We do our best to focus on our faith, love, and traditions during Advent and Christmas, 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 good gifts list can be of some assistance to you as you try to find intentional, thoughtful gifts for those you love. As always, this year’s list includes new ideas along with those that I share every year. 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 children:
Last Christmas, Mabel received a very special handmade doll (pictured above) from my dear friend, Grace. Grace made a limited number of dolls again this year just in time for Christmas and many of them are literary-themed! There is an Anne of Green Gables doll, Laura and Mary Ingalls, Alice in Wonderland, and even the sisters from Little Women. She also made a couple of very adorable boy dolls. Grace’s dolls are so special. I love them all. You can receive 10% off your order with the code holiday19 through the end of December.
And of course, I always recommend playsilks! They have been a favorite plaything at our house for many years.
Mabel received this dollhouse earlier this year. I wanted something simple that she could use with her Calico Critters. We took the advice of some of the reviewers and glued everything together when we assembled it. It has proved popular with my older girls and their friends as well.
She also recently received this set of pattern blocks recently (pictured above) and really likes it. Silas and Job do too.
Mabel is getting this puzzle for Christmas this year. I think she will love it.
We are all into puzzles right now but don’t have a place to keep larger ones going. I am considering one of these puzzle tables.
This is a fun set of scavenger hunt cards.
Everyone received a stainless steel straw in their stocking last year.
Mabel loved this wooden school bus pop up toy when she was a baby.
Story cubes are so much fun, and would make a great stocking stuffer! They are good for a wide range of ages.
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!
Keva planks are one of the 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.
A few years ago, 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 had a lot of fun with it.
Favorite games include:
Beatrix received Kingdomino for her birthday last year and it is a good one!
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 playtime over the years as well. Bird Bingo has been a favorite for years, now. I’d like to get Ocean Bingo.
These are our longtime favorite colored pencils. These are fun too. This is a nice set of chunky triangular colored pencils that isn’t too expensive. 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. These 100% beeswax chunky crayons are expensive but have held up very well-a great choice for younger children.
My girls love these tiny watercolor sets. Here is another pocket sized option. They pair perfectly with a tiny watercolor journal. This is another small option, and these are also nice small sketchbooks. These are great for nature walks and would make nice stocking stuffers. My younger kids really like scratch off paper, and we like the small size of the sheets in this set.
Gifts for adults (and big kids):
Leathermen are very popular in our house, and we have a couple of new ones this year. Beatrix received this cute little one for her 10th birthday, and Jonny bought the Wingman for his own birthday. It’s a bit smaller than his other one, and he is very attached to it. It is small enough that he can carry it in his pocket and he claims that he uses it almost every day for something. Beatrix just turned 11 and this year she received her own Wingman and a leather pouch. (It comes with a nylon pouch, but she prefers leather.) Seth also bought one recently, this model. I can’t say that Leathermen interest me very much, but my family is into these things.
I wear this apron all the time when Lark doesn’t have it. 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!
I love my 8 quart Instant Pot. It took me a while to warm up to it, but we use it several times a week now and it’s a lifesaver.
Warm overalls! These are my winter farm chores necessity for staying warm.
Seth (my 19 year old) appreciates nice tools. This machete, and this knife. Fire starter sets make great stocking stuffers. (There are quite a few “survival” gear ideas at the end of this post. This is a very popular subject with my kids.)
Larkspur (age 13) 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. Seth says there is a good metal detector (the Discovery 3300) available at Costco this year for under $100! A well-made, sharp, little shovel is a must. Seth did a lot of research before settling on this one.
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 am pretty committed now to Moleskine planners. This will be my third year using them. This is the one I am ordering for 2020. I LOVE IT. I save my planners and these will fit nicely on shelf one day; I only wish I had started using them sooner. Sometimes I order from Amazon and sometimes it makes more sense to order directly from Moleskine depending on what deals they are offering.
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. We still use ours to record special moments we want to remember.
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.
Updated book list is here!