I usually avoid the crowds on Black Friday, but shopping online in my pajamas is another story. Hello, Cyber Monday.
I thought I’d share some of my favorite gifts here today in case you need some inspiration for your holiday gifting– and you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home! The items below are things I use in my home on a regular basis, so I hope your friends and family might enjoy them, too.
Gifts Under $25
- Glass Straws. We replaced disposable straws with these glass ones about 5 years ago, and we’ve never looked back! Somehow, glass straws make everything taste better. And they’re pretty difficult to break, too. (My son has managed it once, but it really took a beating before it broke in half!)
- Everyday Detox. Clearly, I’m a little biased on this one, but I hope everyone will enjoy this collection of easy and healthy recipes. (If you buy an extra copy as a gift between now and Christmas, I’ve got a special bonus for you, too.)
- Joco Glass Coffee Cup. The nice thing about using glass for storing your hot and cold beverages is that it doesn’t give them a “metallic” taste the way some stainless steel containers can. The folks over at Joco sent me a sample to try, and I was impressed that the food-grade silicone lid doesn’t leak and the silicone sleeve protects you from burning your hands on hot drinks.
- Physique 57. As you may know, this has been one of my favorite workouts for the last 5 years. It’s one of the only workouts I’ve found where the more you do it, the harder it gets– so you never plateau. It just burns more, while still being low-impact. (I even did this workout throughout my entire pregnancy, too!) You can give a single DVD as a gift or get my favorite 4-pack of 30 minute workouts with a ball included!
- Ballet Beautiful. When you don’t have 30 minutes to spare, I love squeezing in one of these ultra-effective workouts. They’re low impact and burn like crazy. (Try the Swan Arms workout– you don’t look like you’re doing much, but it burns in the first 4 minutes!)
- Wean Green Meal Cubes. I use these glass storage containers for everything! They’re colorful and easy to seal, and are the perfect size for packing lunches to-go or storing leftovers.
- How Not To Die. This is the only thing on my list that I haven’t read yet– because it hasn’t been released yet. But I’m adding it to my list anyway, because it will be released before Christmas (December 8th) and I can’t imagine not loving anything that Dr. Gregor writes. He’s one of my go-to sources for credible nutrition information, and I have a feeling his book won’t disappoint.
- Silicone Oven Mitts. I bought these on a whim last year after my last pair of oven mitts were a bit too well-loved, and I can’t believe I didn’t start using silicone oven mitts sooner. They are truly burn-proof! Unlike other mitts that can burn your hands when they get wet or when you hold the pan too long, my hands feel truly protected in these. They’re easier to clean than fabric oven mitts, too!
- Silicone Nesting Measuring Cups. I use these oven-safe measuring cups for everything– from making smoothies to melting coconut oil for recipes. (I melt my coconut oil in the oven, so this is an easy way to measure it at the same time.)
Gifts Under $50
- Spiralizer. This is one of my favorite gifts to share with friends and family, because making “noodles” out of veggies is life-changing. I’d gift it with a print-out of my Sweet Potato Pasta with Red Pepper Cream sauce! (recipe here)
- Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser. I love everything Tata Harper makes, but this cleanser is the one thing I use every single day. The light citrus smell is amazing, and everything they make is 100% natural, non-toxic, and sold in glass jars.
- All-Clad Measuring Cups. These are probably my most-used wedding present. I especially love the odd sizes (like 2/3 and 3/4 cups). I use them nearly every day!
- Immersion Blender. I use my immersion blender mostly for blending soups directly in the pot, so that I don’t have to get my blender dirty. However, it’s also handy for blending smoothies directly in your cup and can double as an electric whisk, too!
- Kyocera Knife. This is my favorite knife on the planet– it naturally stays sharp and slices through everything easily. I gave one to my parents last year, and they love it just as much as I do!
- Salad Shooter. This tool might sound redundant if you already have a food processor with a shredding blade, but I hate cleaning my food processor so I use this one much more often. It’s an easy way to shred veggies for salads and stir fries!
Gifts over $100
You’ll notice that most of the gifts on my list are practical and functional. Those are the kinds of things I prefer to spend my own money on, so that’s what I like to share with my loved ones, too. Sometimes the practical gifts I want to share aren’t too cheap, so I’ll go in on them with several friends or family members to give a really nice gift instead. If you tend to do that, too, I thought I’d include some larger gifts that my family has chosen in the past. Austin and I almost always choose to do a “couple gift,” so that we can enjoy something really nice together instead of giving individual gifts– or we’ll save up to go on a family vacation!
- Instant Pot. This is my new favorite cooking gadget of the year, and is definitely something worth giving to a person who is pressed for time but loves home-cooked meals. I use it at least twice a week!
- Mighty Fix Subscription. This is a gift that can keep on giving for months. For just $10 a month, Mighty Nest will send your giftee a product that will make the transition to healthier living easier, such as reusable produce bags, wool dryer balls, etc. (Subscriptions start at $60 for 6 months, and go up from there.)
