So, Ryan suggested that I provide a Holiday Gift Guide post as my entry for today, and to take it to the next level, I thought I might try to do a week’s worth of them! I’ll start with a list of things Julia-approved for Moms, and each day I’ll have a different archetype for you to shop for! If you’re having trouble with your tech-guy, homebound Grandmother, or any other person in your life let me know and I’ll see what I can do. No guarantees, but I’m certainly willing to try. Other than that, stay tuned for 6 more gift guides (one of which will be coming straight from the idea man himself)!
10| Slipper socks - There’s something so satisfying about putting on a pair of slippers. Moms the world over will be able to appreciate a good pair of slippers or slipper socks (less bulky), especially if they live in a cold climate like we do here in New England. Embellish with a cute little button like the heart shaped one in this photo, or personalize it with her name, initials, or something else you know she’d love. This is a sure-to-please gift, and if you knit the slippers yourself she’ll love them even more!
9| Body Butter – Sure, personal care stuff like lotions, balms, bath salts, etc. may be pretty predictable when it comes to gift giving, but I know personally that I always very much appreciate them. Moms are sure to love them even more because they rarely get time to pamper themselves so something as quick and simple as applying a little lotion after they get out of the shower is an easy way to treat themselves in the middle of their jam-packed day. Before you buy, think about the Mom you’re considering. What are her favourite scents? Does she prefer a fragrant free lotion? I know I do! Sometimes dyes and perfumes can irritate the skin more, so to look for something with fewer ingredients might be better!
8| Baskets - Sounds strange, but Mom could leave a nice vintage or handmade wicker basket in her car and she’d find a million different uses for it. When she is driving past the grocery store on Monday and realizes she’s run out of bread, milk, and a couple of other random ingredients she’ll be able to use it as a shopping basket and skip the plastic bag. On Tuesday when the mailbox is more full than she thought it would be, she can empty it out into her basket for an easy trip inside the house. On Wednesday when the kids pile into the car and peel off their hats, mittens and scarves she can have them deposit the accessories into the basket instead of just losing them under the seat. Or, she can fill it with flowers and call it a center piece for her dining room table, use it for yarn and knitting supplies that she can keep right next to her favourite living room chair. It could even be a fancy magazine rack or extra toilet paper holder in the bathroom…the possibilities are endless.
7| Bookmarks – You know Mom will never actually get to the end of the chapter before she’s disrupted for one thing or another, so give her a bookmark to prevent her from losing her place. Here’s another thing that you could make yourself easily, and it will fit quite well into a stocking for Christmas morning. No matter what your talent is (sewing, drawing, knitting…) you can come up with a bookmark of some sort that she’ll appreciate. You could even just use a photo of your choosing and add a neat border and a bit of a tail to make it look fancy. It’s a simple, thoughtful, and inexpensive gift!
6| Growth Chart - For the new Mom, a growth chart is something she’ll definitely get excited about. Right from baby’s first steps all the way until the “baby” is driving his or her first car, this will be something that Mom, Dad and children can all look at with nostalgia. The temptation will be there, though, to make the chart girly when Mom has a young daughter, or boy-like if she has a son, and childlike for either. Try to avoid this, though, because if she has more children she won’t want to use an entirely new chart, and when they’re still growing in high school, they’re not going to want to record their height on something with Tonka trucks and butterflies on it. It may seem cute now, but if you plan on it being used through all of their growing years then keep it neutral. Spring for a portable fabric chart if the family tends to move around a lot — that way they can take it with them.
5| Coffee by the bag – Every Mom I know needs at least two cups in the morning to get going. Treat her to a free bag of your favourite or a seasonal taste. Most local coffee shops offer their own blends, and at our local joint you get a free cup of coffee with the purchase of any bag. Make sure you know whether she likes regular or decaf, and if she likes light, medium or dark roast the best. You could combine the bag of coffee with a new mug and some tasty pastry treats for a basket full of holiday favourites! Be careful of mugs, though. My Mom has way too many. Check her cabinets before gifting a mug, they’re sometimes too easy to give and they’re not something that gets used up or broken that easily. A lot of people not only have an entire cabinet dedicated to mugs, but also a mug stand, and part of a second cabinet. The coffee and the pastries, though…you can never go wrong with these. Take it from a girl who knows.
4| Tissue holders - Is it just me, or does it seem like every Mom always has a travel sized tissue pack in their purse? My Mom certainly always had one. A handmade tissue holder will be a cute way to carry these around without the plastic ripping and the tissues shredding, and they can make a tissue box on a side table look a little bit fancier at home!
3| Call calendar – My best friend came up with this one, and I have to say, she really did have the right idea. She made a calendar for her Grandmother (but it would work just as well as a gift for a Mom whose children have already flown from the nest) and on every single Tuesday at 11 am, she penciled in “Julia will call” (yes, my best friend and I have the same name). Her Grandmother then got a nice calendar for the New Year that had photos of her Grandchildren and other things tailored to her preferences, and she also gets a weekly telephone call so she can keep in touch with Julia. Some weeks, one or both of them are busy so the call is pretty short, or one might call the other on Monday because they know they’ll be busy Tuesday, and other times they will chat for hours. Either way, it keeps them in touch and gives Grandma something to look forward to. I’m sure any Mom would really appreciate the time and dedication that goes into a gift like this. I know my Mom would!
2| Photo album – Time is the one thing you’re investing the most in with this gift. I did this for Ryan a couple of Valentine’s Days ago; I had someone on Etsy make him a custom album, then I set out to fill it with all of my favourite memories of us. But, alas, I hadn’t given myself enough time to do all of the crafty gluing and photo printing, so I never finished it in time. Make sure you know what you’re getting into with this one, but I promise, she’ll be really satisfied when all is said and done and she is able to unwrap years of memories in one compact package.
1| Offer to clean her house - Don’t we all wish we could afford housekeepers? Guess what… Mom does, too. Although she tries her darndest, she is just not immune to the common distaste for household chores. If you know there is one chore she particularly hates, offer to do it for her for an entire week, or even a month. If you think she’d rather have a day or two off from all of her usual tasks, provide her with that instead. You can have so much fun making up cute “coupons” for her to cash in, or pick a day ahead of time that you know works for both of you. You could even make it coincide with Dad’s Christmas dinner date out on the town! That way she’ll get wined and dined by the love of her life, and come home to a nice clean house compliments of her child!
(Click on any of the photos for a direct link to the Etsy shop where it is sold. Also, don’t forget to check out my other 2010 Holiday Gift Guides!)