With Christmas just around the corner, so too comes the stress of finding those final perfect gifts for loved ones. They say “It’s the thought that counts,” but let’s get real people, we like value too. The trick to good gift-giving is:
- Give something they wouldn’t have purchased for themselves.
- Give something they wouldn’t have thought of.
Price is a factor, and giving something they wouldn’t have purchased might mean something they wouldn’t spend that much money on for themselves. However, finding something they might not have purchased because they hadn’t thought of it…now you’re cooking with gas. And, it doesn’t have to break the bank.
The shopping world has moved online, for everything from jewelry to rent-to-own. eCommerce is where its at and Amazon doesn’t have to be your only source on the interwebs for great online shopping. One place I enjoy is UncommonGoods.com: They are a fantastic resource of quality items in a multitude of price ranges that is PERFECT for holiday gift-giving. What I love about them is their products are made by small companies or individuals, and they share the profits with them as makers. Its like buying local…but online from a national pool.
I’m a big fan of giving “experiences” for gifts. My boys are a few months shy of 5 and 7 and they don’t need any more toys, things with batteries, etc. from me or my wife. My favorite things to do right now with them is ride bikes with Max, my 6-year old, while answering all the questions he thinks of and make music with Dodge, my 4-year old, as we sing and dance to our favorite tunes together. We are big on family connections and lucky enough to have my parents a few minutes down the street and Kate’s parents a few hours drive away. I wanted something that bridged that gap for Kate’s parents since they don’t see the kids as often.
Filimin Long Distance Touch Lamp
Filimins are decorative touch lights that connect you with those you love. The concept is simple yet brilliant! These beautiful lamps can change to any color you can think of and hook up to your WiFi. When you touch one, it changes color…and all the lamps associated with it change color too.
I gave one to Kate’s parents at Thanksgiving and set the other one up in our family room. Setup was pretty straightforward and easy, you go to an online setup page that walks you through a 5-minute process and then either create or join a group of lamps within your network. You pick your colors and voila! You are ready to roll. Now the boys look for the lamp to turn blue/purple and know it is their grandparents saying “hi!” The touch the lamp to say “hi” back as it changes to red. They touch it again before they go to bed to say “good night.” Sometimes the boys and the grandparents keep touching it over and over again in a hysterical conversation of the spectrum of light.
Not only are these lamps awesome, they’re made by Wichitans John Harrison and Vanessa Whalen, and assembled right here in Kansas. I love supporting local and I love that UncommonGoods gives me a way to support these awesome makers.
“I love supporting local and I love that UncommonGoods gives me a way to support these awesome makers.”
My family does a “Secret Santa” so you are only shopping for one person instead of the whole family, very economical and tons of fun. I can’t reveal who I’m Secret Santa to as they will be reading this post, so here is a cool Christmas gift for someone who is either a man or a woman and either young or old.
World Traveler’s Cork Globe
My family loves to travel. I’ve flown around the world, been on 4 of the major continents, visited more countries than I can count, and visited 48 of the states. My wife and I love to track our adventures and things we see along the way. Recently, we counted 163 hawks on a drive to Saint Louis.
The World Traveler’s Cork Globe is exactly what it sounds like. It is a globe made of cork so you can track the places you’ve visited. It is very sturdy, extremely attractive, and a conversations starter. I have one sitting on my desk in my office and people always comment on how cool it is and start asking about the places I have marked. Currently I have marked:
- Wichita, Kansas
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Cinque Terre, Italy
- Helsinki, Finland
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Hawaiian Islands
This globe is awesome for people of all ages. I remember sitting in my dad’s office as a kid and playing with his globe. It makes me smile to see my boys playing with mine now and asking me questions about the earth. I have the large, but there is a small as well if space is limited such as an apartment or shelf.
“This globe is awesome for people of all ages. I remember sitting in my dad’s office as a kid and playing with his globe.”
Last, but not least, funzies & stocking stuffers! Funzies are funny, inexpensive gifts you give to the whole family…like matching ugly sweaters, faux jewelry, and some sort of silly game. My first year with my in-laws they have everyone these headbands with a basketball net on top. You’d throw ping-pong balls into them for points. I drilled my now father-in-law in the eye with a ping-pong ball…he’s always looked at me funny since. Here are some fun ideas:
- Emergency Clown Nose ($5)
- Super Magnetic Putty ($14)
- Family Fun Bucket List ($18)
- Awkward Family Photo Movie Caption Game ($25)
- Potable Table Tennis Set ($40)
- Rory’s Story Cubes ($8)
- Do Something Dice ($12)
- Fidget Blocks ($16)
- Bottle Stopper Gardner Kit ($22)
- Ooma Bowl ($28)
My personal favorite is the AvoSeedo Avocado Starter Kit. I used this to grow an avocado tree in my office this year from pit to small tree in 3 months! It works so much better than the old toothpick method and results in a living green plant that detoxifies your air and is pretty to look at.
I love growing green things, so this was perfect for me. Heads up, if you are hoping to grow avocados to eat you’d be better off buying a dwarf tree and moving to California or similar climate. It takes one of these guys about 10 years to become fruit-bearing under perfect conditions.
Whoever you’re shopping for, make your gift personal and from the heart. At the end of the day, the true spirit of the holidays is about family, togetherness, and acceptance. The best gift you can give is each other, so don’t just buy gifts and call it done.
Be present. You are the present.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I was provided product in return for my honest reviews and opinions. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by UncommonGoods and/or its affiliates in any way. Thank you.