Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday Gift Ideas

As the holidays approach, I thought I'd share some my favorite gift ideas. Please share your own favorite gift ideas in the comments section.

Toys That Fuel Imagination and Active Play

  • Play Silks: Super soft, lightweight, and beautiful. My kids love using their playsilks as capes, blankets for stuffed animals, parachutes, ropes, and much more.
  • Active Play: The Mini Micro Scooter is absolutely fantastic; it has 3 wheels (so it can be used by children as young as 3 years old) and uses the natural tendency of leaning to turn. When my children were younger, they learned how to balance on a bike by using the Kazam Balance Bike. It has no pedals; rather the child is able to walk and eventually run while learning to balance. 
  • Marble Run: My children have gotten much use out of their Marble Run. They love to rearrange the parts to create new ways for the marbles to reach the bottom.
  • Pelikan Watercolor Paints: These paints have gotten our whole family painting.  They are not washable, but they are really vibrant compared to the Crayola watercolors we've used in the past.

Skin and Body Care

  • Homemade Hard Lotion and Lip Balm: Hard lotion bars are made from coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax. These are a favorite for many of my friends and family.  Hard lotion works wonderfully as an all-purpose moisturizer as well as for extra-dry spots such as winter-time feet. It can even be used as a hairstyling product!
  • Homemade Whipped Body Butter: Body butter is an all-purpose moisturizer that is lighter than hard lotion and applies very smoothly and easily.  One good way I have found to store it is in a deodorant-type container; that allows for it to be easily smeared on legs, arms, or anywhere else. Whipped body butter would also make a great belly moisturizer for any expectant mothers. 
  • Coconut and Papaya Bar Soap: This luxurious soap has a wonderful, light scent, a smooth, foamy lather, and it doesn't dry out the skin.   
  • Herbal Healing Salve: This salve combines healing herbs such as calendula with coconut oil, beeswax, and essential oils. Healing salve works great for cuts, scrapes, bites, bruises and more. A good salve is an essential item for parents and homesteaders.

Natural Candles

  • Homemade Tallow Container Candles: Tallow candles are made using rendered beef tallow as candle wax. Tallow was traditionally used to make candles hundreds of years ago, and makes for pretty white candles.
  • Homemade Beeswax and Coconut Oil Candles: These candles impart a light, sweet smell to the air. This tutorial shows how to make them. (I used unrefined coconut oil instead of palm oil).

Nature-Inspired Gifts

  • Sock Bird Feeders: Our sock bird feeders bring us so much joy and wonder. They attract the cutest little birds.  We love to hang ours close by kitchen windows where we can watch the birds as we share meals or wash dishes.
  • Wooden Ornaments: My blogger friend Taryn and her husband Jeff make a wide assortment of wool and wooden objects, including beautiful Christmas ornaments.  I am astounded by the beauty that Jeff can create in these handmade ornaments.  
  • Celestron 44202 Microscope: A microscope is a fantastic way to see so much of the detail that goes into every natural object. We love using our Celestron microscope to take a closer look at insects, plants, rocks, and anything else we think of.  
  • Live Butterfly Garden: A live butterfly garden can bring such delight and wonder to children (and adults too).  This is a kit that comes with everything needed to raise caterpillars into butterflies. We re-use ours every year when we find caterpillars in our yard, whom we supply with ample food while we watch them grow and metamorphosize, eventually releasing them back out into our yard.

Do you make any homemade gifts? Which are your favorites?

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MamaWestWind said...

So many great ideas here. Thanks for featuring my shop!

Taryn Kae Wilson said...

Love your ideas, Sarah! Thanks so much for featuring our ornament and salve. Bracken LOVES his playsilks, that's a great one to have on the list. That Live Butterfly Garden looks awesome! I linked to you in my post today, thanks again!