Nov 27, 2020
It’s that time of year again when we start thinking about gifts for the upcoming holiday season (if you haven’t already), so welcome to this year’s Gift Guide as curated by Jenn and myself. You know that I’m all about gifts that inspire learning and using the whole brain and the whole body, and that’s precisely the type of gifts you’ll find on our list here today.
In addition to the list, I’ll also share some information about the perennial issue about gifts from relatives who want the credit that comes from your kid’s big reactions on the day, as well as some ideas about how to bring the intensity of the holiday down while increasing its overall enjoyment. Naturally, we’ll go through the Gift Guide, which you can find in the links section below, and I’ll offer my own commentary on the selections as we go along. Most important of all, I need you to remember that, particularly in this unprecedented year, you need to do ‘whatever the fuck you want to do this Christmas’, and to please never forget to reach out if you find you need help given the potential overwhelm of the season. With the pandemic continuing, this is going to be a long winter, so be sure to keep your mental and physical health a top priority throughout. I sincerely hope that today’s episode marks one step toward helping to achieve that.
The Finer Details of This Episode:
· Grandparents want the credit for gifts that their grandkids will absolutely love
· Create ‘hygge’
· Our $5 Christmas was one of our best ever
· You have permission to jack the holidays way up or bring them way down
· Check out the Gift Guide in the links section below
· You can make marble runs out of many things (ex. pool noodles, molding, etc)
· Don’t overstretch yourself this year financially
· Make sure you and your kids are geared up for playing outside no matter what the weather – Hanna Andersson snowsuits are phenomenal
· Subscription gifts can be problematic when it comes to renewal issues
· Check for scams or complaints about companies before ordering any of their products
· Make mental and physical health a priority
“If you have too much stuff, you’re going to get butterfly play…you want less stuff because it opens up deeper play.”
“If my house and my space are too cluttered, I get too cluttered.”
“Ninja classes are huge…love the Ninja supplies.”
“Don’t be afraid of classic blocks.”
“You guys are going to want to be outside as much as humanly possible.”
“I’m really into functional fitness.”
“You should be able to, like, lick your skincare.”
“Take care of yourself, take care of your kids, take care of your mental health as well as your physical health.”
Jamie’s homepage -
Oh Crap! Potty Training –
Oh Crap! I Have A Toddler -
Jamie’s Patreon Page:
No Crap Gift Guide
Gifts for Kids
1. Ninja Supplies to Spark Big Play: Ninja slack line supplies
2. Classic Toys for Endless Fun: Marble run: (wood Hape brand, looks like they’re labeled for kids 4+) (this is the one that was given to us, it’s plastic but really awesome for open-ended play). Other ideas: A Slingshot for Kids or a Bow and Arrow
3. Games for Building Connection: Some of ours include Sleeping Queens, Outfoxed(shown in picture, we love this game and you’re all working as a team to outfox the fox!) and Go Fish. Most used gift ever: a set ofrainbow wood blocks. Memory match games are another favorite.
4. Gear for Kids Playing Outside No Matter the Weather: Hanna Anderrson snowsuits: the European sizing is magic in Hanna clothes. Pascal’s toddler snowsuit lasted 3 season. You can always resell in consignment stores (or find them there as well) and it never shows wear and tear...it’s crazy. And I still buy their pjs. Again...they last 2 or 3 seasons and can’t be beat for cuteness. Other finds: Cool kids flashlight (shown in guide). Freazy Freakies (for kids age 6 and up). Emoji Kickball (shown in guide).Rainbow Umbrella for walks in the rain.
5. Sensory Fun for Potty Training Kiddos: Super fancy cool playdough
6. Because Cursive Writing is a Skill You Want Your Kids to Have: Chalkboard for cursive writing
7. Send an ongoing gift that shows up in the mail (the best surprise for kids). Magazine Subscriptions: Here are a couple of cool magazines we love. Bravery Magazine, National Geo for Kids. Every time the magazine shows up in our mailbox it’s like getting a surprise gift, so fun and the kids love reading through them.
8. Experience gifts: skiing lessons if you live close to a mountain. Ice skating lessons (not sure if this will work with covid but we did this last winter and it was the BEST money spent, the kids loved it!), give a gift through your local rec center for a program (for example, we did paddleboarding through our rec center, or I’m not sure what would be the equivalent in other states but LL Bean does amazing day activities for learning how to do a sport and all the equipment is included so you just show up).
Other ideas: museum memberships (which may not be as helpful during covid winter, I know our Children’s Museum has been closed...but generally speaking I’ve loved when family gifts us memberships or tickets to go explore a museum nearby). One thing you could look into is an art studio or whatever activity your child likes, seeing if they’re offering something special even if they’re not doing in-person classes. Would be great to support a local biz you’d like to be around after this and give your child something they could use. For example, when things first shut down and our art summer camp didn’t happen, the studio made up art kits of some of the coolest art supplies (glittery watercolors, amazing pastels, homemade playdough) and we got an infusion of cool new art supplies while supporting a business we love.
Gifts for Grownups
1. Wool for Warm Feet and Outdoor Adventures: Smart wool socks. Smart wool base layer..as much as you can afford. I just said, “If I win the lottery, I’m dressing only in smart wool.” LOL. It’s an awesome base layer. Smart wool base layer. It’s pricey but incredible and totally worth the investment. Especially with everything starting to shut down again. Our winter fitness will all be outside.
2. Something for fitness you love: A brute force wreck bag. Unstable weight loads are the key to building strength.These have fill bags for sand and can be 25-75lbs I hesitated because of the price (it’s a bag for gawdsake) but it’s by far the best purchase I made this year. It’s made in the US and is sturdy AF. Tossing it over your shoulder is an immensely satisfying stress reliever.
3. Ways to Sooth Winter Skin: Sore Muscles salve (or really anything by Fat and the Moon, Jen’s favorite brand). Skin Food by Nose to Tail is super luxurious skin care made from tallow. I’m a sucker for the bergamot.
4. Jamie's favorite book right now: Digital Minimalism: I read constantly but this has been the most life changing. I have a podcast coming out in December about this book, my giving up Facebook, and how mindblowing the change has been for me.
5. The Pantry Item That You Can Gift Anyone - And Helps Everyone Poop!: Olive oilthat’s special heirloom in quality and super cool packaging
6. For bringing the outdoors in: Pine Scented candle (thinking trees inspired by your cottage and candlelight for that hygge candlelit cozy warmth)
7. A hobby that makes you happy: personalized ukulele for making your own tunes.
8. Our shared obsession for the home: Marleys Monsters unpaper towels: practical wins in 2020. Less trips to the store for papertowels and they FEEL and LOOK so good. Literally told my family I want more!
Books for Kids
Favorite kids books: some toddler books on up to kid and all ages
Favorite Children’s Books for Read-Alouds