Hello dear friend. And welcome to the first of my many Christmas Gift Guides for 2021. Yes, we’re starting early this year. With worldwide shipping and supply chain issues threatening to frustrate the holidays, we’re wise to begin our Christmas shopping early. You’ve probably already encountered items being back ordered or shipping being delayed on fashion purchases you’ve made this fall. And that will undoubtedly continue for some time.
But if you’d prefer not to start your Christmas shopping until the traditional weekend after Thanksgiving, I get that, too. My Gift Guides will be available at your convenience through the Holiday Gift Guide tab in the menu at the top of the blog. Be sure to start there as you get more serious about shopping for gifts. But today I’m kicking off the gift guides with a wonderful selection of items you may want to have on hand as the holidays approach. These are family activities, hostess necessities, a few decorative items and the little niceties that make these holidays oh so special for you and your family.
Today’s gift guide is really for you. They’re not so much gifts as they are the little things you may want to have on hand to make these holidays feel more significant and festive. You can shop these items through the highlighted text, the corresponding numbers in the photo caption or the shopping widget below.
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- Chocolate Advent Calendar // You might want two of these if you are celebrating the holidays with a significant other! Each day you can count down the time before Christmas with a small, sweet treat. I think this would be a fun way to cap off dinner with your honey.
- Birds in an Orchard Jigsaw Puzzle // What’s the holidays without a jigsaw puzzle to put together? Pull out your card table or clear off another large space and set up this colorful jigsaw puzzle to work over time. It’s a great way to destress after a morning of gift shopping and a fun way to start conversations with the grandkids.
- Gingerbread House Kit // Each year my twenty-something year-old daughter enjoys spending a little time putting together one of these gingerbread houses. I’ve already ordered this one for her because last year she missed her opportunity to buy one. These will sell out! Once again, this is a fun way to spend an afternoon with grandkids. But it’s also a fun activity for you and your hubby. There’s actually an option to purchase two, so you could make it a little competition!
- Gourmet Popcorn Snacks // Usually I’d suggest a huge tin of multiple flavors of popcorn for those holiday movie nights. But since we’re all a little more concerned about the spread of germs these days, I think these individually wrapped Gourmet Popcorn Snacks are the smarter alternative. Buy a bag of 12 cones of popcorn snacks to have on hand when company comes or attach them to gifts as a fun and edible decoration.
- L.L.Bean Camp PJ Set // You’ll find similar fun sleepwear for the entire family at L.L.Bean, but these are just for you. My L.L.Bean Camp PJ Set fast became my favorites last winter, so I’m ordering these deep marine blue (not shown here) this year. They’re so soft, ample in size, long enough for my 5’8″ frame and blissfully warm.
- Evergreen Flannel Sheets // I love having special, festive bed linens for this time of the year. And these Evergreen Flannel Sheets look special but not so Christmasy that you can’t continue to use them through the winter. Don’t care for flannel sheets? You can also get this wintery pattern in their Percale sheets.
- Twinings Holiday Variety Tea Bag Pack // I love having a cup of hot tea with a holiday treat in the afternoons. And these holiday flavors make that little ritual all the more pleasurable. You could also use this 50-count sampler to give a few flavors in little gift bundles to friends and family members. Such a soothing gift!
- Christmas Snowflake Window Cling Stickers // Make your house the place grandkids want to be this Christmas with fun snowflake window cling stickers. They’re easy enough to use that the kids could even help you apply them.
- Beekman Lip Balm and Hand Cream Set // As winter approaches we’ll need to step our game keeping our hands and lips moist and healthy. These Beekman Lip Balm and Hand Cream Set makes that little necessity seem more like a treat. This is a great gift for a hostess or a friend who stops by, too.
- Wool Hooked Throw Pillow // As with my fall home decorations, I keep my Christmas decorations fairly simple and pared back. This timeless and simple Wool Hooked Throw Pillow will make a nice addition to my simple decorations.
- Woodland Advent Calendar // If you prefer to tuck your own creative treats into a more traditional advent calendar, you might enjoy this one from L.L.Bean. It’s a great way to incorporate a fun holiday tradition into your family life.
