2017 Christmas Gift Guide & ideas for Men, Women, Teens & kids!

AWESOME gift ideas! This is such a great list!Gift giving can be stressful…and tiring…and EXPENSIVE…but, it doesn’t have to be! First, let’s look at what makes a great gift.

FIRST: What makes a great gift?

Innately, people are relational and study after study show that the majority of people are most happy when they are spending time with other people. In fact, these same studies will show that things (material possessions) actually evoke stress, while being in the company of close friends and family reduces it.
So…with that in mind, great gifts are often different than cultural trends (like the latest electronics) and therefore most often can’t be found at Best Buy. Instead, think about ways to do these things:
1) Offer a relational experience-a way to spend time together, either with the gift giver themselves, or someone of the recipient’s choosing
2) Put hours back in the day– people are BUSY and most of us just buy things that we want, but a gift that gives me a little time back, now that’s always a winner!
3) Make life easier- blenders and vacuums get a bad rap as gifts, but practical gifts shouldn’t always be taboo
4) Show REAL thought- personalized gifts can be a real winner, don’t rule these out

Gift ideas for EXPERIENCES:

apopcorn1. Movie Certificates: from young children to granparents, almost everyone loves going to the movies because it is an experience, and most often it isn’t done alone. Plus, most theaters offer online ordering for gift cards and certificates, so even if you are in a different state, you can give a certificates to a local theater.
ayarn2.  Lessons…to do anything!: Do you have a niece that wants to learn how to knit? Most people love to learn new things, whether it is cooking, sewing, scrapbooking, hair cutting, computer skills, or automotive maintenance…you likely have something great to offer.
azoo3. An Adventure: This is GREAT for all of the kids on your list. Parent’s love gifts that keep kids occupied. For a gift, offer to take the recipient for an adventure…it can be a trip to the zoo, or a museum or something you make up like a scavenger hunt or princess tea. You could bake cookies or camp out in the back yard. Plus, by taking the kids for a few hours you are giving the parents a break, too…now that is a great gift ;)
To give, just wrap up an inexpensive token of the event (a small stuffed animal if you are going to the zoo, or some sprinkles if you are baking together) along with a certificate with the details of the experience and how to redeem it.
cupcake-wars-kit4. Cupcakery Kit: Cupcakes are all the rage right now. Assemble a basket with items for the recipient to their own masterpieces with friends and family. Basket ideas include this Cupcake Decorating Book, Sprinkles, a Cupcake Frosting Decorating Set, Fun Cupcake Liners, Candy Animal Eyes, and a Neon Gel Food Color Set
acouple5. Date Night: If you have parent’s of young children on your list, giving their parents a “date night” is a great idea. Offer to watch the kids yourself, or include money for a sitter and a gift card to eat out.
atheater6. Tickets to a comedy club or funny theater production: People LOVE to laugh…and while theater tickets could be a hit or miss for the Sound of Music…if the production is a comedy (and has gotten GOOD reviews), it would be a fun gift to receive. Better yet, plan group night out!
acouples-book7. The Activity Book for Couples ($14.95): The LoveBook Activity Book for Couplesis a fun way to spend some time with your partner and bring laughter to your day! 92 pages of his/her games to play individually and together.  A great way to grow stronger as a couple!
abook8. Book of the month Club for kids: You select the age range and type of book and they will receive a book in the mail each month. This can be a great idea for pre-teens and teens because the service knows which books their age group will love! Learn more HERE.
apizza9. Pizza Cone Kit ($25): A new trend in pizza, get your fill of gooey cheese, spicy marinara, and tantalizing toppings with this whole new twist on make-your-own pizza night. These clever, crust-based cones provide a fun way to make your own pizza in minutes. See more HERE.
10. The Lego Ideas Book: Keep little hands busy! Now with The LEGO Ideas Book, you can take what you already have and make something new! The book is divided into six themed chapters — transportation, buildings, space, kingdoms, adventure, and useful makes — each with basic templates of key models and spreads to inspire you to create your own.
11. Games are always a hit, too: A few fun ones for the whole family are Marble Run, Suspend (rated #1!), or  Snap Circuits.
christmas-gift-ideas12. Q&A a Day for Moms: A 5-Year Journal: This book has gotten REALLY great reviews on Amazon. What it is: This five-year journal will help moms capture it all–simply turn to today’s date and take a few moments to answer the question at the top of the page. As the journal fills, it will become a loving record and cherished family keepsake. Q&A a Day for Moms- $12.92

