Happy Thursday, Friends! I don’t know about where you are but it is bitterly cold in Manchester-by-the-Sea. We didn’t leave the house once today (except to walk outside and check on the progress of the front porch, I promise a full update with tons of photos next week) and we were in our PJs until about 3:30pm. I love relaxing days like that.
Have you nailed your Christmas shopping list yet? I have one more person to buy for and then stockings for Drew and AJ and I’ll be done. I thought I’d put together a few ideas if you were still looking for some Christmas gifts. One of my favorite gifts to get are books, I get lost in them and love to give good books to fellow book lovers like my grandfather and father-in-law. My book club read Bread and Wine and I loved it so much I asked for my own copy for my birthday! I’m in the middle of reading Mary Kay Andrews now and love her books… they are so relaxing and you find yourself falling in love with the characters. I put a different kind of book on the list, an e-book, by Ashley Urke author of the blog Domestic Fashionista. She has some interesting ideas for creating a healthy, happy house with easy ideas for how to make easy improvements to your life… and besides that… the e-book has some fun eye candy from her house. 🙂
Let’s move on to ideas for the little guys in your life. I took these ideas straight from Drew’s Christmas list or from items he has and loves. He loves painting (hence the coloring book) and Arthur and Curious George books. He loves any of his car mats (cars are what he spends 90% of his time on) and I thought this was a great option for a nice big one; Amazon has some great ones that are smaller and a little cheaper as well. Lastly, here is a fire engine like his beloved one, although I couldn’t find the exact link to his.
I chose the two charities in this list for very specific reasons. For years we’ve sponsored a couple of children through World Vision and every year for Christmas we give my Dad something from their gift catalog (this year I got him medicine for kids in need because the gift’s value was increased ten-fold because of a company’s donations, I believe). We love the work they do and how very little of the money you donate goes to overhead.
I chose Operation Smile this year because in August we had friends who had a baby born with a cleft pallete and it’s amazing the technology available to completely change his life through work done on his mouth and nose. Operation Smile can do those same surgeries for $250 for kids who otherwise wouldn’t be able to have their palette fixed and it’ll change a child’s life.
This year for Christmas AJ and I aren’t giving each other gifts in the traditional sense. We’ve decided to buy lights for the front porch with the money we would have spent on gifts. Have you ever done that with your spouse? I put together a couple of ideas in varying prices… For example, there are two gorgeous traditional pieces of furniture from AHF Furniture (a UK based company) that would be great classic pieces to add to your house. Then I put two more affordable updates to your home if a piece of furniture isn’t in your budget: bedding that I’ve loved for years from West Elm, their pin tuck duvet in Sea Foam and one of the outdoor lights we are considering from Lowes.
Lastly, I chose a few items that I just love. The bottom two are if you have money to burn (or maybe if you want to just find a lower budget option somewhere, Nordstrom Rack has great and affordable watches and Coach outlet is where I get all my bags (waaay cheaper than the regular store if you hit a great sale weekend)). I got a fabulous calendar for Anthropolgie, their vintage map calendar, for a Christmas gift for someone this year and it’s sadly sold out now, but love this other option. Lastly I love Old Navy’s sweatshirts and yoga pants. They are affordable and so comfortable!