Thanksgiving was late this year which means there is even less time to do your holiday shopping! Admittedly, I don’t get caught up in the craziness of retail this time of year and spend most of December hiding in my house. I somehow managed to get 98% of the kids’ gifts before Thanksgiving this year, which makes me kind of scratch my head as I’m a confirmed procrastinator. I think rather than question it, though, I’ll just be thankful that it’s done!
I like to offer up a post each year with a few different gift ideas for you and yours. These are things that we’ve either enjoyed this year, or my own kids will find under the Christmas tree. Either way, I hope their ideas that make your gift shopping a little easier!
I do have other posts on this topic as well, included Charlotte Mason-inspired gift ideas, as well as lists from 2018 and 2017 (and printable gift tags!). And while I’m not a huge partaker of the Black Friday holiday madness in stores, I don’t mind Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales online, so I’m also sharing a few of my favorites (including lots of Charlotte Mason shops!).
Gifts for Kids
Snap Circuits – I mention these every.single.year but they are worth mentioning every.single.year. These have been an enormous hit in our house with B and C is starting to build her own things as well. We started with the SC-300 set for B when he was 6 and have slowly added to his collection with birthdays and Christmases ever since. These are a fantastic open-ended toy that allow for creativity as well as developing technical skills. I can’t recommend them enough for both boys and girls!
LEGO Technic and Friends – If you haven’t made your way into the world of LEGO yet, you can start with a basic set with lots of different pieces (Costco is also offering a great deal!). B has recently been a little obsessed with the Technic sets and used his own money to buy a battery pack and motor so he could start animating his creations. C loves to build, but also really likes to have little animal figurines and dolls, so she has taken a particular liking to the Friends sets. All of them work together, though, so often their creations overlap. LEGO is another great open-ended toy.
Dollhouse & Hape Dollhouse Furniture – C received the blue version of this dollhouse a few years ago from E’s mom and it’s a cute, well-made little house. It comes with nice little wooden furniture, but we’ve upgraded over the last few years with the sets from Hape which are also really well-made and cute. These sets and the dollhouse also fit the Calico Critters animals very well!
Walkie-Talkies – These are perfect for moms wanting to keep track of their kids when they’re outside. We have a few friends who live on large pieces of land that require the kids to take a walkie-talkie with them when they go out to play and another friend who lets her older kids go to the park down the road, but makes them bring this along as well. It’s also just fun for siblings to use around the house!
Cat Stax – B received this little game as a birthday give this year and both he and C have loved it. It would make a perfect stocking stuffer!
Paint by Sticker Books – These are great for long car rides and some of the results are really quite beautiful.
The Green Ember – I just finished reading this with B and he enjoyed it a lot. It’s a great story with good characters that are honest in their struggles, but also great examples of how to overcome then. Also, bunnies.
Jenny Linsky – These books about a small black cat published mostly in the 1940s have made the list before but they are so popular in our house that we have a cat named after them. True story.
Brighty of the Grand Canyon – If you’re planning any trips to the Grand Canyon any time soon, this is a must. If you like donkeys, this is a must. If you enjoy a good story, this is a must. I read this earlier in the year with B and it was a great read for both of us. (We got this as part of a set at Costco.)
Miracle Man: The Story of Jesus – This was a gift for B at Easter time. It’s richly illustrated, but the message itself is very simple.
Love Is… – A visual journey through 1 Corinthians. Absolutely beautiful.
The Quiltmaker’s Gift – Another beautifully illustrated book with an important message about how to be truly content.
Gifts for Mom
Dear Mushka, Locket – This was a birthday present and I absolutely love it as it’s the perfect little accessory for just about any outfit. I can definitely see this little shop becoming my go-to resource for minimalist jewelry. (And get $5 off your first order with my link!)
Charlotte Mason Quote Clothing, Mugs, Totes, and Prints – Get the Charlotte Mason-loving lady in your life some inspirational Charlotte Mason gear!
ESV Illuminated Bible – This was another birthday present that is absolutely gorgeous. The margins are nice and wide for notes and even if you’re not into art journaling (I’m not), it’s a very simple way to add beauty and contemplation to your day.
Common Place Quarterly Subscription – Give the lady in your life the gift of mother culture for a year!
Gifts for Dad
Crosley Alarm Clock – I got this for E’s birthday this year to add a nice art deco touch to his office space. It’s a great, functional little clock that could pass for a vintage bakelite any day.
Chemex & Organizer – Our traditional coffee pot bit the dust last month, may it rest in peace. Since we’ve had a little 3-cup Chemex for several years now for me as I’m not much of a coffee drinker but like an occasional decaf mixture, we decided to get a 10-cup Chemex along with this little organizer to hold the filters. It looks great on the counter and makes fantastic coffee!