Gift ideas for giving TIME BACK or that make LIFE EASIER:

1. A Meal: whether it is a complete meal that can be stored in the freezer until used, or the ingredients that just need to be assembled, this is a great idea for adding time back for busy people, or those you don’t know how much to spend on. I’ve given this to daycare providers, teachers, friends and family and it has been VERY well received. Click HERE for a great recipe and more details for gifting a meal!
adough2. Frozen dough: It is safe to assume that most people love homemade cookies and bread. Make a big batch of your favorite recipe, freeze it, and give as a gift (with baking instructions of course!) Great for people on your list that you encounter on a regular basis throughout the year, but aren’t sure if you are expected to get them something or not!
acleaning3. Gift Cards for a service: Give the gift of a car wash, car detail, or house cleaning service. The possibilities are really endless with this, but most people appreciate a gift that is practical and consumable (as opposed to decorative and space-occupying ;)
ameat4. Gift card for a local quality meat market: What on earth do we get my grandma? She doesn’t have room in her apartment to store anything, but she loves to cook. She appreciates buying quality meat and likes to buy the pre-made treats (like stuffed porkchops or bacon wrapped anything), it saves her time on her feet in the kitchen. (If you know what they like, you could always bring meat as a gift, too!)
5. Something REALLY great that you have come across this past year: I bought two really awesome paring knives from Pampered Chef and I love them. I also have some Norwex face clothes that I couldn’t live without. If you have found something that is practical, that you love, others on your list might love it, too. Practical gifts are ok if you know your audience. My sister in law doesn’t expect a romantic gift from me (like my spouse might!), but enjoys cooking, so she might love a new knife. Other items that might fall into this category are great books, cosmetics/face creams, tools and of course kitchen gadgets.
anote-box6. Notecard Box: This is a fun gift, and becomes even less expensive if you gather cards on clearance throughout the year. Grab a shoebox or photo boxes work great and fill it with a variety of notecards. Thank you cards, sympathy cards, graduation and wedding cards all make great fillers. You can also add a nice pen and postage depending on your price point.

Great Faith Based Gifts

Jesus-Storybook-Bible1. The Jesus Children’s Storybook Bible: The best children’s bible you will find (and adults will love reading it, too!), The Jesus Storybook Bible tells the story beneath all the stories in the Bible. At the center of the Story is a baby, the child upon whom everything will depend. Every story whispers his name. A Bible like no other, The Jesus Storybook Bible invites children to join in the greatest of all adventures, to discover for themselves that Jesus is at the center of God’s great story of salvation—and at the center of their Story too. ($10.50)
questions-for-my-father-book2. Questions for my Father: Finding the Man behind your dad: A really unique book to give the men in your life, “I had ample opportunity to ask Dad these questions when he was alive, but it seemed that a million reasons not to do so could always be found.” Every son should have a copy of Questions For My Father and ask his dad while he has the opportunity ($9.99).
note-cards3. Faith Based Note Cards: These Petals of Praise Rose Boxed Notecards are a well designed and thoughtful gift. Perfect for teachers, friends and family alike ($6.99).
journal4. “I can do everything through him” Zippered Journal: This Zipped Closure, Turquoise Flexcover Journa features inspirational Scripture on the subject of strength from Philippians 4:13, beautifully scripted in debossed text. There is an attached ribbon page marker. The journal cover is constructed of quality man-made material imported from Italy, with the look and feel of real leather ($12.90).
conversation-starters5. Conversation Starters for Husbands & Wives Cards: Conversation Starters for Husbands & Wives is a fun way couples can get to know one another again, and better. Each side has a question and an accompanying Scripture verse or quote that is sure to spark some lively conversation and lots of laughter. Learn more about your partner’s hopes, worries, dreams and joys with this fun resource ($7.99).
apples-to-apples6. Apples to Apples Bible Addition: Expand your “core” knowledge of Christian history with this hilarious, award-winning game! Apples to Apples Bible Edition brings the award winning card and party game, Apples to Apples®, to the Christian community. Players will delight in the clever comparisons while expanding their knowledge of the Bible ($20.54).
girls-only-devotions7. For Girls Only! Devotions (ages 8-12): This For Girls Only! Devotional will help girls ages 8-12 apply biblical concepts to their daily lives. Each devotion is written and designed with today’s tween and her issues in mind. Using a Scripture as the theme, each devotion includes a modern-day story and several interactive exercises, including a To-Do list, a quiz, related Scriptures, and quotations that reinforce the lesson. Filled with whimsical and girl-centric art, this fun devotional will be hard for young girls to put down! ($7.46)

