Great Holiday Gift Ideas! (and some to skip)

Struggling with Holiday Gifts this year?

Oh I know I am.  People change a bit year by year and while some have on going interests even those wax and wane.  I mean, we all know someone who enjoys baking, but some years they are really excited to experiment around and a book of recipes is the ticket, the next year…well…they are still baking, but not really in the same way.

So…what is someone to do? We want to give gifts that the recipient enjoys and is excited or delighted with.  Right?


Not fruitcake.  Rarely is anyone excited/delighted with the above pictured item. (though I admit I’ve had some that was homemade and fresh and I was thrilled, that stuff can be so good if done right…)

So I’ve thought about it and decided on a few items I can recommend for folks of most ages!

Topping my list:

Jacquie Lawson electronic Advent Calendars.

You can of course send really beautiful e-cards from this website too. I’m not a huge fan of the e-card, I do not know why.  But her Advent Calendars are delightful.

It loads on your computer and then a beautiful snow globe item appears that can be clicked on.  It is jam packed full of activities like “design your own snowflake” or “decorate the tree”  and once you have done these things, your snowflakes and your tree appear in the scenes.  The images are animated and full of great details and music that plays.

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The price is also right, 4.00 per calendar, unless you order 10 or more installations, and then it’s much less.

My Mother gets us these. If sent to a family that is far flung like mine, it tends to generate a lot of emails/texts.  “Did you open your advent calendar day yet…so cute/funny/fun”  Each day is a great surprise.  Again, for ANYONE with a computer it is a fun gift.  The company sends it directly to the email address with easy downloading.  Check out Jacquie Lawson.  I’ve got my 2014 calendar loaded and have been playing around with it eagerly awaiting clicking on door 1.  Of course…unlike the paper advent calendars….the computer locks you out of any days that have not occurred yet, so no peeking! This activity is so much fun for families and singles alike…as long as the recipient is somewhat computer savvy it works!

Magazine subscriptions/Newspaper subscriptions.

In general, you can get several deals for a 1-3 year subscription.  The gift that keeps on giving, does not require display, nor does it require that they “keep it around”.  I personally love the New York Times options.  Hint: if you are thinking of doing paper delivery, make sure your recipient is in a delivery area.  My sister and her family are, my parents are not. magazines are nice because they come about monthly, provide information and can be recycled when done with. My BIL has been getting the NYT from me for years now.  I have been getting a subscription from him for “Trail Runner”  We both rather enjoy our holiday gifts that continue on, long after the holiday is over.  I’m not a real trail runner…but I oddly enjoy reading and staying up on it.

Fruit Delivery (or something similar)

So if you live in California or Florida…Fruit in a box..not so exciting, since we can obtain it really cheaply and super fresh in February.  BUT…anywhere else…Fruit in a box…it’s a good gift, especially if you know people are having lots of houseguests…it makes a great addition to the breakfast table.  I recommend Connelly Fruit from right here in Central Florida. They have been in business since 1929.  locally if you go into the shop they always have a great toy drive going on, and give a lot back to our community. I’m a big fan of consumables, because after all, nothing to display, only a sweet memory.

Charitable Donations with a twist.

My Mother each year does a very large charitable donation to Heifer International.

We tend to get a very beautiful card from Heifer, stating that a cow/ducks/pig were donated to a family in need.  It’s nice. It is honestly never the highlight of my holiday.  I suggest that you add a “symbol of the donation”

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Any sort of cute little thing. Not only does it give the recipient something…when used the recipient will actually talk about the donation, and possibly inspire someone else to give in such a way!


if you give soap shaped like the animal, you are going cute and again, gets used need to hold on to or display.

The person you are sending to would NEVER wear a cow pendant? Get them a Christmas Tree ornament if they do trees.  Always room on the tree for a cow wearing a wreath, right? (It can always be hidden at the back..)

Lotto Tickets!!!

This is a way to possibly give more than you paid for.  It’s a great office gift, or if you are assigned to do a “holiday Basket” to raise money for charity…a little tree covered in lotto tickets is an attractive item, and so much easier to put together than…say a basket of cooking items!  Inexpensive with the option to reward.


What are my Holiday Giving No-no’s?

Gift cards to places that do not exist in the areas that person lives.

Tim Horton’s is one of my favorite places to visit when I am at my sisters place.  They do not exist here in Florida. When you do this, it shows that you are kind of phoning it in.  A gift card to a place someone goes to regularly is awesome, but to not research and find out what’s available in the area is like throwing away money. It’s pretty easy to see what’s available where someone lives.

Note Cards.


Yes, it’s a cheap way to say, oh look I found these cards that reflect your interest.  Unless you know for 100% sure that this person sends out lots of cards weekly, this gift will really gather dust.  How many personal letters have you sent recently?  This used to be a great gift when I was 10 yrs old and had a lot of pen pals…not so much anymore.  Email, texting has taken over.

Subtle or not so subtle suggestion gifts

Self help books…No

Exercise equipment not requested. NO

memberships to gyms not requested…No.

We all know someone who needs to change something in their life.  Chances are they know it as well.  This year, love them for who they are right now.  You may never get a chance to see a healthier them. So love them for who they are currently and if they want to change, well…they will.

So just my opinions.  Anyone have any others?

Have a Happy Happy Holiday everyone!



One thought on “Great Holiday Gift Ideas! (and some to skip)

  1. yagerline says:

    So, you are saying un-requested gym membership is not a good idea? 🙂 Ha! Seriously, those are some great ideas! Have a great holiday season!

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