Ahh, the holidays.
There’s so much to do. So many people to visit. Countless traditions to keep up with. A whole stack of favorite recipes to bake.
And suddenly, what was supposed to be a family-focused time to be grateful for the important things in our lives has turned into a stressful, complicated circus.
It doesn’t have to be so crazy though.
Instead of only sharing what I’ve learned about the holidays through the years, I’ve invited another 10 homemaking experts to help uncover exactly how to make the holidays the beautiful time of year they should be.
Be sure to check out the introductions post to read more about all of the homemaking experts and to visit their websites.
What is your favorite gift to give? And what’s on your wish list this year?
Emily Chapelle –
Sometimes I give people specific items that are on their wish list if they’ve made one. Other times, I’ll give consumable or mostly-consumable items, especially if they can enjoy them more than once (like a rainbow loom kit for my niece, or essential oils with a diffuser for my sister.)
On Emily’s Wishlist – Final Cut Pro. I want to compile some of my family video clips into home movies we’ll actually watch!
Laura Wittmann –
I love to give unique gifts to friends and family where it doesn’t matter if they already have something similar, like jewelry (you can never have too many bracelets!) and scarves for instance. I also think gift cards are a wonderful idea for clutter free gift giving. The recipient gets to choose something for themselves that they will really love and use.
On Laura’s Wishlist – Always Pandora charms!
Joshua Becker –
Each Christmas, we give our kids gift certificates to their favorite restaurant with enough money to treat the whole family. They are able to take out the family any evening they desire throughout the year. It’s a fun tradition.
On Joshua’s Wishlist – My wife says I need to ask for a new blanket for our bed… so that’s exciting.
Courtney Carver –
I like to gift experiences, and sometimes books.
On Courtney’s Wishlist – Love, magic, time, reflection and connection. I want it all.
Becky Rapinchuk –
I love finding unique and fancy consumable gifts that people would never buy for themselves like fancy bath products, great smelling candles, cute kitchen sink accessories, and food baskets. Giving consumable gifts ensures that the gift will get used up and won’t become the receiver’s clutter.
On Becky’s Wishlist – A new mixer – I love my Kitchenaid but the motor is dying a slow death. Almost 15 years old and lots and lots of baking will do that. I’m hoping it makes it through all the holiday baking!
Jen Jones –
Themed baskets. I love putting together baskets for people based on their skills, passions and hobbies.
On Jen’s Wishlist – Cozy pajamas.
Andrew Mellen –
My time. I travel a great deal for work and just being able to be with the people I love without having to “do” anything is my favorite thing to give AND receive.
On Andrew’s Wishlist – Peace on earth, as corny as that may sound. I am blessed to not need any material things and I’ve dedicated my life to helping others recognize that they probably don’t either.
A return to our collective values as a society of caring for each other, respecting each other and encouraging and nurturing the best in and for each other would transform the world into a place where no one would be hungry, homeless or at risk. I can’t think of anything more beautiful than that.
Rachel Maser –
I really LOVE giving gifts. My favorite type of gift is something I have heard the person mention at some point during the year, and they had no idea I was actually paying attention! It’s almost more about a feeling of “You are important & I value what I hear you say”. It’s so fun to surprise someone with something they will treasure. If a gift does not pass this test…then don’t buy it!
On Rachel’s Wishlist – My personal holiday wishlist would include any unique serving dishes or table dressings to use in the photography for my blog. As much as I like to keep things simple, it’s still fun to have a few beautiful pieces to inspire meals, and set a nice tone. I also seem to collect running shoes. If Santa brought me a new pair of brightly colored running shoes…I promise I wouldn’t complain.
Danielle Smith –
Alex and Ani bracelets – each comes with a beautiful message and there are so many options – allowing me to find the perfect fit for so many of the women/friends in my life.
On Danielle’s Wishlist – Well – I’m a video girl and so far, I’ve held out for the GoPro….my husband knows it is on my list – fingers crossed.
Beau Coffron –
My favorite gift to give is jewelry to my wife. I save up throughout the year to buy her something that is not over the top expensive, but is special and unique.
On Beau’s Wishlist – I am always trying to improve the photography on my blog so I would love a new camera lens.
Jen Hadfield –
Of course I love handmade gifts. Handmade gifts seem so much more thought out and special. I love seeing something someone made with their own two hands. It really touches me. I love making little gifts for my family and friends. And neighbor gifts are so fun to make too.
On Jen’s Wishlist – As I get older my holiday wish list gets smaller. I just want my kids to be happy and for them to be good people. Spending time with family is what really makes me happy.