This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on the links. It also contains links to previous blog posts.
It also contains some general ideas from Christmas past and things that are not at all affiliate related. I’m basically trying to rack my brain and decide what to get everybody on my list and drop (not so) subtle hints about what I like.
Homemade and Handmade
Hands down, my favourite gifts of all time are those homemade Christmas ornaments that my kids made me over the years. I keep all those that haven’t dissolved or been eaten by the dog, and put them up on the tree every year. I’m sad to say but some of those “dough ornaments” have turned a bit moldy. My tree doesn’t look designer/Instagram worthy but we love it.
I will be making some homemade gifts to give as well, but mostly food this year. I can’t say exactly what I’m making, because then it wouldn’t be a surprise – but it’s possible that I will wrap some homemade cookies, biscotti, Christmas Cake or preserves or put them in the stockings on top of whatever Santa is bringing. I will try to keep those stockings up high out of the dog’s reach!
I will take a walk down to our local small shops tomorrow to investigate some handmade pottery and some specialty teas, and visit our local small craft brewery. (Whether I share the brewery products or not is another story). Our local small businesses have suffered greatly and if I can find gifts that make sense for my family at these stores, I will definitely make a purchase!
In the past I have received family heirlooms – platters, silver saltshakers and that sort of thing. I love and treasure these items. On previous Christmases my husband has scoured antique stores for some special item, and has brought me a favourite teapot, cake platters, and ironware among other things. I’m spoiled rotten!
My daughter gave me an antique kerosene lamp for my collection one year, and I love it. I have already moved my collection to our new cottage and look forward to displaying them in the spring. I was pleased to visit her in Ottawa last week and see her carefully carrying her late Grandma’s vintage handbag.
I enjoy making a family Christmas calendar every year, but I’m struggling to find group pictures after a year with fewer family gatherings due to social distancing. I order them from Vistaprint and each of our family members gets one for their home-away-from-homes. I’m still thinking about making a cookbook with family recipes – I’ll get to it, I promise, or a family tree book – some day soon. (The story about my Christmas photo traditions is here).
Last year I created a photo-art digital painting of a sentimental landscape view and printed it out with Canva on canvas. This was an appreciated gift. I have also ordered custom photo mugs and t-shirts from Zazzle in the past. There are so many creators on Zazzle that you can order from, but you can alter products to put images or phrases on them of your own design.
Kitchen gadgetry and servingware always make for great gift ideas – but this year maybe not so much! We are purging and downsizing, and our adult children aren’t yet family “nesting”. They are all finishing up their schools, travelling a bit and generally having fun before they settle down. Any large items they receive from us will still come back to settle in our basement eventually.
If we had new homeowners to buy for, then pots and pans, dishes or knife sets might be on the list. For now the hand me downs are enough unless they have special requests. My oldest loves his Keurig machine at his Teacher’s College residence – another enjoys making smoothies daily in his blender, and sandwich presses seem to be popular with the kids. I don’t think I’ll be buying any small kitchen appliances or dishes this year, but they are good gift ideas when they are needed.
Previously I received a SodaStream (Link for my review) and a Pur Water Filter (Link for my review) for Christmas which helps me to reduce plastic water bottle use. I’m ordering replacement water filters to fit my Pur filter from Waterdrop for less.
I’m not a great big fan of buying kitchen appliances for Christmas. How much counter space do you really want to be taken up by small appliances?
I have bakers on my Christmas shopping list. My husband is an expert bread and pasta maker. He bought himself good quality pasta maker by Marcato from Lee Valley Tools. He decided against one of those giant stand mixers, as you pretty much have to leave them on your counter all the time! Bread bakers may enjoy sourdough baskets, a scraper or a good bread knife as gifts, but he’s got all those already! My daughter enjoys doing cakes and cookies, and so silicone bakeware, oven mitts or a good cookie sheet are always appreciated.
As a mom, I feel the need to buy my children new clothes at Christmas, so for the boys (all large men), I order from Old Navy, Sail and Mark‘s. My daughter and I are tall – so I find tall clothes at Alloy Apparel, Long Tall Sally, Mark’s, Reitmans and Chadwicks. They all have some length options, and who needs flood pants and unintentional crop tops anyway?
You can tell from this post that I’m not exactly a high fashion buyer – I’m a mom – I’m super practical, and sorry kids but Christmas is a time to replenish your wardrobe – “You can’t always get what you want – but…… you get what you need.”
Outdoors Stuff and Sporting Goods
My kids are all very sporty, so they often receive workout clothes, equipment or shoes from Sportchek. My daughter and her boyfriend are Snowboarders and into clothes and accessories from Burton. One of my boys is a Fencer, another loves Disc Golf and another is learning Golf. It’s easier to find gifts if someone has a new interest.
My husband and the boys love to fish year round so it’s easy for find gear from Sail. I’m hoping Santa brings me a Pedal Boat, or a Paddle Board or maybe a Three Wheeled Bike so I can get some outdoorsy but easy exercise equipment.
All of these things can be purchased new, but I know we will find a deal on Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace.
Happy Shopping! In all this time of writing this, I haven’t decided on a single gift. I’d better start baking.