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Hello, everyone! I personally love Christmastime and the tradition of giving gifts to each other. I know we don’t celebrate Christmas at the right time of year, and I know it’s been twisted and warped by pagans and modern culture (also pagans?) alike, but I believe that we can still claim it for something beautiful: a time of remembering our Savior’s humble birth in light of the cross, a time for “peace on earth” and “good will to men,” a time for connecting with family and friends, and a time of giving gifts to others as a way of showing our love. “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35), and as long as we remember that, we have captured at least some of the essence of what Christmas is.
I don’t think my personal “love language” is gift-giving, but it’s one of my favorite ways to show love to others. I especially love giving specific gifts that fit unique parts of an individual’s personality, and part of the art lies in (obviously) knowing the other person really well! Supporting small businesses is high on my priority list, and I’ve recently heard of quite a few fun, interesting products from small companies run by people I know in real life or by interacting over the internet, so I thought it would be neat to highlight some of those products in my gift guide along with a few products from more mainstream companies like Amazon.
Do you have any unique gifts on your radar this year? Tell us about them in the comments below!
Note: I’m mentioning these companies because I like them; I wasn’t compensated by any of them for the shout-out. I’ve used my affiliate links for the companies for which I’m an affiliate, such as Amazon and Trim Healthy Mama, so any purchases made through those links will give me a small commission.
You know how I love good music, and a CD makes a wonderful present! In 2016 and then again this past summer (2018) I had the privilege of singing with Laudate Mennonite Ensemble, a 16-member a capella choral ensemble. Perfect Love & Sweet Peace is this year’s recording, and it holds a really great mixture of songs. Laudate also has a Christmas album called Light. You can CLICK HERE to see all of LME’s recordings.
You already know that I think both of my cookbooks, Necessary Food and Convenient Food, would make excellent Christmas gifts. 😉 You can CLICK HERE to order and see more information. On the individual cookbook sale pages you can see previews inside the books as well as learn about international shipping options and read answers to FAQs. Give someone you love some healthy inspiration! (All my recipes are low-glycemic, free of refined sugar and flour, and separated by carbs and fats.)
If you have a cookbook, a pretty cookbook rack might be just the thing to go with it! I don’t have one of these yet, and I don’t currently have enough counter space to justify buying one, but someday when I have my big spacious white kitchen with lots of natural light and counter space and marble countertops, I’ll ask for one for Christmas. 😛 Based on the dimensions given I think my cookbooks would fit in this particular rack, but since I don’t have one myself I haven’t tested my theory.
Abigail Troyer is the reason Convenient Food looks as good as it does. 🙂 She’s the one who set up the initial design and created the cover, then her equally-awesome sister Grace plugged all the recipes into the design and did a lot of the tweaking I requested. Abi runs AbiArt, a greeting card company that she started at age 19. (CLICK HERE to read Part 1 of her very inspiring start-up story.) Abi is now married and due to have her first child next month (!!), and she is one of the ladies I look up to a lot because of the way she gets the whole entrepreneur start-up thing and throws her whole heart into what she does…yet is also committed to finding balance between her work and her personal life. But back to the cards. She sells most of her cards wholesale to various stores, but she also has an Etsy shop for retail sales that she is slowly expanding to include more of her greeting cards for all occasions (including Christmas cards, full-size cards, and mini cards), her wall art, magnets, and even coloring and painting journals! CLICK HERE to see her Etsy store!
Something else from Abi’s shop that is really special is this brand new set of children’s books featuring child refugees and their families. The author, Katie Kleinsasser, and her husband are moving to Greece to work with refugees; they have firsthand experience with stories like the ones Katie wrote about in these beautiful children’s books. Katie did the drawings for the books, and Abi digitized them and added some color. CLICK HERE to order! (You can purchase as a set for a discount or individually. If you order by December 8, you get free shipping and the guarantee that you’ll have the books by Christmas!)
We all need new calendars for 2019, and this desk calendar from Melt the Heart, a privately-owned online bookstore and Christian resource center, looks like a beautiful option! It includes a picture and KJV verse for every day, with the picture locations identified in the back. The calendar pages have note paper on the reverse and can be torn off so you can jot down notes for the day! CLICK HERE to check out the calendar, then browse around the rest of the site!
