A Gift Giver’s Gift Guide

Posted on October 30, 2020. Last updated on November 28, 2020
Alyssa a registered dietitian
Written by Alyssa

Wooooow I clearly loved putting together this list. I hope you enjoy! These ideas are all tried and true and LOVED. There are some absolute favorites that have been given and/or received. For the kids, the toys we love are all that support independent play and keep them entertained for aaaawhhhille. Hope this list helps you this season!

For baby:

This toy has been a favorite from day one and my 4 almost 5 year old loves it still! Baby stacking cups are a magical toy – these ones have small holes which means we often play with them in the bath or a water table. These cute and warm slippers because baby socks just don’t work. Plus they have grippys on the bottom which makes all the difference. This faces book that you can customize with family faces has been a favorite especially if you live far away from your family!

This fake remote that I hate but they love. This set from Tubby Todd which is the best in baby skin care. These are my favorite bibs, they come in baby and toddler sizes and they work for eating and/or crafts and everything in between plus they are machine washable!

If all else fails, give them trash or crinkled up wrapping paper they will be STOKED!

For the kids:

magnatiles are game changers and lead to A LOT of independent and imaginary play. This coffee set has been a favorite in our home forever probably because they like acting like mama haha, which is VERY helpful when they want my coffee. These dolls that are so cute and colorful!

This keyboard is amazing and actually has an output for headphones (PTL) which pair really well with these headphones (not owned yet) I plan on getting the kids this year because the reviews say they don’t fall down like our over ear ones do all the time! Also for an art fanatic these color yourself butterfly wings are adorable along with this color it yourself big ball! So fun!!

A digital camera – this is best for 2.5-3+ but they LOVE it! A customized name puzzle. These toddler friendly paint brushes and these water only magic books. We have these matching backpacks one for each kid, these are our favorite and most durable ones with enough space but they can still carry themselves (2+). This bug catcher is HOURS of fun and observing!

This hairbrush that is AMAZING and detangles everything and helps with cradle cap. Zingo is the BEST game I’ve played with my son, he likely could have played it around 2.5+. This cutting toy which is amazing for 2+ for exposure to food and also dexterity. Ok to wake clock, this one has a sound machine built in, my son LOVES it. It has eyes open and closed too which is helpful and cute. My son has been obsessed with this space planetarium projector and I have to admit it’s REALLY cool to see.

Fun plates, of course, like this one or this one. This magnet maze game is so fun and keeps their attention for awhile but sometimes the marbles get stuck and you have to help. These dot markers that are a cleanish way to paint. These name crayons are so cool, they are on my kid’s list this year! This scooter is so sturdy and great for new riders plus the wheels light up when you go! This scooter has been a favorite for YEARS. And I can’t find our exact ones but window clings like these (if they have access to a window easily – we use our front glass door) are fun for hours!!

For your hubby:

Hot sauce set this stuff is SOOO good! I tried really long to not be an airpod person but here we are and our lives are both changed. It’s worth it. So I highly recommend a pair of airpods. A desk calendar you can customize with photos of your family! This jacket is hands down my husbands favorite jacket he’s ever owned. He wears it ALL THE TIME. An Audible subscription or patreon to his favorite podcast. Also this bluetooth speaker that has incredible quality for the price and amazing battery life. We have 4. No joke.

A shower beer holder, need I say more? This outdoor fire pit has been a wonderful place to hang out after the kids go down and almost have a mini-date at home. Also it turns into a table AND it is protected so the kids can’t fall into the fire. This book about how your home works, so you can stop paying a professional and have them take a stab at it haha! Ok my husband actually LOVES this book and finds it SO helpful! (he is not super handy)

For the Bookworm:

A custom book embosser is such an amazing and thoughtful gift for a reader who reads physical books. Also a kindle paperwhite (I know I’m late to the game here but I was STUBBORN giving up my real smell the pages books but this is a GAME CHANGER and you don’t need the fancy ones) plus now I can rent books from my favorite app “libby” through the library without getting two kids in and out of the building! Someone love the enneagram this is a great read.

For the Homebody:

Who isn’t a homebody in 2020?! A customized home address stamp and a beautiful leather catch all from one of my favorite small shops in Denver area! This customized wall sign with the family name is a favorite of mine! It’s one piece in our home I will keep forever.

