It’s that time of year again! The holidays are coming, and we’re counting down the days until we can enjoy festive cheer with our families. Wondering how – between work, childcare, play dates and more – you’ll possibly get all your holiday shopping done in time? Never fear! We come bearing gift ideas that will make every member of the family happy from youngest to oldest. In that order, here are some of our recommendations for great gifts this holiday season, including some that you’ll want to include in your own letter to Santa!
For the Kids:
Little Giraffe has been one of my favorite brands this year with their line of super plush products for kids and home that include blankets, towels and toys. Their Little E and Little L Blankies ($49 each) immediately come to mind as great stocking stuffers. Let them peek out of the top your stockings, and you’re sure to get smiles the second baby sets eyes on them. Small in size and easy to carry and tuck into in any bag, these Blankies are fantastic travel companions, should you be away for the holidays.
In our household, a cherished part of the holidays is spending long, relaxing mornings in our pajamas. Make this tradition especially fun with Naaya by Moonlight’s Blue Whale Organic Pajamas ($42) and Matching Toy/Cushion ($14). Cute, soft and 100% organic cotton, this great pairing makes an ideal gift set for little ones. With four animal designs to choose from, your child can both wear and cuddle their favorite. The toy doubles as a cushion, so your child is ready for a nap any time and anywhere. The designs are handcrafted in India and showcase block printed art for a beautiful and unique look.
If you’re looking for the perfect blanket, definitely check out the Bugaboo Wool Blanket ($109.95). I love that this blanket has all the best features of wool while doing away with all the challenges. 100% Merino wool and bearing the Woolmark certification, the Bugaboo Blanket is soft, breathable and feels luxuriously soft against the skin. At the same time, it’s machine washable and can even be thrown in the dryer for easy care. With just the right weight to keep your child snug and stay in place when used in a stroller, it’s also fantastic in both cold and warm weather. When my kids aren’t using this blanket, I don’t hesitate to throw it over myself – it’s just that wonderful. The Bugaboo Wool Blanket is a top quality blanket from a brand known for top quality strollers.
Perfect for the winter chill, eden & zoe Rene Cashmere Hand Warmers ($42) are adorable, warm and feel great against your child’s skin. The second I picked them up, I immediately wanted a pair in my size! While it’s often been a struggle to put gloves or mittens on my daughter, she loves these Hand Warmers since her fingers are still free to play. Even my one year old sneaks his hands into these fashionable accessories when his big sister puts them down. In stylish colors and patterns, eden & zoe Hand Warmers come in three sizes, fitting ages 2 – 10. Check out their site for matching hats, sweaters and more to create an entire outfit.
Fisher-Price is always a go-to for high play value from a trusted brand. Some of our favorites this year include the Shake ‘n Beats™ Tambourine ($8) for the littlest musician in the family and the Little People® Mid Vehicle Assortment ($15 each), which includes a number of entertaining vehicles, such a helicopter and dump truck that entertain with easy-to activate songs and sound effects. However, the absolute winner in our family is the Little People® Wheelies™ City Skyway ($40), which delights both my 1 year-old and my 4 year-old. Even before fully assembled, they were squealing with joy racing cars down the ramps. Luckily, the set comes with two cars, so it’s perfect as a shared sibling gift. The really fun part of this track is the set of switching mechanisms that determines which track will ultimately deliver your car. Different each time, the City Skyway keeps kids entertained. Beyond the track, there are cute details like a gas pump, a crane and a gate that moves up and down. For those who are space constrained, you’ll appreciate how much fun is packed into this vertical play set. I also like how they’ve built a handle into the top of the tower, making it easy to carry the entire system from one room to another.
What kid wouldn’t love a bike for Christmas! Accommodate even the youngest cyclist with Prince Lionheart’s balanceBIKE, which gives 2-5 year olds their first taste of riding a bike. Requiring minimal assembly, you may want to unpack and put the bike together first before applying a bow and placing it under the Christmas tree, as your child will be anxiously waiting to hop aboard as soon as she sees it. I loved watching my daughter excitedly jump on without hesitation and start off by gently walking the bike. Soon after, she was taking bigger steps and finally lifting her feet to glide. Focused on teaching new riders about balance and steering, the pedal-less balanceBIKE is fun and easy to use. This fantastic first bike has 12” air-filled rubber tires, rubber handlebars and a padded seat that can be adjusted to grow with your child. The frame is made of 100% birch wood for a beautiful, natural look. Check out the Prince Lionheart site for their entire line, which includes a scooter, a chopper and a yoMOTO bike for those looking for a less traditional style that will still bring big smiles.
