Present planning

I roll my eyes at holiday displays in October (ugh! don't rush me, Costco!). But, I'll admit it, my Christmas gifting wheels are beginning to turn. I'm definitely not one of those organized souls who has everything all bought and wrapped by July 31st but I do like to bookmark potential gifts all year round. (We just watched What About Bob here and I think I'm going to take a Bob approach to the holidays this year: "baby steps to Christmas, baby steps to Christmas")

October's the time when I start making some decisions, especially if I want to (a) make any of the presents or (b) order from websites like Etsy. With that in mind, I thought I'd share a few of the gift ideas I've bookmarked lately. (Ahem. If you are MY KIDS, click away from here. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.)  

. . . 

First of all, if I were an expert quilter I would make this polaroid quilt for one of (all of?) my kids. You know those good ol' keepsake memory quilts made from old team/school tshirts? How about doing something a little more design-y while still honoring the trip down memory lane? (Tutorial here.) The beauty is that you could put pretty much anything inside the polaroid photo frames: embroidered words, fabric images (like the one below), abstract designs, or--how about this?--have all the kids draw a picture of themselves and then transfer the images and stitch over them in the polaroid frames for a perfect grandparent gift. I'm telling you, I'm going to learn to quilt JUST TO MAKE THIS project.

Photo via  Freshly Picked

Photo via Freshly Picked

For avid reader and book lovers, I'm sold on anything from the Literary Gift company. I mean. A handbag from a book?  

A typewriter pin for $8? 

See also: the novel posters (where the entire text of the book is hidden in the poster), book cover posters, and literary maps

Speaking of maps, this writeable globe is pretty cool. I love its look and can see it being used for years of geography studying and globe challenges.

Know anyone who owns a gadget? Anyone at all? This cordito from Etsy seller This is Ground is such a beautiful solution to carrying all those cords and chargers around. They've got lots of other cool leather things: cord tacos, phone cases, folders.


I already mentioned the Forever Young locket I got Maddy last year as a special keepsake. I think this fortune cookie necklace from Etsy seller Christina Kober would be another lovely option for a nice, heartfelt gift for a teen. I think I might send something like this to Lauren, who will be far away (whimper) for the next two Christmases. I love that you can personalize the fortune, too, that hangs down from the clasp at the nape of the neck. What would yours say?


Who doesn't love a pair of funky socks? It looks like Sock It To Me has kind of cornered the market on distinctive, fun socks. In addition to this American Gothic pair I spied on Pinterest, they also have a Chat Noir, a Starry Night one, and many more.  Including super stripes.


I adore the Timex Weekender series. Great for teen guys or gals. (Or moms named Annie.)  Handsome, colorful, and inexpensive.


And I think this scratch-off map is fun to keep track of your family's travels (at Restoration Hardware; their stocking stuffer section always has a good bunch of options).


When I attended my cousin Lindsey's beautiful wedding, I noticed so many lovely details. They had birch place card holders at each plate and I have loved using mine here at home as a holder for a rotating gang of art postcards. I thought it would make a great gift for the girls I work with at church, paired with a small inspiration poster. Or they could make great friend gifts for teen girls to give with some fun card or ticket or photo. Etsy seller Vermont Branch Company sells 10 birch stump place card holders for $12.50. Or, if you're handy with a saw and have access to some gorgeous branches, you could make these yourself. (By the way, if you're trying to find a good friend gift, wedding sites are a good resource for ideas. Their favors tend to be classy and relatively inexpensive.)


What's on your list of gift ideas this year? How do you plan your family gifting? Though I don't follow it strictly, I really like the guidelines my mom told me many years ago: 

Something to wear
Something to read*
Something to play with
Something you need. 

I'm too rebellious of a shopper to abide by it completely but it does help guide me for the sake of variety and fairness. 

p.s. I promise not to overdo the whole Christmas in October thing, but I do have a post on holiday card ideas in the works. Don't stress. No worries. We've still got all the time in the world. Baby steps. 

*I promise we'll cover books another time. 

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