For the Mother in Law or your mama:

Print out family recipes (bonus if they’re in their mama’s handwriting!) and frame them using cute frames like this. I also love these digital picture frames this one is amazing because you can upload photos of their adorable grandchildren via wifi anytime you visit! I started spotting and replacing things that my mom uses often that was looking a little sad and she was so grateful! Sometimes our stuff gets so tired and we don’t even notice or don’t prioritize replacing it since “it still works” some good ones I’ve done for her were her oven mitts (these ones are my absolute favorite), new measuring cups/spoons and new slippers.

For a family or a mama:

This beautiful artwork all you do is send a picture of the family and she crafts it for you and you get to edit it and approve it. It’s such a personal and beautiful gift. Customized cutting board – we love ours and use it to serve cheese and crackers too!

For the new mama:

This beautiful necklace means so much to me (my sister in law got it for me) It’s the chemical sign for oxytocin which is the bonding hormone after you have a baby. So beautiful and meaningful! This insulated coffee mug because we know our coffee is always going cold. This helps! And of course an insulated tumbler because after coffee, hydration is important haha! That tumbler keeps your drink cold, or hot and looks nice and sleek where ever you keep it (mine is almost always out on a countertop of some kind). This gorgeous leather tote from my favorite small business in Denver.

For an essential oil lover:

This volcano rock necklace they can add a few drops to it and smell it throughout the day. This essential oil bottle holder that I love!

For the kitchen dweller:

If they got into bread making like I did this season this bread scorer is beautiful and practical. I would also HIGHLY recommend these dutch ovens. Or a cheaper version linked here. (I got mine from ikea but it looks like they no longer carry them).

I don’t love one use kitchen gadgets but this crepe maker is ah-mazing and my husband makes the best (easy and fast) crepes. Pair with this cookbook! Also have you guys gotten an airfryer yet? They’re fast and so easy to clean, or at least mine is. I will say I usually have to make things in batches but it goes so fast I don’t care.

Ok and an amazing kitchen tool that NO ONE talks about. Makes soups incredible and baby food in a literal second, the stick blender. These souper cubes are a God send and so so helpful for the fall/winter season! Ok, ok these knives are hands down my all time favorite and other than a cheese knife and a bread knife these are all I use.

I love gifts that are like a full set, a few things that all go together and make a complete bundle so I’m going to list a few ideas here that are what I call Beautiful Bundles: My in laws looooooove popcorn so I got them a full popcorn set, this bowl, this popcorn popper, this flavoring set and then a bag of kernels. I gave my parents an ice cream set which included this homemade ice cream maker, this cook book for ice cream, ice cream storage container, and a few fun ingredients like peppermints, sprinkles and vanilla! I’ve gotten several people a night in which includes a gift card for take out to a local fave, a bottle of wine and a redbox credit.

For the coffee (hot drink) lover:

A flavor variety pack to add a little fun to their morning cup of joe. Hazelnut is my fave coffee flavor other than coffee itself. A milk frother is a real way to level up. This one is great because it can froth milk and warm or keep it cold for those iced brews! And now my dream… this espresso machine. It’s outrageous and takes up a lot of space on my counter but I WANT IT. Ok I’m over it. If you do get it please send me a picture and tell me how lovely it is.

For the camper:

This camping highchair is amazing – we even use it out on our deck. Honestly though, I kinda wish I would have gotten the shorter one like this one – but you live and you learn. This outdoor blanket we use CONSTANTLY camping or not. It lives in our trunk. These inflatable solar powered lanterns are so cool and double as a bath toy haha.

For the worker-outer:

These fun bodyweight workout cards make working out at home a little more fun! That’s all I got here hahah.

My favorite things I own:

My planner that doubles as a mini devotional. This glass jar that I keep pantry staples it. It’s beautiful and makes me happy. This ABC play mat. We use it as a diaper changing station on the floor and a play mat and it packs up small for on the go (think picnics) we have SO many Gathre mats it’s almost embarrassing, put this on the list of things I thought I wouldn’t care about and now love!

Games! I am a huge fan of board games. Catan is my hands down favorite of all time, but I also love code names and sequence. Also I have this robe like sweater that I wear every morning and it’s amazing – I can’t find the exact one but it’s like this one. It has pockets which is KEY. It’s clothes like enough to open the door for deliveries but robe like enough to feel warm and cozy and dreamy.

