls and Chris, someone is always in them.
Even if you only have black thumbs, I think a few succulents can be a good gift. This five-pack from Amazon is less than $16. You could order them and then give them as small gifts to friends, co-workers, or teachers. If you know someone who can’t keep them alive, tell them to water them twice a month with about 1/4 cup of water. That’s it. My motto is you can never have enough plants.
Himalayan salt lamp
Okay, yes, this might seem a little too woo-woo for some people, but using a salt lamp gives a really pretty, subtle glow so if the supposed health benefits feel too fake for you, just give one as a gift because they’re pretty. We have a salt lamp night light in our bathroom and it gives off just enough light to see in the middle of the night without making the room feel lit up.
Instax MINI camera
Full disclosure: this film isn’t cheap, but the camera is so fun, it’s still a great gift idea. You won’t use this as your everyday camera (that’s what your phone is for), but if you’ve got a trip planned or have a gathering with friends, keeping this camera on hand to instantly print fun pictures would be fun. Ellie is always asking me to print pictures and I never get around to it, so she got one of these for Christmas. Film is pricey, but using it to print pictures for her bulletin board or her future locker is exciting for her. Plus, they have these fun photo accessory kits that feel a little like 2018’s version of scrapbooking. This is a great pre-teen or teen gift.
Melissa and Doug horse stable set
My nephew is obsessed with Spirit (a cartoon on Netflix). So when I found this stable and horse set, I knew he needed it. If you’ve got a toddler who loves that show or animals, this will be a hit, I promise. The carrying case makes it good for travel, but keeping it at home is good too. I shared this on Instagram when I bought it and so many people said their kids had it and loved it too.
Mixing bowls and measuring set
I ordered this for myself (don’t mind if I do…) on Prime Day in the spring. Seven months later, I still love it and use it often. This bowl and measuring set would be a good gift for someone who camps, for someone who is just starting to fill their kitchen, or for someone who needs a mixing bowl upgrade. It’s all good in the dishwasher too which is important for someone like me who refuses to use it if I can’t put it in the dishwasher.
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
I came across a copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends at a thrift store this summer and could not believe I had never thought to buy it for the girls. I loved Shel Silverstein as a kid, and he’s a timeless author kids still love. This is a perfect book to keep on the coffee table or nightstand because you can read a poem or two in a relatively short amount of time. They’re silly and fun with just enough artwork to keep younger kids engaged.
Mini waffle maker
At nine years old, Ellie is really starting to show an interest in being in the kitchen and making food. For Easter, she got a mini pancake maker in her basket and she’s used it about once a week since. I actually wish I had bought her this waffle maker version instead though–it’s more versatile than the pancake one. A mini waffle maker is a perfect way to let kids help in the kitchen without having to brave the stove or oven yet.
Okay, that’s it–now you can get your shopping done and spend the rest of December being smug and eating cookies while everyone else scrambles to finish their lists. *pats self on the back*
*DISCLOSURE: Affiliate links used.
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