Gift Ideas Archive

Shop Christmas in July & Buy Made in America

What’s so great about Christmas in July? Well, for me, checking off holiday shopping during the relaxed summer month equates to more time for enjoying the actual holiday season when it arrives! Plus, I like bargains. I have a goal for Christmas 2018: Shop Christmas in July for great holiday gifts and décor that are Made in America.

I’ve put together a retailer LIST (below) for Christmas in July + Made in the USA that I plan to either shop or add to my wish list.

But first…

The Purpose

1. Support businesses and workers right here in the U.S. where products tend to have excellent craftmanship, adhere to environmental standards, and regulate fairer wages and safer working conditions.

2. Contribute to a healthy economy

3. Made in the USA product labels can be tricky, so we need to do our research!

Almost 8 in 10 American consumers say they would rather buy an American-made product than an imported one, according to a recent Consumer Reports survey. And more than 60 percent say they’re even willing to pay 10 percent more for it. For some, the decision might stem from a belief in American quality and safety. Others might think it’s the best way to support the American economy and workers. But in our increasingly complex global economy, how much meaning does a label stating “Made in America” still hold? – Consumer Reports Special Report, 2015

The Criteria

1. Retailers that sell truly American Made products

2. Businesses participating in Christmas in July or at least having some sort of sale this July 2018

The Plan

1. Watch the Hallmark Channel’s “Christmas Keepsake Week” July 13th – 28th while I shop! It wouldn’t be as fun to buy gifts without first setting the holiday mood.

2. 100% Made in the USA for my online shopping

Here are the retailers on my list:

GoRuck  (Gear and apparel) 

Fleabags (Women’s bags) 

Polar Max (Winter gear)

K’Nex (Toys!) 

TheRusticCountryHome (Custom painted signs and Christmas home décor on Etsy) 

Fox River (Support our military: great socks and original sock monkey) 

J.W. Hulme Co. (Clothing, accessories, gifts) 

Maptote (Accessories, totes, travel) 

Ebbets Field Flannels (For the retro sports fan) 

Stetson (Clothing) 

Yankee Candles (The big candle company!)

A couple more companies that might not be having a July sale, but I just think they’re so cool.

Liberty Bottles (Beautiful, quality water bottles made with recycled materials)

The Vermont Teddy Bear Co. (Adorably creative Teddy Bears)

Between these stores, I should be able to meet my goal. Of course, there will be times when an overseas manufacturer may better suit my needs. Yet my hope for this Christmas in July is to expand my favorite brands to include Made in the USA!

My Top 40 List! Christmas Stocking Stuffers for Women

Stocking Stuffers are such a great tradition, but finding really good ones takes a little thought & effort. I truly enjoy finding unique gifts. Thus, I have created a top-40 stocking stuffer list . But first, there is historical component to consider!

To start, give an orange.

As a child, my parents put oranges in our stockings, which were just old socks. At the time, I thought my parents were just too busy to bother with store-bought Christmas stockings and treats.

Well, it turns out it was an old Christmas tradition. Orange and nuts in a stocking were once considered a luxury. But, there is also folklore that explained the oranges and old socks. St. Nick, in his generous spirit, provided for a family that had fallen on hard times.

A widowed merchant worried he wouldn’t be able to afford dowries for his three daughters to marry. On Christmas Eve, St. Nicholas slid down their chimney. He saw the girls’ stockings hanging by the fire to dry, so he filled them with gold coins. The gold provided for the family, and the daughters married.

Hence, an orange in a stocking represents the gold coins from Old St. Nick!

Now onto modern-day stocking stuffers, we go.

40 Christmas Stocking Stuffer Ideas:

1. Makeup (Nordstrom Rack often has bins of cute makeup samples and kits)
2. Winter ChapStick or Lip Balm
3. Organic Maple Syrup
4. Christmas Morning Pancake Mix
5. Slipper Socks
6. Vegan Hand Soaps (Think Cinnamon, Coffee or Peppermint!)
7. Travel Emergency Kit
8. Ring Dish
9. “What I Love About You” Book
10. Mini Bottle of Prosecco or Champagne
11. Crossword Puzzle Book
12. Book Light
13. Stainless Steel Water Bottle
14. Travel Candle Tins
15. Holiday Matchbox
16. Mini Preserves Gift Set
17. Fashion Forward Coasters
18. Gift Cards

