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A Gift Guide
Featuring things we actually use.
I’m confused by most gift guides. A lot of them seem very impractical to me. Why are there so many candlestick holders and placemats on gift guides? Who are these people that need all these tchotchkes? Here’s my attempt, a lot of the things are things we actually use and have found a lot of value in. Some of them have made it into my shopping cart for this year. But also, please, if you have something your kids or spouses or you love and find a lot of value it, would you please share it with me? I would love to know.
Unbroken geodes to smash. These are so much fun. We buy these at a gem store in my hometown, give the kids hammers and let them break open their own geodes. E and I have gotten into rock hound videos on instagram where people go out looking for gemstones and break open fun rocks to expose the treasures inside. We don’t know how to do that, so these scratch that itch. If you gift these you will rule Christmas.
Whittling Kit. My friend Sarah recommended this. Her son’s into it. Have I let Elliott go outside and try to carve sticks with a steak knife? Yes. Do I think these are a much wiser idea? Also yes.
Genius Squares. My aunt Cathy bought this for Elliott a few years ago and we still play it once a week. It’s a puzzle race. It is also so much fun and portable. It was a recent hit when we took it to dinner with friends and played it while waiting.
Crunchlab subscription kit. Elliott watches some Mark Rober on YouTube. He’s a former NASA engineer and makes this engineering subscription box. My nephew really enjoys them, so these are going on our to-buy list this year.
Dragonwood Game. My friend Darcy recommended this to us and we all love it. It’s a great family card game.
Wingfeather Book Series. Elliott received this as a gift from his Aunt Chris and we all loved it. Our cat is even named after the kids in the book.
Rock Tumbler for all those rocks that come home in pockets.
Wooble Kit I bought my niece and Elliott one of these. They are kits that teach you to crochet by giving you all the materials and videos to follow along. My niece completed hers and it looks great! Elliott’s still working on his.
Spot It. A classic. This is also super portable. It’s easy to learn so when other kids come over everyone can pick up the concept very quickly.
Porter Mug I use my porter mug every single day. It’s the only to-go cup I use and it’s just so pretty and practical.
Set Game This is my favorite card game. It’s all about pattern recognition. You can play it alone or with your family. My family indulges me sometimes, but mostly they just say it makes their brain hurt.
Window Bird Feeder We have this on our front window and the pigeons are pretty entertaining. Watching our cat watch the pigeons is super entertaining.
Pretty Basketball Sometimes I just want my own pretty basketball to play with on trips to the park.
Popcorn Maker We’ve had this popcorn maker for a couple years. We use it every Friday on movie night. It makes the perfect popcorn every time and squishes down super small so it’s not hard to store.
Flower Memory We have the bird memory version of this and love it, but I’d also love to memorize some flower names too.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook This is the cookbook that I refer to over and over and over again. It’s just so reliable.
Face Mask I’ve had this for a few years and use it once every couple weeks. It makes your face pulsate and feels so goooood. You’re supposed to mix it with apple cider vinegar, so if that isn’t your thing beware.
Harney & Sons Tea Sampler My cousin Mary got me a Harney & Sons tea sampler box after my surgery this year and every single one was so delicious. It made me feel loved.
Espresso Machine I bought this small espresso machine for Jason 5 years ago and it’s still going strong. He makes himself multiple lattes every day since he works from home. It also doesn’t take up too much space.
Coffee Subscription Jason gets so excited every time he gets this coffee from his buddy Rick in the mail. It has also ruined all other coffee for him.
The Creative Act I bought this for Jason for his birthday. I had sent him an interview between Rick Rubin and Trent Reznor which sent him down a Rick Rubin rabbit hole. This is an excellent interview about what the book is about.
The Best Pens Having a box of these pens laying around makes me feel like I have my life together
A T-shirt featuring your child’s art. This is my favorite gift I’ve every gifted. I took some of Elliott’s sketches and had them printed on a t-shirt for Jason through rush order tees. I also made one for myself.
Band Poster to decorate his office
Hoodie to keep cozy on game days
Vans Slip Ons because his old ones are probably gross
That’s it. Now it’s your turn. What tried and true things do you love and want to gift?
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