For Kids and Parents:
Here’s a great gift for active kids and their parents! The Cozy Coupe® Harness Backpack ($16.99) gives kids a handy way to carry along small snacks and toys, while providing you with a convenient way to hold onto your child. Just the right size to let little ones feel ownership and help carry their own things without overloading them, this friendly little backpack with the classic Cozy Coupe character has one main compartment and is easy for kids to unzip. The strap attaches with a carabineer, providing enough flexibility for toddlers while still letting you keep a good hold on your child. With a one year old who’s stretching his legs and exercising more independence, I’m glad to have a way to provide him with some freedom while ensuring I don’t lose him! The Cozy Coupe Harness has adjustable shoulder straps and a detachable strap to grow with your child.
Need a gift idea for both dad and child? Cooper & Kid offers a subscription service, arriving every three months, that aims to make Dad super cool. Geared towards kids ages 5 – 9, the activities already intrigued our new 4 year old who just couldn’t get enough of all the great things she could build with Daddy. “I made that!” is one of my favorite phrases to hear from a kid, so the Cooper Kit ($65 per kit) rates high for me. Each kit comes with a different theme. The one we received is based on music, and everything from the box to the individual contents and instruction manual are so well thought out. The Music Kit includes a story book, recipes and supplies to create a drum kit, a banjo, a pan pipe, an amplifier and more. An activity book guides you through step by step and teaches lessons in chords, beats, amplification and even song writing. For those craving more, an accompanying web portal provides links to additional material. Educational, fun and a great way for dads and kids to bond, the Cooper Kit is packed with activities the entire family can enjoy.
For another gift that spans both baby and parents, check out the Storksak + Bugaboo Diaper Bag ($229), the product of a collaboration between two of the most loved baby brands. Living up to the reputation of both companies, this diaper bag gets high marks for both fashion and functionality. All black, this bag matches everything and is gender neutral enough to be carried by both mom and dad. Open it up to reveal a brighter aqua material, making it easy to find items inside. A large interior gives you plenty of room to stuff the essentials while also providing handy compartments for organizing wipes, burp rags, your wallet and more. Also includes a detachable key ring, which I love since I’m always fumbling for keys while trying to hold onto the kids. Includes a changing pad that folds into an easy-to-take-along clutch and two insulated pockets for bottles, including one you can easily reach from the exterior of the bag. For those wanting to move it up a notch, an all leather version is available for $445.
For Parents (yes, YOU!):
Next up, here’s a bag just for you! The Jill-e Designs Leather Career Bag ($189.99) gives you a stylish way to tote your laptop, while still maintaining your chic. Built for fashion and function, this handbag can hold up to a 12” laptop or a tablet device and keeps it secure within a Velcro-latched padded compartment. In addition, organize your notebooks, phone, wallet and keys in two additional large compartments or the many smaller, convenient pouches that line the inside of the bag. As one who commutes by public transport, I also appreciate the thoughtfulness of the tethered cardholder. Hold the bag by the handles or sling it over your shoulder with the longer, detachable shoulder strap – your choice. Love that there’s now a beautiful and stylish feminine alternative to all the backpacks and messenger bags on the market. With the Jill-e Leather Career Bag, you can go straight from work to dinner and perfectly fit in at both.
Food is always a big part of our holidays, and having the right cookware makes such a difference. Food prep becomes more enjoyable with All-Clad’s new B1 Nonstick Collection. With a solid construction that looks and feels great, the 3 Qt. Saucepan with Lid ($80.00) has been hard at work this winter, keeping our bellies warm and full with plenty of delicious soup and pasta – staples in our family. It’s nonstick interior is free of PFOA, a carcinogen often found in Teflon, so you can enjoy easy cleaning without worrying about your family’s health. The exterior is hard-anodized aluminum with a bonded base that keeps your pot in top shape and well suited to all stovetops. This pot also dishwasher safe.
Time is something I never seem to have enough of as a parent. Help busy moms stay on schedule with Reebok’s new line of watches. Kid friendly with durable designs and easy for moms to use with clear, large digital screens that show date and time, the Reebok Workout Z1G ($129.95) & DI-R Block Party Ladies watches ($59.95) make great gifts. The Workout Z1G is water resistant and includes an alarm, timer and hourly chime, which come in handy not only for workouts, but also assist with managing feeding schedules or providing helpful reminders when mommy brain has taken a toll. The DI-R Block Party Digital Watch includes an alarm and stopwatch, which is great for tracking contractions should you still be awaiting baby’s arrival. Both watches include a backlight, making it easy to check the time in a dark room without waking baby. Those of us who fondly recall growing up in the 80s will find these watches especially appealing, given that their aesthetic is heavily inspired by that awesome decade. Find the entire line of Reebok watches at Kohl’s and Macy’s.
