gift guide for the people we love

I can’t even imagine how much Americans google “what should I get for ____?” I have needed a gift guide every single year. I know I have been doing it for years and for years, I haven’t gotten it right most of the time. Here is a quick guide for buying gifts for the people on every list.

for mom. She usually tops the list as the one we should get first. I find that either moms are the easiest or the HARDEST people on the list. Some moms are sentimental and collect things. Other moms aren’t and they defy all website knowledge. Some moms prefer practical things while others take offense to them. It’s really up to you to know which kind of mom you are shopping for. I don’t think you can ever really go wrong with getting your mom a pair of tickets to an event she would really like. A night at the Symphony, or Hamilton tickets. Tony Bennett is in town next spring? There ya go! It’s something to really look forward to, it is something that is memorable, and it’s a good way to get mom to really enjoy herself!

for dad. When you google “gifts for dad” you take a look at the options and get a picture of the guys from “King of the Hill.” Midwestern, beer guzzling, sports-watching, say little-do little, lazy men. I KNOW for a fact that this is not most men. So it gives me the feeling that women aren’t really nailing these gifts… but men aren’t complaining either. Men are showing their personalities in all sorts of ways. And the marketplace is showing it! Subscription box’s services are really popular now. From Gentleman’s Box  for male grooming and style to Loot Crate for “geeks and gamers,” you can get your dad set up with little gifts all year-long! Make sure to look for promo codes because they abound! It is a fantastic option!

gift guide

for boyfriend. Speaking of subscription services, boyfriends probably want this, too. Dollar Shave Club might be both of your best friend. He tackles that five o’clock shadow and you get to see his baby face again. It’s practical, but a gift that keeps on giving. If you love his beard, and want to go higher-end, Birchbox Men is good stuff. $20 a month gets him excited to check the mail, and you get a good-looking fashion-forward, hop-in-his-step dude. Just make sure that the relationship will last longer than the subscription…

for girlfriend. This week, I was talking to a co-worker who told me that always gets his girlfriend a framed picture of them. Cute, cheap…but cute… I like this, it’s thoughtful. It’s sweet. He could definitely take it up a notch. Etsy has some cute frames that can be personalized. Personalization Mall is good for this, too. The emphasis here is on being personal. You don’t have to go crazy, just show you love her by showing that you love “us.”

gift guide

for husband. My husband is an Amazon addict. If he needs something, he goes on his app on his phone, throws it in the cart and it shows up within two days. This is really great, because he knows how to take care of himself, but it’s not great for me who wants to take care of him! For the last two years, he has chosen a “big-ticket” item that he needed for work or the family. It has also been in summer or fall that he has ordered it. This has definitely let me off the hook. I still buy him underwear that will replace the ones that really need to be thrown out. I usually get him a sweater and a tie. This is a time that I think… how can I help him help himself? If this isn’t anywhere close to the relationship you have with your husband… see “boyfriend/dad”.

for wife. Building a gift tradition is a great way to set yourself up for success for years. My dad has gotten my mom the same perfume for as many years as I can remember. She loves it, can expect it, and dad knows he is doing right by his wife. Some women like Pandora bracelets, some like sweaters. Try to think of a special gift that you can give every year that your wife  can look back on and think…“this is how he shows me he loves me.” (Jay, I like a good pair of jeans, a healthy supply of good chocolate, and yoga) You know what to do….

for in-laws. Don’t get hung up and trying too hard to impress here. Step back and think about their favorite ways to de-stress or have fun. It shouldn’t be too hard. Do they love having a quiet house? Or are they excited when people are visiting? Think of a way to help them with THAT. Do they love watching the game? Do they tailgate? Or are they more likely to be fishing or reading a book? Is one a little more wild than the other? If this feels impossible, take a step back…

for friends. A bottle of booze goes a long way here…that, and maybe a little gift for their children, cat, or dog. You know that is the way to a friend’s heart!

for children. My kid doesn’t really need any more toys. Can I get an amen? She’s still a baby without any expectation. This is really a prime time to start her on a path away from materialism and onto a path of self-actualization….I know I sound hokey. But I am thinking about how to take a holiday full of “it” toys and consumption, and turn it into a time for her to become herself. I want her to be a maker. I want her to learn how to turn an idea into a reality. Knitting needles and yarn might be in her future. A bread maker, or a tool kit. Jay and I believe that kids should learn how to be ABLE so we talk about buying our children a tool box and building it over the years so that one day it moves from their place at our house to their own houses one day… something along those lines… Might be crazy….but maybe worth a second thought…

gift guide


for people who have everything: Money is no object. They get what they want… when they need it. People who are like this are the absolute most difficult people to buy for. It’s a fantastic problem to have, right? No money problems and everything you could ever need? I think that for this special subset in society, you have to stick with homemade, handmade, or one-of-a-kind. They may not be sentimental, but at the very least, they will see your effort. I have made homemade Kalua and Bailey’s for people like this. There are some fantastic recipes for homemade extracts for the people who love to bake. Check them out here! I recommend keeping it simple and keeping it really sweet. Making a picture book might be a good idea, too! Kindness knows no price, and for people who have everything or nothing, it’s the greatest commodity.


gift guide


What do you think? Did you get over that “stumped” feeling and stumble on the best holiday idea for a special someone? Share it! Let us know how you navigate the Christmas season!

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