Holiday Gift Guide!

Life Hacks

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I know this is the time of year when you’re bombarded with gift guides, but seeing a loved one’s face light up on Christmas morning is the BEST. THING. EVER. so I’m sharing our family’s favorite toys, gadgets and doo-dads to help you become a gift-giving hero. Best of all, they can all be purchased online and they all include options under $100; read on for a whole bunch of cheap Christmas gift ideas!

I’ve broken them up into sections for women, men and kids so you can skip right to the one you need. None of these products are sponsored, they’re just all things that either our family has enjoyed for a while or would LOVE to receive.

I know this is the time of year when you're bombarded with gift guides, but seeing a loved one's face light up on Christmas morning is the BEST. THING. EVER. so I'm sharing our family's favorite toys, gadgets and doo-dads to help you become a gift-giving hero. Best of all, they can all be purchased online and they all include options under $100; read on for a whole bunch of cheap Christmas gift ideas!


  1. You probably already know about my undying love for Nickel & Suede earrings. I just bought these Gold leaf gem earrings and love the even more than my last favorites (which are these, btw)! But did you know there are some super cute (cheaper) knock-offs on Etsy? While I’m still partial to N&S quality, The Leather Drop shop has a ton of super cute options, and at the right price for gifting to multiple friends, teachers, sisters, etc.
  2. Speaking of earring lovers, I just snagged this earring organizer for myself and I’m obsessed. Finally I can see everything I have in one glance and they all look so pretty hanging up. Just a note: I highly recommend buying the large size organizer if you have lots of dangly or statement earrings so that you can fit as many as possible on it. I bought the medium and it’s already full!
  3. Another jewelry option is this crystal pendant necklace. It’s PERFECT for throwing on any simple outfit (a plain turtleneck, striped T-shirt, simple knit dress) to jazz it up a notch. I’ve been wearing mine non-stop! Plus you just can’t beat the price. (If you’re looking for more of a statement necklace, this one is also beautiful!)
  4. This magnetic phone dock is my FAVORITE car accessory, hands down! It sits on my dash and I slap my phone up on it anytime I go anywhere. I can take a call without taking my hands off the wheel, watch my GPS navigation safely, and model good phone behavior to my teen who will be driving soon himself. Seriously the BEST gift for anyone who owns a phone and a car!
  5. And if your gift recipient doesn’t yet own a cozy pair of shearling slippers, then your gift shopping search is over! These are THE softest inside and the cute tartan plaid makes them perfect for the Christmas season. Plus a rubber sole so your loved one can take the garbage out without putting on shoes; that’s a must-have in my slipper book!
  6. Got a reader to buy for? How about a Book of the Month subscription? Especially perfect for the fiction lover who always needs the latest book to devour. Or perhaps an Audible subscription for those want to read but never have time to sit down.


Men are notoriously hard to buy for, it seems! But I’ve got a couple of slam dunks that even my low-maintenance husband adores.

  1. This Coleman water bottle is my new favorite thing EVER (and would obviously work as a women’s gift as well). The lid design is cooler than any I’ve ever seen, and I’ve owned a plethora of water bottles. The steel bottle is insulated really well and keeps drinks hot or cold basically forever. Perfect for anyone on your list, but especially a camper!
  2. Another versatile gift for any teen or adult is the Loopy phone case. You guys, I have NO idea how I handled my monstrous phone without this thing before. It’s almost impossible to drop your phone with this little loop attached and it makes it way easier to simply use a big phone as well! I’ll never go back to a plain case.
  3. Got a traveler for a husband or father? I’ve had my eye on Away luggage for months! It’s engineered with a super intelligent inside (separate dirty clothes from clean! Charge your phone via an interior battery!) and a rugged but beautiful exterior. Plus they’re actually affordable, unlike some crazy fancy brands. Lots of smaller gift options too.
  4. Got a minimalist for a man? This Nomatic wallet has been Luke’s favorite for years. Super slim and simple, it holds and organizes cards and cash without adding extra bulk and weight. Perfect for font pocket wallet carriers!
  5. The Dollar Shave Club is a really fun concept that will keep your man fresh shaven all year. You can start them out with great full-sized shave products (starting at $5!) or sign them up for the monthly subscription so they never run out of fresh razors and shave cream.
  6. A dead car battery can ruin anyone’s day so make sure your husband, dad or grandpa (or mom/grandma!) never worries about it by giving him a portable Car Jump Starter! My dad always carries one of these and it’s SO worth the peace of mind, especially during really cold or hot weather.


Kids can be some of the easiest to give gifts to, or they can be maddeningly impossible! Here are a few ideas that have been (or would be) slam dunks at our house.

  1. My Instax camera never fails to wow kids of all ages! You can snag a package deal with film and cute accessories here or get just the camera itself here for under $56! Bonus: comes in 5 adorable colors and you’ll end up with a kid who can help document Christmas morning.
  2. I’ve recommended these before but plastic magnetic tiles make for THE most fun and play for hours on end! I’ve literally never met another toy that can simultaneously entertain both my 1 year old and my 13 year old and everyone in between. You’ll essentially be gifting yourself oodles of free time if you get these.
  3. Got a little girl who drools all over the American Girl Doll magazine? But maybe you’re not made of money? Did you know that Target sells similar dolls for a FRACTION of the price? I’ve bought one for each of my big girls and they go gaga for the fact that they look like their dolls! And the clothes and accessories are amazingly affordable as well. Expect hours of pretend play!
  4. One and two year olds love Christmas morning as much as the next big kid, but I get a little tired of all the dumb plastic baby toys kicking around my house. Riding toys like these have been favorites with every single one of our 8 kids! They can practice walking with them as early as 8 or 9 months and continue riding them until well past age 3. Plus they’re often under $30 or $40! (If you’re looking for one to please even the bigger kids, try a Plasma car; ours have lasted for years and years, even left out under the brutal Arizona sun.)
  5. Big boys are notoriously hard to please when they get out of the toy phase but I’m excited to give mine a new chess set this year! (More affordable version here) Chess is the world’s most famous strategy game and teaches kids to sit and think for hours. My boys love to play and there are so many YouTube tutorials now, they can even teach themselves.
  6. I’ve been shocked at how much our kids are obsessed with our Echo (or “Alexa”). They use it for spontaneous dance parties, to learn new jokes, to countdown to Christmas or birthdays, listen to audiobooks and to set timers for themselves or others. I’m actually snagging an Echo dot (or maybe two!) for Christmas so they can stop fighting over the one we have. Especially cause they’re only $20 right now!

Have you made a significant dent in your holiday shopping yet? What are your family members dying to get? Share your fave gifts in the comments!

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