2018 Red Shutters Holiday Gift Guide

Disclosure: I received some items featured in this post to review for this post. All opinions here, however, are mine alone. Also, this post includes affiliate links; learn more here.

I have a family member who has all of her holiday shopping completed well before Halloween, a feat I have never been able to replicate. I may think about holiday shopping in October, but the truth is 99% of my shopping takes place between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. I know I’m not the only one! This post is for all of you out there wondering where to start on your holiday gift giving—with something for everyone.

Holiday Gifts for Kids

holiday gift guide

Image courtesy of Macmillan

Got books? I always give my kids books for Christmas. I love the expression on their faces when they realize they have a new story to dive into. Usually, my kids tell me what they want to receive, but this year, I’m surprising my nine-year-old daughter with the gorgeous Macmillan Children’s Classics Collection. It includes must-reads like The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables (which I’ve never read!), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and Hans Christian Anderson’s Fairy Tales. I know this collection is technically for my daughter, but I’m so excited to read the stories—with her, of course!

Any musicians in your family? My daughter has been asking to learn the ukulele (I have no idea where this idea came from!), so she’ll find one under the Christmas tree with her name on it. I’m looking for one that comes with online lessons, so she can spend some time teaching herself how to play before we commit to finding a class or teacher. Similar ideas for the budding musician in your life would be a recorder, fife, or beginner acoustic guitar.

holiday gift guideWho loves technology? For my eleven-year-old son, under the Christmas tree will be the Rocketbook from Everlast (well, at least that’s the plan; I may keep it for myself!). What’s uber cool about this notebook is that anything scribbled on its pages is automatically uploaded online to sites like Dropbox and Google Drive. The pages are endlessly reusable, and perfect for people who like to the accessibility of jotting down thoughts and ideas, with the convenience of having the content on the Internet. The Rocketbook also comes with a pen and erasing cloth.

And the gift parents will love… I’m a fan of presents that engage my children versus cluttering up their bedroom floors. To that end, I recommend gifts like a membership to a local science or children’s museum, dance or music lessons, or even movie tickets. An even better idea for the aunts and uncles out there is to plan an adventure with your niece or nephew. Take them to the zoo and out for pizza. Afterward, send them a photo of the two of you together having fun. They’ll remember the time with you more than they’d play with any toy.

Holiday Gifts for Adults

I was going to separate these ideas into Gifts for Her and Gifts for Him, but then realize many are interchangeable! So here goes….  

holiday gift guideWho needs a pick me up? Oh, do I love a cup of good tea. Lately, I’ve been enjoying a delicious selection from Adagio Teas. I love that their teas come in different sizes, which is great for trying new flavors (I’m all about their chai teas right now), and in resealable bags, so they stay fresher longer. Also the packaging comes with brewing instructions, guaranteed to help you make the perfect cup. Adagio offers gift baskets and special holiday promotions, including a $5 coupon when you join their mailing list. Orders placed by December 20 can arrive in time for Christmas.

These are the shoes everyone wants! There’s been a buzz about Rothy’s shoes, made from plastic bottles, for some time. Then, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, wore a pair on her royal trip to Australia and New Zealand and the Internet exploded. I can attest that these shoes are comfortable and stylish and I can’t wait for spring to wear mine every day. The colors and styles have something for everyone. Be sure to read the sizing instructions before ordering, but know that returns are very easy (I am speaking from personal experience here) should you order the wrong size. Use my referral code and receive $20 off.

holiday gift guide

Image courtesy of PT Color Market

Know someone who likes fun, handmade jewelry? PT Color Market is a Massachusetts-based jewelry maker, and their creations are attractive and well priced. I recently ordered five pairs of earrings (and should have gotten more since I want them all for myself) for holiday gifts for family members and my kids’ teachers. My favorites were the embossed leaf earrings you see in the photo to the right; they’re boho fabulous and look great with both dressy and casual looks. PT Color Market also offers bracelets, necklaces, key rings, and more, and many of the items can be customized. Finally—Paulina and Sean who run PT Color Market are the coolest people around, and I would say that even if they weren’t my cousins!

The #1 book to read this holiday season… Michelle Obama’s new book, Becoming, is already breaking records (at press time, the book was in its second printing!). The reviews of this book are extremely positive, and I can’t wait to read her memoir (hint, hint, family). Do you know someone who would love to read Becoming? I’m sure you do!

How’s your balance? A couple of years ago, my husband bought this balance board for our kids for Christmas. It quickly became apparent that he really bought it for himself! I regularly find him on the board while he watches a sporting event on TV, and whenever we have guests over, everyone gives it a try as well.

Listen up! We love audio books in our house, and our family Audible Membership is in top rotation. My son listens to books via Alexa and Audible while hanging out in the living room, my husband listens on his commute to work, and I listen while making dinner. This is a holiday gift that the whole family can enjoy.

Who says Legos are for kids? Every birthday and Christmas, my kids and I give my husband a Lego architecture set, and we show off the finished projects—which he puts together with our son—for friends and family. Several of these sets feature cities from around the world, which make them a special memento of a shared vacation or beloved hometown. I gave my husband the Louvre after a whirlwind anniversary trip to Paris, and it brings back great memories for us both. You can find these sets on Amazon and EBay and at the Lego store.

Spice it up! I’ve been giving Penzey’s Spices as holiday gifts for years now, and they are always a hit. Penzey’s offers a number of gift options—from savory to sweet, for baking, cooking, and grilling—and they offer free shipping on orders over $40. Penzey’s also has stores around the US, including one in the Boston area (for local folks).

holiday guide

Image courtesy of Dancing Deer

Who has a sweet tooth in your family? I’ve given Dancing Deer gift baskets many times over the years as well. Their sweet treats—brownies, cookies, and cakes—are so tasty and beautifully packaged. Dancing Deer is based in the Boston area but delivers all over the US. Receive 20% off your first order when you join their mailing list. Additionally, through December 9, Dancing Deer is offering 30% off holiday gifts using the code EARLY.

In the end, what matters most is the people we love and who love us. I hope you found something here to help those you love remember how much you care. Happy Holidays!