Your complete guide for gifting this holiday season. Moms, dads, in-laws, kids, lovers...a round up of the best of the best gifts for a wide variety of budgets.
It's the most wonderful time of the year...until you're over-stressing and over-spending trying to find the perfect gift for that special someone. The holidays can be overwhelming searching for the perfect gifts and trying to stay within a budge while purchasing quality, well-loved items– so let's make it easier shall we? Here I'm sharing only the best of the best - tried and true gifts that I love giving and others love receiving. Lets go!
Gifts that are MEANINGFUL can be challenging - in the world of fast fashion and toys that your kids play with for a few days and then end up in the trash. Over the years I've really tried hard to opt out of this and only purchase high quality gifts with intention; things that I know my kids will love and play with for years to come. I've found a few favorites and those are what I want to share with you.
First, one of my very favorite shops, Why and Whale, agreed to let me be the first one ever to have a discount code!! This is HUGE! They have the absolute best selection of toys from any one shop I've seen. All high quality, sustainable, and things that inspire the imagination and will last a lifetime. Give them a look and use code ESSENTIALLYERIN to get 10% off!
Play silks from Sarahs silks (her shop has many sweet and high quality items) have been such a hit in our home. My kids use these in endless ways from fort making to cape wearing to ice skating to rope tying. Highly recommend - I'm hoping to snag a few more this year. We have the Primary Playsilk Set as well as the Giant Rainbow Playsilk. This Rainbow Playframe Bundle is a dream!
Next up - our favorite animals. These are played with daily in our home. The quality is excellent and the detail exquisite - even I love to play with them. We've slowly collected them over the years, adding a handful to our collection for Christmas and in Easter Baskets. My girls have been eyeing this Lakeside Country House and Stable for years. Might have to pull the trigger this year.
This Giant Rocker Balance Board has been a hit in our home. The kids love rocking back and forth or flipping it over and climbing on it, using it for forts, etc. I love it because it gets them playing together and looks beautiful too. We also have this rock climbing ramp to go with it. Everyone loves it from ages 18 months on up!
Mama Sing My Song- We've gifted each of our children a personal, customized song and I'm so glad we did! The whole family knows and sings each others songs, and each child feels so special when we do. You can get a stuffed animal that has a little music box that will play the song too. My kids love playing theirs at night as they're falling asleep. The process of making the song is so fun and enjoyable and the end result always brings the tears. Highly, highly recommend gifting a song to your children. It'll be just as much a gift to yourself and something everyone will cherish their whole lives. You can get 10% off with code ERIN10.
Play kitchens! What child doesn't love playing kitchen? A play kitchen is a staple in every child-filled home. There are so many out there so I've rounded up a handful of favorites in various price ranges. I've either seen these in person or had them ourselves. My First Chelsea All-in-one play kitchen is gorgeous and the one I would have picked years ago if I knew it existed. High quality and something that should last forever! This Kidcraft Vintage Kitchen is the one we had and loved! It's a little challenging to put together so give yourself enough time and don't wait until Christmas Eve like we did, but totally doable with two people and well worth it in the end. It lasted us about 6 years before it started falling apart, but it's a greater budget option and we got lots of play out of it. Also comes in pink and a sweet blue color. This little farmhouse kitchen is pretty dang cute too.
If you're snagging a play kitchen this year you'll also need some accessories to go with it. These have been some of our very favorites that we still have and play with today. This wooden food and beverage set , this fruit playset, this tea set, and this wooden accessory starter set are all getting constant use in our home. We also LOVE this ice cream set. Have had it for years and it still gets played with almost daily.
This shopping cart is a great accessory to a play kitchen or all on its own. All my kids have loved playing with it and still do! It's durable and can take many beatings ramming into walls and furniture. Consider yourself warned.
I usually am not a huge fan of toys like this but Rafe has played with this Old McDonald Had a Farm Tractor for literally hours every single day since we got it when he was 1. He LOVES it. It's darling and very well made and gets the most use of probably any toy in our home right now. Perfect for the little tractor-loving toddler in your life.
These Holztiger Wooden Carved animals are DARLING - definitely an investment but something that we'll keep forever. I got us a small set last year for Christmas and was really impressed by the detail and quality. The kids love to play with them along with their Schleich animals. This Woodland Animals Collection is a great option too!
We've bought these hoverboards (the kind that won't light on fire) for each of our kids over the years and they've been a hit! Great for ages 5 on up!
Scooters! This brand is the ONLY one we'll buy. We play with them and pass them down from one kid to the next, but also they've each gotten their own for various birthdays. I love getting anything for my kids that encourages outside play. We take these everywhere! I'd suggest this one or this one for age 2-4 and this one for ages 5-12.
Baby dolls. Every little boy or girls needs a baby doll at some point! These are the only ones I'll buy. Each of my babies has received one whenever I've had another baby so they could have a baby of their own, and they still play with them to this day. They're the most precious. Here's the baby girl, and here's the baby boy.
Marble run! A classic! This wooden one from Hape is a great, long-lasting and more sustainable option!
Magnatiles - these are basically a staple. So great for creative play! Highly recommend and great for all ages!
Cuddle and Kind - If you're looking for the CUTEST stuffed animals for your little ones, these ones fit the bill and they give back. Heirloom quality and for every doll purchased ten children will get a meal.
I scoured the Internet for the BEST play table and landed on this one. We got it last year for Christmas and it's been played with every day since. American made and great quality! Lots of accessories sold separately that you can find here. We have two of the little storage boxes to go underneath.
