I love the holidays. I always have. Now that we live in Idaho – it finally FEELS like the holidays with snow on the ground, blinking white and colored lights, the shops are open and the music is playing.
One of my favorite holiday traditions is gift-giving. I’m like a walking Holiday Gift Guide. I do know this stresses some people out (yes Mom, I am talking to YOU!) – but for me, it’s a time to really think about a person, what they like, what they enjoy, and poke around the www in search of something they’d never expect.
Sure there are many times I go straight-up utilitarian because I know so-and-so would rather have a new lawnmower than a witty framed meme created by yours truly (weird right??). I try to stay away from gifts from their favorite team, something they collect (does anyone need another coffee table book about cats? No offense to anyone who really wants a coffee table book about cats), items for which they have NO ROOM in their current domicile (we are currently living in an RV – please do not get us anything that needs a wall, a flat spot, storage, or makes any sound. Like at all. No SOUNDS.), or god-forbid anything they are going to have to take care of for the next 3 – 35 years (this list includes, but is not limited to: puppies, kittens, turtles, hamsters, lizards, fish, ferrets, snakes (gross), etc.), and I am going to tell you right now, straight up, do not give other people’s kids a giant box of candy. Please. I am begging.
Ok, now, off we go folks – here are some cool, fun, thoughtful, creative ideas from the corners of the web to your everyday good old fashioned MAN DID I REALLY NEED THAT gifts:
Men can be super hard to shop for. Especially because there are so many personality types ( and they say women are hard to figure out). But – luckily for me, the men in my life are from ALL walks. Sporty, brainy, gamers, gamblers, and gardeners. A smattering, if you will. So, first up on our Holiday Gift Guide is a few things for the men in your life!
If any of you have golfers in your life, you know how expensive golf balls are. You also know all to what extent golfers go through to mark their balls and, of course, find their balls. This gift is twofold:
Smarttech is everywhere – you can immediately recognize an Apple Watch, a FitBit, Amazon Halo – you get the point. That is why I LOVE this watch from withings.com – beautiful style while still 100% functional and they ship FREE – BONUS!
OK – in all honesty, I had to get help for this one. The last video games I played were Pac-Man, Pong, and Donkey Kong (maybe Frogger?). But a very trusted source tells me, for anything gaming, go to GreenManGaming.com – it looks all dark and filled with human-like action people – that’s about all I can tell you 🙂 My source, however, raves about their selection, customer service, and ability to get the inside skinny on what’s coming next…
You’re probably wondering why my Holiday Gift Guide has these in the same category… Let me tell you, there is no greater gamble than me trying to grow ANYTHING. Truly. I’m always getting the “oh grow such-and-such, you literally cannot kill it”. I call BS – I killed a plastic cactus. I mean, my dog slyly snuck it into her bed and chewed it, but still a death nonetheless. Grass? Nope. Strawberries? Hmm Ummm. That project you do as a kid when you put toothpicks in a potato, in a cup of water & watch it grow? No-go-my-potato. One thing I can grow is mold. Have you ever found a ½ full bottle under the driver’s seat of your car that’s been missing for 3 months? You will find mold. You’re welcome for the hot tip.
Ok one last diatribe here – I swear. My Grandma (my mom’s mom) lived to be 104. She LOVED to play the slots. My mom would take her to the small casino by their house a couple of days a week LITERALLY until the day she died. In honor of Rosie, if you too love the slots, you can find a MILLION variations at bet-at-home.com
My husband LOVES to garden. I do not. I do not like bugs, dirt, snakes, spiders – or really anything you encounter while gardening. And, as previously stated, I cannot grow anything – if anyone needs something mulched – you can maybe sway me but I will need cocktails.
That being said – there is a site that I LOVE. I can get lost in it as I picture the day when my house doesn’t have wheels and I can get all sorts of whimsical, beautiful goodies for around the house – both inside and out. That site is Plow and Hearth – If you cannot find something for the Gardener in your life on this site, your friends and family are way too high maintenance (j/k – kinda). They have snacks, fireplaces, wreaths, blankets, lawn and garden ornaments, outdoor storage, indoor storage, boots, PJ’s – seriously. It’s a cornucopia of quality gifts – with a price point for every budget!
