It’s that time of year again! Christmas shopping, I love love love it. And this year it’s especially smart to shop early since retailers are warning we’ll likely see shipping delays the closer we get to Christmas in the time of COVID. I’ve always enjoyed doing my shopping in November as a luxury, but this year stores are making it easier by offering Black Friday deals all month long in order to prevent a shipping and supply bottleneck over Thanksgiving weekend. And that’s a bonus for us, because moms love saving money, amiright?
Every year I share with you the gifts my kiddos are asking for as well as some tried-and-true favorites for kids (and grown-ups) of all ages. So no matter who’s in your household or on your shopping list, I hope you’ll enjoy this little peek into some special gift ideas this Christmas season. And as always, for a full catalog of my top recommended toys, books, games, household items and more, visit my Amazon shop! It makes shopping easy.
AirPods—for my teenager. Of course. I snagged these from Walmart for a $99 pre-Black Friday special and haven’t seen a price that low since. Right now they’re around $129 at most places on sale.
Elevated Faith sweatshirt—We’re loving this Christian clothing brand for its variety of styles and positive messages.
Amish Village Mystery book series by Vanetta Chapman—Our eighth-grader read the first book in this series for a school book report and loved it, so we bought her the other two titles in the series for Christmas. It’s hard to find clean YA fiction these days. I’m thrilled my daughter enjoys this one.
Labyrinth board game by Ravensburger—A special request from our 10-year-old who played this game at a birthday party and insisted we HAVE to get it. We’re a board games family, so I usually add at least one or two new ones to our collection every Christmas.
Last Kids on Earth book series by Max Brallier—also for our 10-year-old. We bought her books 1-3 last Christmas and she devoured them. This year she’s asking for the next several books in the series. There are seven total. Netflix has created an animated series based on the books, but our daughter tells us the storylines stray quite a bit from the books. She enjoys both. The great thing about this series is that it’s interesting for both boys and girls. Humor, adventure, monsters. What’s not to love?
Fisher-Price Little People Nativity—A must-have for every family with littles, this favorite Little People set has been in our household since my eldest was one year old. When the girls were younger, we looked forward to pulling out this toy every November to play and teach the Christmas story. This year we bought it for friends with little ones. Such sweet memories! Right now Amazon and Walmart have the best price at $25.
Animal books—All our 10-year-old really wants for Christmas (and her birthday) every year is new pets. Or, as a runner-up, books about pets and animals of all kinds. It’s getting harder and harder to find books she doesn’t already own, but I think I discovered a couple good ones this year that I’m hoping will do the trick. The Animal Book: A Visual Encyclopedia of Life on Earth by DK Smithsonian, and Everything Pets by National Geographic Kids.
1,500-piece Puzzles—for the whole family. During the quarantine last spring, my husband and daughters discovered a love of puzzle-building, so in anticipation of a long and locked down winter, I’m adding several new puzzles to the family collection.
Presto pressure canner—for my husband, the salsa guru. This year we canned dozens of pints of homemade salsa plus pasta sauce and applesauce, and my hubs wants to expand next year into canning more meats and vegetables, so… the old water bath trick isn’t going to cut it anymore. The girls and I decided to get him a true pressure canner for Christmas, and this one rose to the top in all my research. It’s available on Amazon and other online retailers for around $100, but if you’re local to a Fleet Farm store, I snagged it there for $89.
And lastly, here are a couple bonus tips for saving money on your shopping this year.
- Amazon is running a Buy 2, Get 1 Free sale right now on hundreds of books, games, music and more. Click here to see the items included in this deal. No code necessary; the discount will apply in your cart.
- Rakuten. I share this every year because it’s honestly a no-brainer. Formerly called Ebates, Rakuten is a cash-back website where you can earn a percentage back on online purchases from most major brands. And it doesn’t cost you anything! Just start your shopping at Rakuten.com, click through to your favorite stores, and Rakuten tracks the percentage of cash back you earn. Then they send you an actual check every quarter. Right now tons of stores are offering double or triple cash back, up to 10% or more, so it’s a great time to pocket a little extra cash on gifts you’re going to buy anyway. Click here to sign up for a free account using my referral link, and Rakuten will give you $40 to spend, no joke!
Enjoy blessing your loved ones with thoughtful gifts this year! And let me know what some of YOUR favorite tried-and-true gifts are, too. I’m always looking for new ideas!
Love and joy,