Tesla Lamp – These are perfect for en engineer’s office! So perfect that I got one for E several years ago and it continues to be a conversation piece in our home.
Nixie Tube Clock – I get E a lot of clocks, but this one beats all the others. These are pricey but so worth is as they’re absolutely beautiful little pieces of craftsmanship and so neat to look at.
Books for Grownups
Parnassus on Wheels – This was one of the first books I read this year and it’s the perfect lighter read for book lovers.
Macmillan Collector’s Library Books – I love beautiful books and these call into this category easily. They’re also the perfect size to fit into a purse or bag and very reasonably priced.
Book of the Month – This is another one I mention every year. Give someone the gift of a new, hardcover book every month!
Love146 – 20% of the proceeds in their store go right back to supporting this amazing organization that I have volunteered for in the past that fights child sex trafficking around the world. Items in the shop include clothing, jewelry, greeting cards, and home goods as well. I love their emphasis on the hope of healing and giving these children a future.
Preemptive Love Coalition – Buy goods made by refugees, empowering them to support themselves, as well as other items like clothing, accessories, and coffee (not to mention some great stocking stuffers!) that support this organization that aids people caught in a refugee situation. I love their emphasis on loving people above all else.
If giving a charitable gift in someone’s name is more your style, a few wonderful charities offer gift catalogs…
Compassion – We sponsor three kids though this organization that aims to end child poverty around the world.
Heifer – This organization has been around for 75 years and is the first one I think of when the topic of empowering people in developing nations comes up. By gifting an animal to a family, you allow them to support themselves while also helping their own communities thrive. (Beatrice’s Goat is a wonderful book to share this concept with your kids!)
A Delectable Education – To enjoy discounts on Curriculum Templates, Exam Planners, and various Teacher Training Videos for Charlotte Mason mamas, head to their site from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
Afterthoughts Blog – This shop has study guides, audio downloads, Swedish Drill books, event downloads and beginning Phonics lessons. Head to Brandy’s shop to see her Black Friday discounts.
a humble place (that’s me!) – Will have discounts on Charlotte Mason quote apparel, mugs, totes, and prints as well as picture study resources!
Chickie and Roo – Charlotte Mason inspired card sets, Flower of the Month Club, Posters, Animal Anatomy coloring pages and more. See site for Black Friday deals.
Nature Study Hacking – Combining Nature Study lessons with Nature Journal prompts these books help beginners learn how to use a nature journal AND study nature regularly through first hand observation. Save 25% off site-wide from Black Friday-Cyber Monday.
Our Journey Westward Shop – Cindy’s shop has some practical Charlotte Mason Homeschooling resources along with a line of Nature Study guides. Head to her site to see deals.
Pam Barnhill’s Store– Pam has various Morning Time Plans, Homeschool organization tools, History plans and more in her store. Head to her site to see deals.
Reshelving Alexandria – Get a Lifetime Membership to Reshelving Alexandria, the online literary catalog of good, true, and beautiful books. Cyber Monday only.
Sabbath Mood Homeschool – Nicole’s site includes a full line of living science curriculum, helpful articles, book lists and more. Head to her site to see her Black Friday through Cyber Monday deals.
The Peaceful Press – The Peaceful Press- Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum for a joyful homeschool. Save 25% storewide on Black Friday.
Other Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals
Plan to Eat – Plan to Eat is offering their annual Black Friday sale with subscriptions at 50% off! This is when I always renew my membership to this fantastic meal-planning service. You can see how I use it here. This deal is available through December 2nd.
Beautiful Feet Books – I know this isn’t normally the time of year we think about buying books for school, but Beautiful Feet Books is actually having a moving sale this weekend! I’ve gotten our geography maps for Paddle to the Sea, Tree in the Trail, Seabird, and Minn of the Mississippi from BFB and they’ve been a fun little addition to our lesson time. They also sell lots of books that are listed in various Charlotte Mason curricula! Use code MOVING15 to get 15% off your order (except for literature packs) through December 1st!
RightStart Math – Definitely get in on this one if you can! RightStart is having a Cyber Monday sale only on December 2nd with 30% off books and kits as well as 25% off manipulatives. This is a fantastic deal and a great time to stock up on math resources!
thredUP – My favorite place for thrifting clothing (and the main source of my wardrobe these days!) is offering up to 55% off ALL clothing with code ORBIT through Monday! (And get a credit for $20 with my link!)
Finally, a benediction….. May your holiday shopping be done quickly so you can enjoy the true spirit of the season! And maybe some leftover pie… 🙂