2018 Holiday Gifts Guide – Find Presents for Everyone!
I’m sure we can all agree the hunt for gifts isn’t easy.
Gift giving can be hard.
So, we’ve got gift ideas of all kinds for you!
We’ve compiled your Go-To Gifts Guide for 2018 – full of holiday gift ideas, stocking stuffer ideas, non-toy gifts, teacher gift ideas, gifts for expecting parents, & more.
Go-To Gift Ideas 2018
Stores are stocked with Christmas decorations by mid-October.
Relatives are asking for your kids’ gift lists before Halloween is even over.
Find ideas for non-toy, “experience” gifts, tech gadgets, stocking stuffers & more for the whole family. You can even find gifts for the pets & pet lovers in your life!
Check it out…
Experience Gifts & Ideas
Give the gift that keeps on giving…& is less mess!
Now that the holidays are approaching, we’re exploring experience gifts & ideas.
Give the same, exciting value…with less wrapping paper and clutter. for holiday gift giving that don’t involve toys.
To kick things off, we’ve got experience gift ideas to keep the magic of the holidays alive even after the New Year.
Experience gifts give more family time and bonding, so it can’t get much better than that.
Here are some of our favorites:
Gift Cards to a store or restaurant
You can also get gift cards to US Toy, where kids can pick from TONS of toys, crafts, school supplies, costumes, & party supplies.
When you give a child a gift card, you’re giving them the freedom to explore & discover what they really enjoy.
Tickets to see a movie or show
B&B Theaters has several locations in the KC metro, plus the new ScreenPLAY! option that adds a twist on the typical movie.
The Coterie Theater at Crown Center offers both classic and contemporary options for all ages.
Memberships to local attractions.
Each has given us the chance to spend time together as a family – it’s the gift that keeps on giving!
Paradise Park also offers their annual memberships, which are great for family nights!
Tuition for a classes, camp or activities
Camps & activities continue to give as the year goes on.
Swim lessons are a great experience gift! Your children will learn to swim safely & get to escape the cold for a fun, warm pool 🙂 With the Swim Lesson Gift Set from Aqua-Tots Olathe you get a towel, gift certificate, & goggles so you have a physical gift to give with the experience.
Go to a local play center or indoor park
There are tons of experience gifts that get kids active!
For older kids, TopGolf and iFly Indoor Skydiving could be great experience options too.
Go Visit Alpacas!
This is a very unique experience to gift your children.
Our kids love animals, so this is right up their alley!
YaYa’s Alpaca Farm teaches your children about how the alpacas live and also lets you interact with them. 🙂
Donate to a Charity in Their Name
You can give a unique experience gift that teaches your child the value of giving back.
Non-Toy Gift Ideas
It’s always a good time for learning and I am a huge fan of gifting books for special occasions.
Reading provides children with the opportunity to use their imagination and dive deep into other worlds.
“A reader lives a thousand lifetimes…” -George R.R. Martin
With hundreds of thousands of different titles to select from, the possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to book gifts.
If your child life has a Kindle, tablet, or e-reader, you could give them a gift card to purchase books they choose too.
Depending on the age and reading level of your recipient, a book series can provide hours and hours of entertainment.
Book suggestions include:
- Classic Children’s Books (all ages)
- Llama Llama Red Pajama Books (toddler)
- Pete The Cat Books (preschool)
- Ivy & Bean Books (school aged)
- Judy Moody Books (school aged)
- Harry Potter Series (preteen)
I’ll admit, I’d never been big into gift cards for the holidays but, now that my daughter is getting older, I am starting to see the value.
Your kids can choose what they want! So much easier…
Here are a few places we suggest for gift cards:
- Claires – they often have ‘Buy 3 Get 3 FREE’ sales so your gift card can go further.
- Five Below – everything in the store UNDER $5, so a little can go a long way
- The bookstore (See #1 for more details)
My 6 year-old daughter absolutely loves shopping at the mall.
The joy she gets in shopping for earrings, “makeup” (relax, it’s just lip gloss…we’re not there yet), and other little things that the kids enjoy these days is really special.
When you give a child a gift card, you’re giving them the freedom to explore, to discover what they really enjoy.
As adults, many of us enjoy subscription boxes that come once a month or once a quarter.
Why not give subscription gifts for the kids?!
We all know how much kids love getting mail…at least ours do!