Here are a few other items that have me swooning:
Treehouse Kids Play Set and Wooden Forest Animals
This darling little wooden work bench gets a ton of use in our home. It's well made and will last forever. My boys play with it regularly.
Brio Train Set - perfectly paired with the play table mentioned above, we have this set and it's darling and so well made!
This doll house is probably the cutest I've seen! My girls love playing with it along with the cutest Calico Critters - another classic I'll keep around for the grandkids one day. We love the Koala Family, the Sandy Cat Family, and the Hopscotch Rabbit Family. We also have this little triplet set and it's the girls favorite!
Personalized Jewelry Box - each of my girls has one of these darling jewelry boxes with their name on it. They've loved them over the years and use them to collect all their jewelry and little treasures they keep. Such a great gift! Comes in pink, and white.
David Yurman Heart Ring - Ben got me this for Valentines Day one year and I haven't taken it off since. It's simple but so classic and beautiful.
Stanley Quencher Travel Tumbler - IYKYK or this is another option I tend to like more for travel
Favorite Gold Hoop Earrings - I wear them nearly every day!
Cashmere sweater - name one woman who doesn't love cashmere. I'll wait. This sweater is so soft and cozy and has a really classy fit, it'll be one of the first things you'll reach for in the colder months.
Cozy Socks - I snagged a couple pairs of these and they're the coziest.
Cozy Slippers - been eyeing this pair for a few years now!
Favorite cast iron fry pan - the one I use every single day without fail; you'll pass it on to your kids.
Favorite Cast Iron Griddle - we use this multiple times a week for pancakes, burritos, burgers, etc. It's another one that will be in the family forever.
Yearly Co Bangles - I LOVE the idea behind these and have started my own collection, gifts from my husband for various events or achievements. They are beautiful and handmade in Nashville, TN! This hammered bangle is one of my favorites. I like the heavy weight.
Photon Therapy Infrared Light - I LOVE the Photon Therapy Infrared Light for red light therapy, especially in the colder months when I'm not outside as much. Would make such great gift for him, her, or the whole family! Code ERIN5 will save you money!
Red Light Glasses - these glasses from Ra Optics have truly changed my sleep! I fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply when I wear them. The Maxwell is my personal favorite. Love these for the whole family. Code ERIN15 to save!
Favorite Pocket Knife - every prepared woman needs ones! This is my favorite on I carry on me often. It's the perfect size, and I love the little butterfly on the blade.
Hit the Slopes Fleece - one of my favorites and the perfect gift for your teenage girl to help her stay warm and cozy.
Pippa Jacket - cozy and CUTE! Love all the bright, vibrant colors and it's the perfect layering piece.
Mini Photo Printer - take photos on your phone and print them into cute little polaroid photos. Much better than the actual camera where half the photos turn out terrible half the time. Here's another good option!
Sling Bag - I got this in the mail the other day and love it. Holds a little more than the little fanny packs that are popular these days but can still be worn the same way.
Cozy Slippers - enough said
Better Sweater - a classic every guy needs!
Cotton Cashmere Pullover Sweater - the perfect sweater to dress up or down!
Sunday Performance Joggers - my husband loves this brand and every guy needs a good pair of joggers!
Organic Cotton Flannel - every guy needs a good flannel! These are Ben's favorites!
Favorite Socks - the darn tough brand are always the first ones we grab. I really like these ones too.
Favorite shoes - ethically made wool shoes. We LOVE these in our house. The wool has natural anti-odor and anti-microbial properties. Wear them with or without socks, they keep your feet both warm in cooler weather and cool in warmer weather. Basically magic.
Backpack - durable and water resistant for all his adventures.
Pocket Knife - USA Made
Beanie - iconic, cozy and warm. I also have and really love this one.
Stanley Mug - keep his drinks hot all day long.
Classic Steak Knives - we bought these years ago and they're always the first ones we reach for on a daily basis. Every guy needs a good set of steak knives in his life!
Classic Chefs Knife - The other knife most-used in our home. I use this one for chopping and cutting pretty much anything throughout the day.
Yeti Cooler - for camping trips or a day spent fishing on the lake
We LOVE a good family game night. Games are such great way to connect and have fun together as a family, teach valuable lessons like good sportsmanship and cheering one another on, etc. We play games often in our home. Here are some of our tried and true favorites for family game night!
Splendor and this version is fun too!
What Do You Meme - a game that's clean and sure to encourage a good time with your teens and their friends.
For your mom:
Skylight Digital Frame - send pictures straight to the device that then scrolls through them all, displaying a constant stream of photos of their loved ones. My parents have one of these and they love it!
Lush XL Blanket - from one of my favorite companies, Saranoni. These are the softest, most luxurious blankets, you'll never look for another once you've experienced Saranoni!
Clean Beauty - Some of my favorite gifts to give over the years have been beauty products that are actually GOOD for you. Most products are full of toxins, so gifting something I can feel good about my loved ones putting on their skin is important to me. Beautcounter is one (of many) favorites. They've got a ton of cute little holiday sets, perfect for your mom, mother-in-law, girlfriend, and sister. Love the clean and polished minis, the bright side duo, the mini beyond gloss vault, the multi-masker set, and the best in clean heroes, to name a few.
Favorite Personalized Jewelry - I've been a fan of Mady by Mary for years and have gifted so many of her pieces to moms, sisters, daughters, and friends. They're beautiful and offer so many sentimental pieces.
I hope this helps you this holiday season!
Thank you SO much for being here!