Beautiful and handmade soap from Maine, don’t forget to snag the tray for it as well! Customized ornaments, I usually get one for each year and each baby from pottery barn. I don’t see they do this anymore so I linked this cute one from Etsy. A custom “home” pillow mine is from my mom and it’s the location of my childhood home.

A Turkish towel which is SUPER absorbent but also beautiful. We use them for blankets, tablecloths, as a towel – all the things. Put this on the list of things I didn’t know I’d love; a jade roller. I keep mine in the fridge and it’s magnificent. Some mornings I just roll it over my face to wake up, remove any puffiness (hello no sleep) and sometimes I use it to apply face serum. And finally my ukulele. It’s a dream and keeps my brain sharp!

Favorite handmade/free gifts:

One years worth of date ideas (12 envelopes each with a letter inside for that month and a date idea all planned out), a jar with 365 things you love about that person inside each written on a tiny scrap of paper crumpled up all cute, and if you have ANY artistic ability at all anything you make is truly cherished. I watercolor so when I can I paint and use some hand-lettering skills to create some artwork. Also writing songs, poems or even a letter can be so impactful.

My husband once wrote affirmations and spread them around the house on sticky notes and it made my whole year! I kept them up forever. We grew up making spiced nuts and bavarian nuts and wrapping them up all cute. I also made homemade soap one year (this was HARD and I recommend buying the one I linked above hah) and homemade vanilla extract is something I give to family every year. I’ve also made easy sugar or coffee scrubs and just put them in mason jars as gifts SO easy and feel amazing!

You also can’t go wrong with a donation to their favorite charity or cause! Make sure to make it personal to them and their heart to make it feel special.

On my list this year: The leather catchall and the wallet listed above. A new yoga mat, an ember mug, weighted blanket, composting system, chai tea set, crime junkie patreon, and pens, yes, pens. I am ridiculously specific about my pens. Stasher bags, always more stasher bags. That espresso machine is on here too but I have a feeling I can keep dreaming. And if I didn’t already own this AMAZING planner it would be on my list, it’s like a scheduled to-do list and a mini-devotional all in one. Literal game changer for me. Also some of your ideas below are making their way onto my list too!!

Alright these are all my favorites that are “gift worthy” but if you’re interested in seeing my amazon storefront that has more every day basics click here.

I also wanted to include a formula of how I think of gifts to give people so you can apply it to anyone in your life. First think of WHO you’re buying for. What is their life like? Are they busy? Are they a mom? Do they have space in their home? Are they travelers, homebodies, extroverts, introverts etc etc. Then I ask what do they LOVE like really love. What do they talk about? What do they care about? Is it their dog, the environment, their car, their health etc etc. Then I ask what have we talked about recently? Did they express a recent need or want to me? Even if it was big like “I’m so tired, I need a week of sleep” how can you turn that into a gift? Like maybe you get them one night stay in a local hotel and watch the kids overnight. Or maybe it’s just a sleep mask and some lavender bath salts. Or you could get them a new pillow that’s ergonomically designed for better sleep. People will often tell you what’s important to them, what they need or want – but it may not be clear. We might have to do a little decoding. I know this isn’t everyone’s gift but thought I would clue you in to how I think through it (when I have the brain strength haha! When I don’t I use gift guides!)

Your Favorites:

Legos (of course! We do the Lego Jr sets now vs duplos or the regular sets which have wayyy too many small pieces. The Jr sets are the best!)

Ice cream sampler

Konny baby carrier we have the solly baby and the wild bird ring sling (single long) and I love them both

Sketch of someone’s home (this is on my list of our first home! note*I have not used this artist but it looks great – you can search on etsy “sketch of home from photo” and pick one you like)

Learning tower

Massage/treatments/nails etc

Vuori performance Joggers

JBL clip wireless speaker

barefoot blanket

Made by mary necklace (these look so beautiful!!)

Homemade food

a day to shop together

apple watch

Fuego box hot sauce subscription

Facial steamer

Ugg boots

Phone soap (I’m adding this to my list!)

Pearl earrings

National parks pass

Foam blocks

Kiwi crate

Photo books & Letter books

Anything personalized

Tickets to a show/event (post covid)


Cooking classes

*This post contains affiliate links and some non-affiliate links.

Alyssa Miller picky eating dietitian
Hi there! My name is Alyssa

I'm a registered dietitian and picky eating specialist with nearly a decade of experience, mom of three, and the founder of Nutrition for Littles. I'm dedicated to making mealtimes enjoyable and nutritious for families.

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