One of my cherished daily joys is my morning cup of tea. Lately, this little ritual has been enhanced by the addition of just the right mug. My Handcrafted Coffee Mug ($24) from Wordologies gets it right on many fronts. Made of lead-free ceramic, it’s got great heft and has been wonderfully shaped to encourage wrapping my hands around it – providing warmth and comfort to ease me into the day. As a mom, I’ve come to accept that it’s hard to get through a cup of tea or coffee uninterrupted, so having a mug that’s microwave safe is a must. Being dishwasher safe is another great plus. The added bonus with Wordologies is that each mug comes with a sweet phrase that inspires, puts your mind at ease and sets a positive tone for your day.
Pair a Wordologies mug with the new KRUPS Performa Stainless Steel Tea Kettle ($60.00), which makes it fast, easy and safe to heat a pot of water. Rather than turn on the stove, just fill the electric kettle, sit it on its base and press the lever. You’ll have boiling water in minutes! The kettle includes a window to the interior and measurement lines to make it easy to figure out how much water to fill. This is a big deal for me as I often overfill stovetop kettles, which then take forever to heat. To improve taste and kettle lifetime, an anti-scale filter sits at the spout of the kettle to remove minerals found in hard water. Should you get wrapped up or have your hands full, the Performa Kettle has you covered with an auto shut-off that turns the kettle off when your water has finished boiling or the kettle is empty. I literally have instant hot water at my fingertips now that I can boil hot water anywhere I have an outlet, ensuring I can have endless cups of soothing tea throughout the day without leaving my desk.
Chocolate has always been a favorite stocking stuffer, both for giving and receiving. Of course if there’s a possibility of it getting too warm by the fireplace, no one will complain if you just leave it out for the family to enjoy while they’re around for the holidays. Our newest chocolate discovery is PASCHA, which we love not only for their great tasting chocolate, but also for how conscientious they are about allergies and giving back to the community. They’re also certified Organic, Fair Trade, Vegan, Kosher and NON-GMO. Really, this chocolate is for everybody. Free from nuts, dairy, soy, eggs, gluten, wheat, sesame, corn, fish and mustard, PASCHA chocolate comes in both Bars and Chips (ranging from $5 – 7). While the Chocolate Chips do make for tasty additions to baked good (including some of the best brownies we have ever tasted!), we have also found that both the bars and chips are delicious on their own, and we’re constantly raiding the cupboard for a little taste here and there. This chocolate is greatly savored by young and old alike – a fantastic treat for the whole family.
Does Santa need a couple stocking stuffer ideas for you? If so, Teadora presents a line of bath and body products made from natural ingredients sustainably harvested from the Brazilian rainforest. Cleanse, moisturize and tone with two natural fragrances. Rainforest at Dawn combines citrus and floral to awaken you at the start of the day. Soothe and revitalize with the hint of orange and coconut that compose Rainforest at Dusk. Whether you’re a bar or liquid soap gal, Teadora has you covered. They offer a Nourishing Beauty Bar ($12) that glides on smoothly and works into a rich lather to clean, moisturize and tone your skin. Alternatively, squeeze a little of their Nourishing Body Cleanser ($24) onto a towel or sponge for gentle application. My personal favorite is the Nourishing Exfoliating Bar ($14) in the Dawn scent, which includes Acai seeds and Exotic Clay to gently scrub and rejuvenate. It smells and feels fantastic and is so much better for you and the environment than other exfoliators that use plastic microbeads. Give your hair a little Teadora love with their Nourishing Shampoo ($30), which lathers on nicely and smells wonderful
Personalized gifts are always much appreciated and bring smiles to family members throughout the year. Paper Culture offers a variety of customizable items your family will love. As their name implies, Paper Culture makes top quality paper products, so you can count on beautifully printed images on great feeling cardstock that is 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Start with the gift that will reach the most people – your Holiday Cards! Pick from many designs that range from classic and traditional to fun and offbeat. There’s the perfect mix of ready-made template and do-it-yourself personalization, with the ability to add images and switch up the back of the card with a selection of different layouts. You can even specify the thickness of your cardstock, choosing to make your cards double or triple thick. Designers are available at no extra cost to review your order and make sure everything looks great. Beyond cards, customize ornaments, coasters, wall art, wall decals and even a memory game. I was thrilled with how quickly my order shipped and how great everything looked. Plus, it was a nice touch knowing that a tree is planted for each order.
We hope this list inspires and helps you get through your holiday shopping as quickly and enjoyably as possible so that you can get to the best part of the holidays – relaxing and spending time with your loved ones. Wishing you a very happy holiday season from Pregnancy Magazine!