December! It feels like it arrived so quickly this year. We lit the first Advent candle last night, so it must be time for my annual Good Gifts list. (Good Books will come later this week.) Even though we are not in a tiny house anymore, we are still limiting what we bring in, focusing on fewer gifts of higher quality. Generally speaking, we do our best to make this time of year about our faith, love, and traditions, rather than loads of stuff. That being said, I truly love giving gifts and put a lot of thought into what I purchase for my friends and family. I hope my list can be of some assistance to you as you try to find perfect, thoughtful gifts for those you love. As always, this year’s list includes both new ideas and some I have shared in the past. Many of the links are Amazon affiliate links, and it is a real gift to us when you shop Amazon through those links, as we earn a small percentage when you do. Thank you so much!
Favorites for the baby and younger kids:
This is our longtime favorite little wooden tea set.
Story cubes are so much fun, and would make a great stocking stuffer!
Pop guns–slightly obnoxious, but fun for the little ones.
We have been pleased with the quality of this bucket swing.
Silas received this Schwinn Kid’s Balance Bike for his third birthday, and absolutely loved it. We took it to every baseball game, and he also rode around the yard on it. The following year, we bought him a small regular bike without training wheels and he was able to ride it almost immediately, having learned to balance on the balance bike. Job has since received his first balance bike, and he loves his as well. I highly recommend them!
I think that Keva planks are the single most played with toys that we own, and I say this having had them for many years. I can’t say enough good things about these very simple blocks that appeal to a very wide range of ages. This year we added Magna-Tiles to our home, and they have been very popular as well.
Favorite games include:
Beatrix receieved Kingdomino for her birthday and it has been getting lots of play!
Into the Forest was new to us last year, and our girls really love it! Orchard is probably my favorite game to play with kids 9(ish) and under. Favorite card games include Rat-A-Tat-Cat, and Mille Bornes. Shut the Box has seen lots of play time over the years as well. Bird Bingo has been a favorite for years, now! I would like to have Bug Bingo as well!
Silas spent his long saved birthday money on this little crossbow after playing with it at a friend’s house. It is very well made, and he is having a lot of fun with it. We also love these interlocking wooden blocks.
We like beeswax blend crayons and have recently been using some that are made in the U.S. by Filana We love both the blocks and the stick crayons. We also like these, and I am planning to get these 100% beeswax chunky crayons for Mabel for Christmas. Last year I bought several of my kids this coloring book, and it was a big hit.
Gifts for adults (and big kids):
I wear this apron all the time! (It has pockets!) Gray was the only color available when I bought it, but I see that now it comes in quite a few color options!
Seth (my 17 year old) recently bought himself a couple of nice tools. This machete, and this knife. One of my boys will be receiving this fire starter set in his stocking this year. (There are quite a few “survival” gear ideas at the end of this post.)
Larkspur (age 11) is an avid letter writer, and bought this sealing wax set earlier this year.
When the weather is cold, my older boys typically get interested in coin roll hunting. Seth likes to search through nickels the most, the other two like pennies. Boxes of coins along with Seth’s coin roll hunting guide would make great gifts, especially if you were already planning on giving money to the recipient.
My older boys all enjoy metal detecting and we highly recommend the entry level Garrett detectors such as the Ace 300. A well-made, sharp, little shovel is a must. Seth did a lot of research before settling on this one.
My gift to myself after Mabel was born was a large purse that could double as a diaper bag. I hadn’t bought a bag with diapers and baby things in mind since Keats was a baby! I considered a leather bag and kind of wished for a fancy Lily Jade, but I have been very pleased with this waxed canvas bag!
I know there are lots of nice diffusers out there, but I have been really happy with this inexpensive one.
I love these pens, and like to give them with moleskine journals. Other nice little organizational books that I really like are this Moleskine blank recipe journal, and this very simple address book. I have also recently started using a Moleskine planner and I love it. It’s simple, sturdy, and just the right size.
This will be my 2018 wall calendar. I can’t wait to hang it up!
I mention it every year, but if you know any gardeners this Nejiri Gama Hoe is the best little garden hoe! Prices really fluctuate on Amazon, but it’s usually well under ten dollars! I have been using (and losing) these for many years.
I have the midsize wooden drying rack from Homestead Drying Racks and absolutely love it. Ours is in daily use, mainly for drying wool items, yarn, and other things that don’t go in the dryer. It is really well made and sturdy.
This is the perfect time of year to give the One Line a Day Journal.
Jonny says that the best gift I’ve ever bought for him is this Leatherman.
For the knitter or crafter:
This hobby lamp is great! I need it to be able to see when I am cross-stitching. I use Q-snaps now to hold my cross-stitching while I work (at the recommendation of one of you!) And they are the BEST. And if you need a new cross-stitch kit, Alicia’s are the best.
Finally, I’ll be updating our shop on Friday at 12 p.m. EST with new playsilks, and a bit of yarn as well (all new mini skeins in my ec0-friendly, minimally processed American wool)! Keep an eye on Seth’s shop as well. He’ll be adding some new hand turned wooden candlesticks and some maple cutting boards as well!
Updated book list coming later this week!