- Willow Tree Sculpted Hand-Painted Nativity Figures // Having a beautiful nativity set in your home is such a beautiful and meaningful way to celebrate this Holy Day. And if you’ve pared back and are living in smaller quarters, this two hand painted figures tell the story sufficiently and beautifully. This would also make a nice gift for someone living in an assisted living situation.
- Classic Christmas Stocking Holder // We haven’t had a fireplace or mantle in years. So we’ll be buying these Classic Christmas Stocking Holders to hang our stockings by the fire.
- Fresh Greenery Tartan Wreath // Yes, you absolutely can order your fresh greenery now. L.L. Bean won’t ship this Tartan Wreath until November 17, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy it with daily misting. And you’ll be greeted at the door each day with the scents of the forest.
- 12 Pure Cotton Cloth Napkins // I love using cloth napkins. But they do sometimes looks worst with wear. So it might be time to freshen my collection with these pretty red Cotton Cloth Napkins. They’re perfect for Christmas but also work for other occasions, such as Valentine’s Day and Independence Day.
- 12 Snowflake Napkin Rings // And these beautiful Snowflake Napkin Rings will make the Cotton Cloth Napkins look festive for your holiday table. They come in other colors and designs, too.
- Buffalo Plaid Table Cloth // Buffalo plaid is all the rage these days. You can use this Buffalo Plaid Table Cloth by itself or as a base layer for a more festive tablescape. It will work beautifully with the red Cotton Cloth Napkins.
- L.L. Bean Pancake Breakfast Set // It’s sometimes funny the gifts you remember and enjoy. My brother and sister-in-law gave us this set a number of years ago for Christmas, and it was one of my favorite gifts ever. When you give a gift like this you give the potential for an experience. It’s a memory maker!
- Fresh Traditional Christmas Wreath // Here’s another option for a fresh wreath, this one from Lands’ End. They begin shipping a little earlier, but still at a time when you’ll be able to enjoy it through the holidays. And right now you can get 40% off your order with code SPARKLE.
- Chocolate Lovers Sampler // Today only you can also get 40% off this assortment of chocolates. You’re going to want these when you’re putting that jigsaw puzzle together! Contains milk chocolate double dipper peanuts, white pretzel balls, dark chocolate cranberries, milk chocolate milk balls, dark chocolate covered almonds, milk chocolate nonpariels and milk chocolate covered raisins. Oh my!
- Flannel Dog Bandana // Don’t leave Fido out of the festivities (or the family PJ photo!). This Flannel Dog Bandana will make him look festive and you feel good!
- Joyeux Noel Soy Candle // You’ll want to have this scented candle on hand before Thanksgiving so you can pull it out and light it while you decorate. Inspired by fresh, natural scents, this soy candle will make you feel all the more festive as it fills your spaces delicately, not over powering them.
- Holly Buffalo Plaid Christmas Table Runner // My dining room table is square, so I don’t use traditional tablecloths. Instead, I like runners like this Holly Buffalo Plaid Christmas Table Runner from Lands’ End. Isn’t it pretty?
- Personalized Everyday Wood Cutting Board // Well it may be a cutting board, but I’d use this Wood Cutting Board for a charcuterie board. I love having simple meats, cheese, olives and fruit for a holiday season dinner. This board is also a great gift and you can have it personalized. There are several designs to choose from, including a Menorah. And it’s 40% off today only with code SPARKLE.
Well that’s a wrap! I hope this little list sparks your imagination and ignites a little excitement for the coming holidays. Be sure to check in with me regularly for more holiday gift guides. Here’s what I have planned:
- Christmas Gifts Under $25
- Christmas Gifts for You & Your Spouse
- Christmas Gifts for Young Men
- Christmas Gifts for Young Women
- Christmas Gifts for Couples
- Christmas Gifts for the Active Woman
- Christmas Gifts for Your Main Man
- Christmas Gifts for Senior Adults
- Christmas Gifts for Women
Are there other gift guides you’d like to see? I will let you know that I don’t have grandkids yet, so I will not do a gift guide for children. Sure, I could work one up. But you’d be better served by someone who is actually shopping for children. The gift guides I’m sharing are in the categories I actually shop and have some “experts” contributing ideas for.
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In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. ~ Luke 1:26-38