There are several great options for subscription services specifically designed for children. Many give you the flexibility of deciding how frequently you want to send the boxes (read: how much you’re willing to budget for).
We found subscription gift ideas that you might be interested in exploring as gift for this year (please note that we have not used these ourselves and, as such, do not provide our endorsement for any of the following) online:
- Little Passports
- Kiwi Crate
- Doodle Crate
A “Yes” Day
I recently read an article that discussed how utterly exhausted (and beyond happy) actress Jennifer Garner was after successfully completing a “yes day” with her kids.
It’s a concept I’ve never heard of but is, apparently, based on the book Yes Day by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.
The idea is simple – spend a day with your kids and let them take the reins in planning what they want to do.
You set limits and rules for the day (budget, time, etc), then allow your kids to call the shots.
If it sounds as exciting to you as it does to me, check out the book from your local Mid-Continent Public Library branch and consider giving it to your child this Christmas.
Tech Gifts & Electronics:
It’s hard to keep up with all of the new and changing gadgets that are out there.
Last year, our resident tech expert, Burton Kelso, came up with a list of the best tech toys – most of which are still very popular and still on the shelves… and on your kids’ Christmas lists this year too.
These tech gifts excite long after Christmas is over.
Tech gifts for KIDS
- Amazon Fire Kids Edition
Another tablet, yes. But, the Amazon Fire Kids edition gets you a two-year worry-free guarantee. If your little one breaks or damages it, Amazon will replace it for free for up to two years.
- Nintendo Switch
A huge trend last year, another big trend for this year. The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid, portable home console. Your kids can play it on your HD TV at home or take it on-the-go to enjoy games on the built-in HD display.
Tech gifts for HER
- Fitbit Flex 2 Bangle
This activity tracker doubles as a beautiful piece of jewelry. With all the features of a Fitbit, your special lady can keep up with daily activities in style.
- Everpurse Kate Spade Small Harmony Tote
This black tote will hold a 13-inch laptop and has a charging dock for a smartphone. The bag will even recharge it by placing it on a charging mat.
Tech gifts for HIM
- DJI Phantom 3 Standard Drone with 2.7K HD Video Camera
Drones are what’s “in” right now, but the best ones are not cheap. The DJI Phantom is a great all-purpose drone that is more reasonably priced, especially for beginners.
DJI Spark Alpine White with Remote Control and Parrot Mambo Fly are also good options.
- Samsung UHD TV Curved Screen Smart TV
The Samsung is a trusted and reliable TV brand on the market. The Smart UHD TV is hard to beat – beautiful curved screens, built-in apps and amazing picture quality. Perfect for watching the next big game!
Tech gifts for All Ages
- Smart Watches
We’ve mentioned the Fitbit Flex 2 more tailored to women, but there are several other popular fitness trackers on the market too. Some of the latest are the Apple Watch Series 4, the Fitbit Versa. This article mentions a few others along with the product’s features.
- The Amazon Echo
Amazon’s products have made the list of popular gifts for techies for several years now. You can get a variety of versions from the Echo, the Dot, the Spot, the Look and the Show. All of these great products can turn your home into a smart home.
- Google Home Smart Speaker
Google’s version of the Amazon Echo, Google’s Home Smart Speaker can control the same smart home accessories as Amazon’s smart speaker, in addition to members of the Google Chromecast family. The bonus with this device is you have access to Google’s database for information.
- Apple Airpods
Time to get rid of those messy cables and wireless headphones that constantly need charged. Airpods connect with any iPhone or iPad over Bluetooth and have become increasingly popular with the releases of Apple’s latest iPhones.
An Android-friendly, non-Apple alternative is the Bose SoundSport Free Truly Wireless Headphones, which have been reported to produce high-quality sound as well.
- Philips Hue Bulbs
Philips’ Hue bulbs are many people’s first smart home accessory. Since smart homes are becoming more common, there’s a good chance these bulbs will become harder to find than usual this season.
- Amazon Fire Tablet
The Fire tablet is the ultimate choice for casual tablet users. You can use it to read eBooks, browse the web, watch Netflix, or play light games. It’s not the most powerful or capable tablet on the market, but it’s definitely the best choice under $50.
- Nest Smart Home products
With the Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Protect smoke & carbon monoxide alarm and Nest Cam security camera, Nest is creating a home that’s better than smart.
Ring Video Doorbell 2 is another similar product that has voice-activated features and security capabilities.
