My Favorite Gifts to Give and Receive
The holidays are very clearly here. The kids are bouncing off the walls every time they catch a glimpse of another toy catalog, the radio stations have begun to play the occasional Christmas tune, and some overzealous neighbors have already hung the lights on their house...and some have even turned them on.
One of my favorite aspects of the holiday season is gift-giving. Don't get me wrong - it's also nice to receive presents. But I am one of those people who sits there awkwardly, not sure what to say. What I really love is choosing the perfect gift for a loved one and wrapping it in beautiful paper. I love to watch them open their package and see how happy they are with my choice. As a parent, those moments on Christmas morning are simply magical.
I wanted to share with you the list of my top five gifts, but I couldn't decide if I wanted to tell you about the gifts I like to give or those I like to receive. I decided to tell you the top five things that I like to both give and receive at the holidays or any time of year.
1. Cozy, soft accessories: I love choosing scarf and glove sets for my children's teachers or close girlfriends of mine, but I also love to receive a pretty winter accessory to liven up an old coat or add a pop of color. The one shown here is from Lands End.
2. Gift cards: My favorite stores to shop in are Home Goods and T.J. Maxx, so there's nothing better to me than a little envelope filled with a couple of these beauties. They're also great for those hard to please younger relatives, and I recommend Home Depot and Lowe's gift cards for husbands for those weekend warrior projects.
3. Time to yourself: The first couple birthdays after becoming a mother, all I wanted from my husband was a meal by myself. He would bring home my favorite take-out, take the children from me, and I would sit on the floor in front of the TV, eating in peaceful solitude like the single woman I used to be. Whether it's babysitting a friend's children so she can spend an evening out with her husband, or taking your kids out for the day while your spouse has some alone time, there's nothing easier to give than time.
4. Personalized items: Another favorite both to give and receive is personalized gifts, especially those that include photographs. I purchased a tote bag for my mom one year with three photo openings, one for each grandchild. I also love photo calendars like the ones shown here from Shutterfly and Tiny Prints.
5. Time away with family: This year Santa is surprising my children with a quick getaway to Walt Disney World...a gift I am really giving myself. After a hectic year, there is nothing more important that you can give yourself and your family than time together making lasting memories and enjoying your time away.
What are some of your favorite gifts both to give and to receive?