A friend of mine produces these beautiful leather-bound 3-year diaries with short prompts and checkboxes that make recording the day’s events easy enough to become habitual. CLICK HERE to see a post I did a few years ago about these journals and see some pictures inside so you know what I mean. CLICK HERE to order these journals and check out Leroy’s new 2-year diary as well!
My friend Robin makes beautiful wooden and canvas signs. CLICK HERE to see her Etsy shop!
Robin and her talented daughters produce beautiful hand embroidery patterns and kits. This would make a delightful, productive gift for your children! A dear lady taught me to embroider when I was a child and I spent many hours at it. Teach your children to take joy in creating something and doing good work! CLICK HERE to see the Clementine Patterns Etsy shop.
Robin’s daughter Breezy (did I mention talented?) does beautiful artwork. CLICK HERE to see her Etsy shop and order some beautiful prints to frame and give as gifts!
This book (illustrated by Breezy, the author behind the Breezy Tulip Studio mentioned above) is a Bible storybook for girls that features 40 biblical retellings from prominent women in both the Old and New Testaments. This would be the perfect gift for your daughter or granddaughter!
If your giftee is following the Trim Healthy Mama healthy eating lifestyle, some products to encourage her in her journey would make a very practical but exciting gift! Maybe buy her something she wouldn’t usually buy for herself, like some of the new sugar-free chocolate chips, or some skincare products. CLICK HERE to see the whole store!
There’s one piece of equipment that I know I would ask for for Christmas if I didn’t already have it! I use my immersion blender so often because it saves me from having to dig out my blender (which is stored in a closet due to lack of counter space) and then wash it when I’m finished.
September Farm is a family-owned company that makes delicious cheeses and has an online store! You could purchase one of their sampler boxes for someone who’s hard to buy for and likes food (i.e. most men) and have it shipped directly to their house! CLICK HERE to see all their cheese options.
This isn’t a THM-friendly item, but I’ve gotten maple syrup for my dad’s birthday multiple times and he always loves it. Some people are hard to buy for because they have everything, but maple syrup is a luxury (at least in my house it was, and my dad loves it!) that not everyone will just buy for themselves, so it can make a great gift!
My friend Katy bought me a box like this for my bridal shower (which she organized) and had it engraved with my married name. She asked everyone who attended the shower to bring a recipe card with one of their favorite recipes on it, and I treasured that gift! Even now when I open the box it’s like I have all my old friends from church back home with me.
This is another treasure from my bridal shower that I use almost daily!
This is completely random and of no use to the general population, but FIGS scrubs are soooo soft and comfortable and they look really, really classy. Good thing my husband doesn’t read my blog, because he’s getting some of these for Christmas. I snagged a Black Friday sale on FIGS’ website….
Here’s another really random gift idea, but this is actually what my parents got me for my birthday this year! Now that I have a home of my own I needed my own nativity scene, so my mom and dad asked me to pick one out and they got it for my birthday. I thought that was really special because now when I set it up every year, I can think of my family and remember setting up my mom’s nativity scene back home as a child. I wanted one that looked fairly realistic, and this was one of the more lifelike ones I found, even if it’s not entirely historically/biblically accurate…. I always set up the wise men in a place separate from the manger scene because they’re traveling, and I won’t use the angel because nativity scene angels are just waaayyyy off and not accurate at all. Since this set doesn’t come with animals, I’ll go to Tractor Supply Company and buy some of their really lifelike play animals. (Perk: when I have children who want to help me set up the nativity scene, they can play with the animals without fear of breaking them.) This set doesn’t come with a stable either, so I’ll just set them up amongst some greenery or buy/build something like this that looks a little sturdier and more realistic than the typical manger scene stables. (And Jesus may have been born in a cave, not what we think of as a stable, anyway.)
Well, that’s MY list of suggestions! What’s on YOUR list this year? Feel free to share your unique gift suggestions in the comments below! If it’s your own product feel free to share, but please keep it classy and only leave one link. Over-the-top sales pitches for yourself will be deleted. 😉 Over-the-top sales pitches for others are welcomed (but still only one link, please).