Wednesday, November 9, 2016

21 Christmas Gift Ideas for Mom, Dad, Grandparents, Teachers etc...

Christmas is just weeks away and if you are stumped on the perfect gift for the adults in your life, I have some ideas.

Because I am thinking about Christmas hard core today. I'm in the holiday mood early this year. So I made you a list of the best local, handmade and homemade gifts I can find.

1.Gift certificates to your local hair salon or barber. I would love this because a cut and color is expensive and I am always putting it off to save money.

2.Car washes and auto detailing. Small detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

3.Yard work. Pay for your loved one’s lawn to be mowed for the summer, or their driveway plowed all winter. 

4.Golf games at the local golf course or bowling gift certificates or laser tag or other activities in your town.

5.Restaurant meals. Give gift certificates to local owner-operated non-chain restaurants. I live in an area with a thriving local food scene so this is my go-to gift for my parents. I try to find a new restaurant for them to try every year.

6.Oil change for a car, truck or motorcycle, at a locally run shop. My husband does our oil changes BUT he hates doing them in the winter. A gift certificate for an oil change would be a real treat for him.

7.Gift the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

8.Local crafts. I love to go to craft shows this time of year and pick up homemade items to give as gifts.

9.Tickets to a play or ballet or concert at a hometown theater.  Also tickets to a sporting event.

10. A jar of local honey and bee pollen. Honey is really expensive these days and makes a lovely gift for anyone who likes to cook or drink tea. Bee pollen is a great pick-me-up for the winter months. I know I would be thrilled to receive this as a gift...the last jar of honey I bought was $25 so Santa can hit me with free honey all day long. lol

11. Massage. I would especially love love LOVE to open up a gift certificate for a hot stone massage. First, it's wonderfully cozy in cold weather and second, it is deeply relaxing.

12.These candles from AI Root are awesome. I buy them all the time. Having asthma, I can't burn just any candle and these never bother my lungs.The Entice scent is perfect for Christmas with clove and orange notes. Enlighten has a refreshing lemony note and Seduce has a rich patchouli scent. I am giving these to all my siblings and cousins this year.

13. Smuckers jams make great gifts too. I like to get food gifts for my grandfather as he has everything he needs. This blueberry jam  in particular is divine and made with the old-fashioned way, with all natural ingredients. Look at the label, there are four ingredients total. No chemicals! Seriously, this jam is amazing (and inexpensive). I have to hide it or else it's gone in ten minutes flat. It's that good. 

The price on Amazon is a bit high so look for it in the grocery store. And of course, Smuckers has a ton of other flavors to choose from as well. I'll be pairing jam with a loaf of raisin bread from a local baker for my grandfather. This would also make a good hostess gift or coworker gift for a cost of about $5-7.

14.For teachers, I like to give lip balm and some nice chocolate truffles. It's inexpensive, yummy and useful. Burt's Bees has fantastic lip balms that are made in the US. You can get a 4 pack for a little over $8 (in this case Amazon appears to have the best price. It's $10 at the Target by me.). I then have my kiddo decorate some plain gift bags (which are super cheap) to hold everything, split up the 4 pack to cover 4 teachers and add in some good chocolate--either something from the local chocolate shoppe or Lindt Truffles (they have a factory here in the USA). Total cost is around $5 per teacher.

15. Custom magnets for the year's highlights. My brother got married this year and I'm going to use Zazzle to make some photo fridge magnets of his big day. (Zazzle is a US company although I can't tell if they manufacture in the US or not.)

16. Pay for a class. If someone is taking yoga, find out where their studio is and pay for a month of classes. Have someone who loves food? Find a cooking class. 

17. Books from your favorite indie authors. Send them out on Xmas day for ebooks and have the lucky recipient check their email. Or get a signed print copy.  Indie audiobooks are also great, too.

18. I love this hand painted pottery from Poland. It's gorgeous and useful. A coffee mug with organic, fair trade tea is an awesome gift for any tea lovers. If you have some newlyweds in  your family the butter dish, gravy boat and serving platters will make for a family heirloom.

19. Foodies will love this sampler of Hawaiian salts. I recently discovered flavored salts and I LOVE them. They are an amazing way to add awesome flavor to food.

20.This gift idea looks forward to the future, but giving seeds to grow a butterfly garden is a wonderful gift that saves money, results in gorgeous flowers and helps bees, hummingbirds and butterflies. 

We've been growing a butterfly garden for the last 4 years at our house. It is SUPER easy and just stunning to look at it. Even better, it doesn't need to be weeded, these flowers actually grow like weeds. Maybe once a summer we pull out a weed that finally got too big. 

My go-to flowers are: Cosmos and Zinnias. (Or you can buy an actual butterfly garden kit.) I sow them directly into the dirt. I don't bother to germinate them inside. Once the last frost is done, I just put 'em right into the dirt. Easy, peasy. 

The Cosmos grow super tall so they should go at the back. Zinnias come in various heights and I buy all of them tall,medium and short so there's color at every level. $20 in seeds is enough to grow a full butterfly garden. You could also pair it with a hummingbird feeder or a decorative garden ornament (I love the solar light ones although they are mass produced) to round it out.

21. Don't forget things like Califorina winesCalifornia olive oilcherry jams and sauces from Michigan and other regional foods.

Still need gift ideas? See my list of gifts for kids and families.


  1. These are fantastic, fabulous ideas! Thank you so much for posting them. They have the wheels turning in my brain :D

  2. Thank you, these are wonderful ideas. Some I hadn't considered and they are gifts I would give. We should have a place where everyone who wants to, can list their cool gift ideas. Thank you

  3. Thank you, these are wonderful ideas. Some I hadn't considered and they are gifts I would give. We should have a place where everyone who wants to, can list their cool gift ideas. Thank you