This next part of our Holiday Gift Guide is dedicated to the women in our lives. I have a tribe of women in my life who are ride-or-die and with whom I’ve shared so many tears, decades of laughter, ups, downs, highs, lows, marriage, divorce, kids, life, death…all of it. We don’t talk nearly as much as we would all like, we are scattered across the globe, and are as diverse a group one could conjure. One friend is living in Alaska with her kids running a B&B, another is an attorney in Chicago (I’ve known her since the DAY I was born – her mom and my mom were and still are besties), one teaches special education in California. Some are empty nesters while others of us have first graders, a few retired, and one just launched a new clothing company…
You never know where life will take you – if you think you do, you are WRONG. I never thought I’d be 49 living in an RV on the side of a mountain in Idaho with two small kids. Like, ever. Stupid Magic 8 Ball is a big, giant liar. Just saying. Albeit not what I ever imagined, happier than I ever could have dreamt (tired as %^&&@3 but happy…).
We aren’t a group who gives gifts every year – more so when we stumble on something we know will recall a specific memory, a moment of pure joy, a time we know should be cherished. Here are a few ideas from my various trips around the www with my ladies in mind!
Ok gang – if you do not have one of these – GET IT NOW, and while you’re there, buy one for a friend! – These travel cable bags come in 1st place on my Holiday Gift Guide and will be yours + any travelers on your list’s most treasured and most used gifts! I used to spend a good 15 minutes digging through my gigantic purse looking for all the various plugs and cords required for my son’s tablet vs my daughters, the old, trusty original version iPad, the new phone, the newer phone to replace the old newer phone that was – let’s just say “lost” (may it RIP in the toilet at the Italian place down the street…) – not to mention headphones, ear pods, gah! Stuff. Once you gather it all into this amazing little pack, you will forever thank me. Maybe not FOREVER, but at least once.
Kitchenaid Mixer. That. Is. All.
A while back I wrote a post about saving memories. As I get older, there is nothing more cherished than pictures, videos, little mementos of special occasions, vacations, new beginnings, etc. I am going to repost it here. In it you will find ideas across the board for ways to save, share, and cherish your memories. My favorite gifts to give are those filled with all of the day-to-day photos that live in my phone – yet to be shared and enjoyed by those in my life. The tools available today for those of us “creatively challenged” or maybe lean a wee to the ‘technology impaired’ – make creating and giving a personal gift easy as click, click, send! (ok, some might be click, click, click, click, click, send…but still pretty simple).
I have two girlfriends that are an absolute riot. Your cheeks will hurt, tears will stream as they relay an otherwise normal story with the wit of a standup comic from the 80’s when comics were still allowed to be funny. Their humor is such that if you aren’t paying attention, it will go right over your head – it’s so unintentional yet sharp with a delivery ensuring whatever you’re drinking WILL come out your nose. For them, gift-giving is so fun because there is nothing too over-the-top, silly, ridiculous, weird, creative, or sassy. Not that gifts HAVE to be any of those things – but if you embarrassingly laugh at something maybe you shouldn’t – these are the gals you’d want to share it with 🙂
Full disclosure – I have these and I LOVE THEM – I’m surprised, however, by how many people ask me why I am a bad donkey. Like, COME ON folks.
In my opinion, this purse is a must. Just own it. Walk into your favorite coffee shop, restaurant, hit up a wedding. Just do it. Stone-faced. Send pics.
Cheers to my wine friends! Those of us who held Zoom cocktail parties during the pandemic so none of us had to drink alone – these, these are my people. These are fun gifts for them!
I can’t put my finger on it – but I LOVE these snack bowls. I just had to have – hope you do too!
You cannot over-cute the cute with these cuties!! Baileys, coffee, Kahlua! Oh, and hot coco for the kiddos sans the aforementioned Baileys and Kahlua.
I’ve used this next idea to bust out some surprise messages for friends and family who thought I wasn’t paying attention – but these are also a great way to get out a sneak announcement!
“Baby Boy August 2022!”, “Will you marry me?”, “We’re Moving!”, “Honey, I’m pregnant!”- you get the point. Put them out and see who notices first….
That wraps up this year’s Holiday Gift Guide. Do you have a favorite gift you’ve given or received? Please share so we can all be gift-giving superheroes!
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