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Gift ideas that show REAL THOUGHT:

aphoto-book1. Digital Scrapbooks: Most of us have great intentions of scrapbooking or other creative ways of archiving our kids…but we get behind. Start a new tradition by creating an annual yearbook online. There are plenty of digital printing options (Walmart, Snapfish, Target and Walgreens just to name a few) and great deals this time of year.
arecipe2. Create a Recipe Book, Children’s Book or short novel: Are you a great cook? Do you hold all of the family recipes? Create a cookbook and give copies to everyone in your family. Or create a children’s book and personalize it with the kid’s names…or if you have a gift for writing or art…get published and give it as a gift!
afamily3. Gift Certificate for a family photo shoot: We all want to have great family photos to remember all of the stages of life, but time gets away and it can be stressful. Whether it is a gift card to a Target photo studio or a private photographer, most families would love this gift.

When all ELSE FAILS:

agift-card1. Gift Cards: Gift cards often get a bad rap for being a “thoughtless” gift, but most young adults and teens don’t mind receiving them. If you have a difficult person on your list and are at a complete loss for what to get them, you can never go wrong with a gift card to Amazon, Target, Starbucks, a restaurant or their local mall.
2. Pajamagram: There’s nothing better than putting on a brand new pair of pajamas and crawling into bed! Send a friend or loved one (of any age!) a “Pajamagram” You select the size, style and pattern, add a special note, and decide when it will be delivered– more details HERE
asub3. Subscription Boxes: From books, to coffee, to handmade surprises there are a number of really awesome subscription boxes out there (the recipient receives a new gift box in the mail monthly or quarterly). You can find a great list of subscriptions boxes HERE.
aple4. Gifts For Teachers: If you are at a loss for what to get the teachers on your list, you NEED to read this “What Teachers REALLY want for Christmas (written by a teacher!)” (You might be surprised by the suggestions, and relieved!)
aterrarium5. Air Plants & Terrariums: These are a new trend and are SO COOL, I can see why! Make a terrarium yourself, buy a kit, or purchase a completed one. These plants only need to be misted with water occasionally, so you don’t have to have a green thumb to keep them alive! Here is one supplier!
6. Penzey Spices Holiday Gift Box: I love, love, love these spices and this gift box is a steal at only $9.95! (One of the seasoning blends included is for frozen pizza, how fun is that!)

And remember…

Gift giving should actually be kind of fun…if you are feeling stressed about a certain person on your list, brainstorm ideas with friends, ask them what gifts they have received that they have loved or have given in the past that have been well received. And, give yourself a break…this can be a really STRESSFUL time of year…plan time for coffee with friends and date nights with your significant other.
We hope these ideas are helpful! WOULD YOU SHARE the BEST GIFTS you have given or received BELOW?
Happy Holidays!

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