- Vitamix. My favorite blender on the planet, I use it at least twice a day! You don’t know what you’re missing until you try it… and then it’s impossible to go back. Every member of my family has bought one for themselves after trying mine. It makes healthy living a breeze, since smoothies and salad dressings taste SO good when you use this blender to make them.
- Rebounder. Before I bought my Needak Rebounder, I bought a “cheap” rebounder for $80. It would be best described as a death trap— Austin and I nearly lost limbs trying to put it together! After that, I committed to the Needak folding trampoline and never looked back. It’s lasted over 7 years for me so far, and it’s still going strong! If you or someone you know has back issues (like my sciatica) gently jumping on the rebounder is a fantastic help. Regular bouncing on it keeps my sciatica flare-ups away, and even when one does happen bouncing tends to make them go away quickly!
- Essentia Mattress. This is one of those things that Austin and I would have bought together as a “couple gift.” It’s one of the most comfortable mattresses I’ve ever slept on, but it’s definitely an investment. (You can read my full review here.)
- Sunlighten Sauna. This is definitely more of a “save up and give it to yourself” kind of family gift. I’ve wanted to own an infrared sauna for the last 8 years, but have been intimidated by the price tag and the choices. After years of research, I finally narrowed my choice down to Sunlighten, which in my opinion makes the world’s best infrared saunas. Austin and I have been saving up for this for several years, and this is the year we’re finally getting one! (Actually, we got it this month. And I love it even more than I thought I would.) We now spend our evenings in the sauna watching Netflix together– because it is controlled by an Android tablet!
Gifts for Kids
Our holiday shopping revolves around our two-year-old son these days, so I couldn’t make a list without sharing the things we’ve been loving this past year. I hope it helps out any other toddler parents or parents-to-be!
- Stainless Steel Food Tray. We received this as a gift at our baby shower, but we only started using it in the last few months. (Our son ate directly off his high chair tray until he turned two. Now he’s a big boy and wants to eat at the table with us on a plate.) It’s a great non-breakable alternative to using plastic plates, and it’s in the shape of a bus– so my son loves that.
- Funtainer Straw Cup. I feel like we’ve tried every straw cup available, and this is our very favorite. The straw never gets gets clogged with smoothies, and the lid prevents any spills. I’m buying a second one this year because one just isn’t enough.
- Squeasy Snackers. You’ve probably seen these silicone pouches on my blog a lot. We used them every day for nearly 18 months to give my son green smoothies. He loves the independence of holding his own smoothie, and I love that they don’t make a mess! Now that he’s a big boy, he doesn’t want to use them anymore, but I still use them to store his excess smoothies– and then I transfer them to a straw cup when he’s ready to drink them.
- Baby Signing Time. This series is a life-saver in preventing meltdowns. Kids can sign words before they can speak them, so using sign language with my son helped him communicate clearly to me long before he was using real words.
- Baby Babble. These DVDs are amazing for helping your child develop their speech and language skills. Our son’s language exploded when we introduced
- Alphablock & Countablock books. We fell in love with these books at a recent trip to Barnes & Noble. My son is really into the ABCs and counting lately, so these cut-out books are a fun (and durable) way to encourage his learning.
- Lincoln Logs. These were a childhood favorite of mine, so I’m excited to see my son play with them, too! As you may know, it’s pretty challenging to find toys that are made in the USA, so I love supporting this company.
- Recycled Paper Beads Kit. This one is a little too mature for my son but we saw it at a toy store last weekend and I can’t wait to do this with him! You teach them how to recycle by placing old scraps of paper into this machine and watching it turn them into beads. So cool.
- Ballapalooza. People ask me how I get so much work done while staying at home with my son, and this ball tower is the answer. We received it as a hand-me-down from my sister-in-law and it is the BEST toy we own! My son actually plays with it independently for up to 20 minutes at a time– and if you’re a parent, you know what an accomplishment that is.
- Melissa & Doug Wooden Train Set. My son received this set for his birthday earlier this year, and we’re in love with it. It works well with his motorized Thomas trains, so there’s a lot of mix-and-matching going on in our house, and it’s very durable. (We tend to see a lot of train/track crashes around here.)
- Pull Back Toy Vehicles in Recycled Box Garage. My son received these as a gift for his first birthday, and they were one of his very favorite toys! He would wake up every morning asking for his cars (in more of a Boston accent, like “cahs”) and he loved rolling them down our couch cushions set up like a slide. Now that he’s two, he actually knows how to pull them back so they’ll zoom forward!
If you need some more ideas for babies and toddlers, check out my 10 Items You Need for a New Baby and My Favorite Toddler Purchases for an extended list. And check out my Nursing Essentials for gifts for new moms!
This list was really fun to put together, so I hope you find it useful. Happy shopping!
Reader Feedback: What’s the gift you’re most excited to give this year? I think mine’s the Instant Pot!