- Sonos One Smart Speaker
The Sonos One is an updated version of the audio company’s popular PLAY: 1 speaker. It sounds better, has the intelligence of Amazon’s Alexa baked into it, the One will also work with your current Sonos system without requiring a new app or hub.
Stocking Stuffer Ideas
…good things come in small packages
Finding fun stocking stuffers can be tricky!
Stocking stuffers often get a bad rap.
They are usually the last presents to be opened – after we’ve unwrapped the big, colorful boxes.
But, good things can come in small packages! Here are few Christmas gifts that can fit inside the “stockings hung by the chimney with care.”
US Toy has TONS of adorable, affordable stocking stuffers.
Stocking Stuffers for Kids:
Kids all like different things, but there are fun stocking stuffers any kid would love!
- School supplies– pencils, pens, erasers and crayons make great stocking stuffers. Kids have often lost or destroyed many of the items you purchased for back to school.
- Virtual pets–If your kids are begging for a pet for Christmas, but you’re not ready to commit, this is a great way to buy yourself some time. Have your kid take care of the virtual pet for a few months to show that he is responsible enough to handle pet ownership. I know my children would either lose the pet, or at least lose interest after just a couple of months. If your kids are more responsible, use that time period to save up cash to buy an actual puppy.
- Cold Weather Gear– Socks, gloves and mittens work as stocking stuffers for kids (and adults) of all ages. This is the perfect time to stock up, as many of them will be going on clearance soon to make room for next season.
- Candy – who doesn’t love a little extra Christmas candy…?
- Mini Lego Sets
- Art Supply sets
Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers:
Christmas shopping for toddlers can be tricky.
Many toys are too dangerous or delicate for their tiny hands. Try things like:
- Stuffed toys – good for little bitty hands.
- DVD/BluRay Disc featuring their favorite characters would be a hit.
- Board books – these are both educational & fun!
- Art supplies – Crayola no mess markers are a godsend. Your kids literally can’t draw on anything but the special paper.
- Hair accessories – must be kept out of their reach though
- Toddler safe toy cars might be a good idea for little boys.
Stocking Stuffers for Teenagers:
If you have teenagers to shop for, you can make their Christmas wishes come true by stuffing their stockings with
- Gift cards to their favorite stores, or even better, cash.
- USB Drives
- Wireless chargers
- Candy cane chap stick – a Christmas special
Affordable Stocking Stuffers:
If you need to find affordable stocking stuffers, check out Five Below, The Dollar Tree, US Toy, Target, or even the clearance sections of your favorite stores.
There are deals to be found everywhere!
Some of the best Christmas gifts can be bought at your local discount store. Cruise the aisles of your local dollar store and stock up.
Five Below has SO many stocking stuffer options…all for under $5!
You’d be surprised at the awesome things that you can get for a few dollars or less:
- Hair Bows, Hair Ties, Brushes
- Kitchen gadgets
- Toiletries like razor sets or lotion sets
DIY Stocking Stuffers – Handmade:
Finally, there is nothing as sweet as a homemade gift. Be creative!
Your homemade cookies or brownies taste better than anything you could buy at the store.
Scarves and slipper socks are warmer when they are knitted or crocheted with love.
Give from your heart and your hands.
Pinterest has SO many DIY gift ideas:
- Homemade brownies or cookies
- Handmade scarves, socks or blankets
- Handmade Letters
Print off some photos and do a DIY collage or frame set. Sites like Shutterfly allow for personalized photo gifts, calendars and prints.
There are all kind of Christmas gifts you can make yourself.
The most precious gifts are those made with love, so consider making something yourself this year!
Teachers need gifts too!
Find great teacher gift ideas that every teacher will love.
Our favorite teacher gift? A bottle of wine with a card that reads, “Our child might be the reason you drink so enjoy this bottle on us!”
Pregnant moms (and dads) have been the ringer. They definitely deserve great holiday gifts!
It can be hard to think of great gift ideas for expecting parents when you haven’t been through it in a while…
Find the best gifts for expecting parents & pregnant mommy’s with the advice of our Mom Squad. 🙂
Get inspiration from our ideas, or head out to find the products & services we recommend!
So, what are you gifting this year?
An in-depth listing of resources available to your family this season in our Annual Holiday Guide.
We know that we’ve likely missed something, so we’d love to hear your BEST gift ideas! Leave us a comment below or let us know on social media what you’re getting for your loved ones this holiday season.
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From iFamily to Yours,