We wanted to share some of our favourite things that we love to give for the holidays! None of the ideas are sponsored and nor do we use affiliate links- these are just things that we genuinely love! Donations 1) In lieu of gifts, we give donations for the adults in our family and close friends. These are organizations that are important to ourselves or the recipient. However, we like to attach a handmade ornament to the donation card. Here are a few we have made in the past: Snow person: http://make-it-your-own.com/silvery-snow-snow-person-ornament/ Santa, Mrs. Claus & Elf Ornaments: http://make-it-your-own.com/christmas-ornaments-santa-claus-mrs-claus-and-the-elves/ Clay Faces: http://make-it-your-own.com/clay-portrait-ornaments/ Shrink Art Ornaments: http://make-it-your-own.com/snow-globe-shrink-art-ornaments/ AND Our favourite handmade cards: Snow People: http://make-it-your-own.com/handmade-cards-make-your-own-snowperson/ Ornament Card: http://make-it-your-own.com/handmade-cards-ornaments/ Snowy Forest: http://make-it-your-own.com/handmade-cards-snowy-forest/ Candle Cards: http://make-it-your-own.com/handmade-cards-candles/ 2) We do give gifts to teachers and help Santa with the stockings of our family members so here are a few items we like to add: Plantiful: https://plantiful.ca/ I wear Plantiful’s lip butter every day (and night)- I just love it! With their new compostable tube with 3 times the amount of lip butter in it, I pop in my coats, purse and have one beside my bed. My kids like to have one by their bed and in their back packs for school too! We love their vapour balm (I literally have it on while I am typing this), face masks, hand creams, pain remedies and make-up remover (so good for face paint). I like that all their products are plant based. My friends and the kids’ teachers can attest, that their products make lovely gifts! Justine Ma Designs: https://justinema.ca/ Since my kids just love making, I think it is always important to support makers and Justine is a favourite of our whole family! She has beautiful, handmade ornaments, cards (which I am always giving my family members) and cake toppers. If you look at Justine’s site, she participates in many events in her community, promotes and donates to initiatives and is a lovely friend! This year we are adding all sorts of re-useable items to our adult stockings such as metal straws, veggie bags, wax wraps etc. My husband always likes consumables too- hot sauce, chocolate etc. And my mom always taught us to include some practical items such as nail clippers, combs etc. as well. For teachers, if we know that they like something in particular, we try to align our gift ideas to that. So for example, give bakers things to use in their kitchen, cook books etc. Other gift ideas include: stationary, throws, winter wear, candles, body care items, tea/ coffee, books gift cards etc. We include a handmade piece of art, or an ornament, along with a personal note of appreciation. We will also try to include a children’s book with an inscribed note. Kid Gift and Stocking Ideas We generally don’t give our kids tonnes of gifts as we travel for the holidays to visit family and try to focus on experiences such as lessons, activities etc. However, we select one toy to share and help Santa with the stockings! Here are a few ideas: Craft and art materials: Our kids love things like paint pens (Posca), Paint Sticks (https://www.thepencilgrip.com/collections/kwik-stix-super-quick-drying-solid-tempera-paint-sticks), paint brushes and our new favourite place to order wooden craft materials for open-ended creating and crafts: Wood Pecker Crafts https://woodpeckerscrafts.com/ Melanie Shanks: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/MyBigWorldPlayscapes Melanie makes beautiful, hand-sewn felt PLAYMATS and our kids just love playing with figurines (animals, fairies, sea creatures etc.), so these play mats are perfect for play in both your home or classroom. Adventures in a Box: https://www.adventure-in-a-box.com/shadow-puppets/ Liska and her family create these intricate, detailed SHADOW PUPPETS. We have used them in groups, given them to friends and teachers and they have always been a hit! Pink NouNou Stuffies: https://www.pinknounou.com/shop_/ If your child would like a “lovie” to treasure, Ana’s creations are unique and designed by her. This year our children’s gift to share is going to be Connetix Magnet Tiles: https://connetixtiles.com/. We have heard such great reviews about their magnet strength and can’t wait until they are available for order here in Canada! In the past our children have enjoyed Schleich figurines, Playmobil, various building items such as LEGO, forts and cardboard blocks. They love items for dramatic play such as puppets and costumes as well. Board games have also been a hit as they have grown. If you want age specific toy recommendations the developmental information behind those selections Toy Ideas is a good site: https://www.toy-ideas.com/ This year the cousins are getting a Building Kit from us or A Gingerbread Kit (video coming out soon) Books We just love Children’s picture books and novels and here are a few of our favourite sites for book recommendations: (we give our neighbours books if they have children and treats/ hot chocolate/ tea if they don’t) Innovation Press: https://www.theinnovationpress.com/our-books I like that the Innovation Press illuminates the careers and contributions of women to STEM related fields. Here are some of their newest titles that we have been reading: My Colour is Rainbow: https://www.hellowonderful.co/post/my-color-is-rainbow-a-playful-children-s-book-on-kindness-love-and-acceptance-shop/: The kids sure enjoyed this book and if you are familiar with Agnes and her family, they support lots of Kindness initiatives! Happily Ever Elephants: https://happilyeverelephants.com/ Lauren has good, thoughtful book suggestions with titles that lend to discussion and debate! Here Wee Read: http://hereweeread.com/ This is such a great site for diverse titles which is something that I always tried to focus on as teacher and in our family in expanding our library. Kid Art Lit: https://www.kidartlit.com/ Megan and Julia have created a subscription box that combines their love of Children’s picture books and art, delivered right to your door! Project Books: These make lovely gifts for little friends with a few supplies in a basket, along with the book. Here are a few that we have enjoyed lately: Babble Dabble Do’s The Bot Book : https://babbledabbledo.com/the-bot-book/ If you have a child who enjoys STEAM or you would like to get them into more of it, this is a great book for creating! Best Ideas for Kids: https://www.thebestideasforkids.com/ . Kim’s new book is all about recyclables which is great for the earth and I know my kids are always using the recycling bin as place to get inspiration! Red Ted Art Paper Project Book: https://www.redtedart.com/my-new-paper-crafts-for-kids-book/ . This book is great in that it uses one material that we all have on hand in so many unique ways! Sticks and Stones Outdoor Activity Book: https://www.firefliesandmudpies.com/outdoor-activity-book/ We love collecting nature- sticks, rocks, acorns and pinecones and this book of Melissa’s is great for showing your projects that you can make with those nature finds! Color Made Happy Rock Painting Book: https://colormadehappy.com/ Our youngest just loves rocks and so we are often creating with them. Sam’s book had the best recommendations for supplies to use and potential ideas for projects! We truly feel like it took the kids’ rock creations to the next level! We’d love to hear your holiday gift recommendations! We hope you have a most wonderful one, with the greatest gift- the warmth of family & friends! Please like & share: 2 Responses Ana December 3, 2019 Wonderful selection and so many creative projects!! Thank’s Bonnie Reply Bonnie Scorer December 13, 2019 Sorry for the delay, we’ve been sick. We were so happy to include your beautiful work! Reply Leave a Reply to Ana Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Name* Email* Website Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.