19. Gloves or Mittens
20. Holiday Blend Coffees
21. Hot Cocoa
22. Bath Salts
23. Hand Cream
24. Sleep Mask
25. Bag Clips
26. Tea Infuser
27. Cooking Spices
28. Chocolates
29. Notebook
30. Recipe Cards
31. Screen Cleaner
32. Smart Phone Charger
33. Burt’s Bees Everyday Essentials Beauty Kit
34. Compact Mirror
35. Travel Mini Ceramic Flat Iron
36. Cell Phone Grip and Stand
37. Engraved Coffee Spoon
38. Holiday Kitchen Towel
39. Back Scratcher
And last, but certainly not least.
40. Chocolate gold coins (Just like the orange!)

Merry Christmas & Happy Stocking Stuffing!



Photo credit: Dreamstime

12 Safe-Yet-Thoughtful Christmas Gift Ideas Under $35!

Christmas is a time of giving, and a thoughtful Christmas gift expresses this very spirit! However, when it comes to a new dating relationship, neighbors, coworkers, or Secret Santa gift exchanges, finding the right gift can be a challenge.

I’ve certainly been there, so I wanted to create a list for anyone finding themselves in this little predicament. The key is safe, yet thoughtful. No need for an awkward moment!

I found 12 fun & fitting Christmas gift ideas between $10 to $35 that are “safe” yet “thoughtful.”

Note: No affiliate links are on this post; these are examples that I just thought would make really good gifts!

1. Personalized Wooden Spoon Sets

Kitchen spoon sets are a cute gift for someone that spends time in the kitchen, cooking. Check out these personalized wooden spoons on Etsy for ideas. (Tip: Give Etsy 2-3 weeks to deliver.) Wooden Spoons.

2. Spa Gift Set

A unique or non-generic spa gift set. Here’s an example of a simple, yet elegant spa gift from Pinterest called the “Holiday Pamper Box.”

3. Smart Phone & Apple Watch Docking Station

An iPhone or Apple watch docking station could be a perfect Christmas present for someone that’s into their tech gadgets.

I saw this example for under $30 on Pinterest: Docking Station. Or, check out this one on Etsy, for less than $20: Another Docking Station.

4. Candle

Yes, a candle. But, not just any candle. Make it a good one. Look at these candles for ideas on how sweet such a gift can be.

On Etsy: Christmas Candles , On Etsy: Candle Set. (Remember to give orders on Etsy a good 2-3 weeks for delivery.)

5. Journal

For someone into writing or recording their goals, a journal is a cool gift. Here’s an example of a classic, timeless Journal.

I recommend writing a note or quote on the inside cover!

6. Live Potted Mini-Christmas Tree

An adorable mini-potted Christmas trees from 18″ to 30″ is perfect for the person that loves Christmas, but has limited space. I found this tree online as an example: Mini Christmas Tree

Tip: You can find a mini-tree under $20 by visiting your local nursery or grocery store. Be sure to dress it up with a ribbon around the base!

7. Wine

If you know your gift recipient’s favorite type of wine, you can find a brand that suits them.

For instance, Fit Vine has a holiday edition for health-conscious types. (My husband loves this brand and will go to great lengths to locate it.) Whatever the bottle, wrap it creatively, or try a fun holiday wine bottle sweater. I love the kraft paper wrapping on this wine gift: Click here for an example

8. Books

It’s hard to go wrong with a book on a topic your friend/coworker/date is interested in, or you could try something with inspirational quotes. Grab a coffee and browse the bookstore!

9. Stainless Steel Coffee Travel Mug

A travel mug is fitting for a serious coffee lover that takes their morning caffeine on the go while battling the rush hour commute!

Finding a coffee travel mug with their first initial or favorite motto is a nice touch: Something like this…

10. Beanies

This is a great winter gift for a hat lover. My husband gave me three very cute beanies for our first Christmas, and I thought it was great.

Check out Urban Outfitters, Beyond Beanie USA, REI, Amazon, or any favorite store.

11. Cozy throw

A cozy throw or blanket is suitable for just about anyone!

For a little inspiration, check out this cute gift: Cute Throw Blanket.

12. Belgian Waffle Maker

Last December, this was our favorite surprise gift.

Include Christmassy waffle mix – think gingerbread, chocolate peppermint, or cinnamon.

Hope this helps! Happy Gift Giving!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime