I have thought long and hard about what to put on my gift guide this year. I've combed through various sites, taken into account my own kids' preferences, and gone to various baby shows (that's a show featuring baby gear, not a show with babies performing, although the latter sounds more fun).
I haven't paid much attention to this year's "hot new toys", mainly because last year it was topped by the Furby (now in zigzag stripes!), which is the most annoying toy in existence. Also, who has time for such things? I don't need to drive myself crazy tracking down the hot new toy when neither me nor my child knew it existed a week ago.
This is just some of my favorite stuff. Items we own, things I want, toys I'm thinking about getting my kids and a few sponsored products that I included only because I would recommend them anyway. I just didn't know about them until someone pointed them out to me.
I've also listened to you guys. When I talked about GoldieBloks the other day and the need for more math and science focused toys for girls, you said there should also be more miniature kitchen sets and dolls made for boys. If you do a little digging, there's actually a lot more available than you think. Just not where it's really important— when your child is walking down an aisle in a toy store.
While the toy stores sort all that in-person experience stuff out, let's all give a big hand for shopping online!
The following items are my picks for this year's best holiday gifts. There are promo codes and special offers for my readers throughout, along with a bunch of great brands participating in today's giveaway.
1. Off-Broadway Puppet Theater ($39) – This is great space saver too. It's just a tie-back curtain you can hang in a doorway and then fold and put in a draw when you are done.
2. Easy Playhouse Castle ($34) – Don't waste money on a huge expensive playhouse when your child will be tired of it within a month. Get the cheaper cardboard version instead!
3. Xonex Big Art Set, 1 count (30126) ($32) – Mazzy got this as a present for her third birthday. I wanted to steal it for myself.
4. Dexton 6' Great Plains Teepee ($116) – Throw a sheepskin rug in it, take a picture and you've got a Pinterest-worthy play area!
Benbini Watches ($99) are designed to be the perfect timekeeper for moms. They've got a patented double bevel that lets you mark your time so you know exactly how long it's been since you put the baby down for a nap, gave a dose of medicine, or had your last cocktail. And it has a clever right/left slider to make life easier for nursing mothers. Maybe if I had Benbini watch when I was breastfeeding, my right boob wouldn't be so much larger than my left.
Benbini is offering %15 off if you use the code HOLIDAY1, plus free shipping until the end of the year. They are also participating in our giveaway today. See details at the bottom of this post.
1. Rosie Revere, Engineer ($10) – The rhymes are just as clever and the illustrations just as great as Mazzy's favorite Iggy Peck Architect, we're just dealing with a female heroine this time.
2. Goldie Blox and The Spinning Machine ($30) – By now you've all heard of the Stanford graduate who designed an engineering toy specifically to appeal to little girls. I'd buy it just to prove to the toy industry that these kinds of toys are in high demand.
3. Melissa & Doug Super Heroine Role Play Set ($30) – Mazzy can't be the only Pink Crusader out there.
7AM Enfant was at the Biggest Baby Shower a few weeks ago and I was super impressed with the design and quality of their winter gear for babies. Not only do they make thick cozy stroller footmuffs ($172) in multi-colored Chevron, they also make these ingenius mitts for your stroller called Warmmuffs ($38). The fingers are velcroed around the bar so you can just slip your hands in and out to tend to your baby with bare hands or fumble in your purse for your keys.
7AM Enfant is giving away one pair of Warmmuffs at the bottom of this post.
1. Wonderworld City Skyline Glow Block Set ($50) – These ridiculously cool building blocks shaped like NYC skyscrapers glow in the dark.
2. I Pretzel NY onesie ($32) – These awesome onesies designed by Alex from Piccolini (a tiny toy store in Nolita) come in toddler t-shirts and a variety of colors.
3. Daron MTA Licensed Articulated Bus ($19) – I gave this as a gift to a friend's son for his third birthday. She told me when they went on vacation, it was the one toy he insisted on taking.
Piccolini is giving away one NY onesie at the bottom of this post.
Moochie Custom Kid Calendars ($44) are customized with 12 personal photographs, a personalized cover with your kids' names, and a hand stamped bag with their initials. It is printed on beautiful thick paper and comes with a wood stand for an easy elegant display.
Even better, Moochie gives a discount for people ordering three or more so you can put together one calendar and then send multiple copies to friends and relatives. That takes care of both sets of grandparents!
Moochie is giving 10% off to anybody who uses the promo code MOMMYSHORTS.
1. Bitty Baby from American Girl ($80) – Nothing teaches a little girl how to help out with her little sister like having a baby of her own. Bitty Baby comes in a variety of different hair colors, eye colors and skin tones.
2. Big Sister Pillow ($30) – So much cooler than a Big Sister shirt.
3. Beco Mini Toy Doll Carrier ($29) – There is nothing cuter than walking down the street with your daughter wearing matching baby carriers. (Bear not included.)
4. Chloe, Instead ($6) – This is hands down my favorite children's book about welcoming a baby into the house. It deals with both the love and annoyance of having a little sister around.
1. Mustachifier – The Gentleman Mustache Pacifier ($10) – You've one week of Movember left; time to get started on your baby's mustache!
2. Someday I'll Grow A Mustache Onesie ($13) – Self explanatory.
3. Incog-NEATO Mustaches ($7.95 each) – It's hard to choose but I'd go with the Fu Manchu.
4. Mustache Pillow ($32) – This handknit pillow by Estella is 24" long and the perfect addition to any little hipster's room.
Casetagram's mobile phone covers ($39.95) is what I would want if I was your friend, FYI. You can buy one of their incredibly cool collection cases or you can build your own to include whatever layout of your instagram photos you wish. To make things super easy, you can create the whole thing and buy it right from your phone. Come to think of it, a custom Casetagram would also a great gift for the grandparents. If they are no longer using a rotary, obviously.
Casetagram is giving readers 10% off all purchases if you use the code MOMMY10 up until December 25, 2013. They ship for free worldwide and are giving away one custom phone case at the bottom of this post.
1. Imagine I Can Knitting Beginning Kit ($17) – A few years from now, when you are lounging around in your beautiful handknit blanket with matching hat, you'll thank me.
2. Artterro Wool Felt Wearable Kit ($20) – The cool kids create their own accessories.
3. Rainbow Loom ($20) – I've seen it. I've never tried it. I keep hearing about it.
Momma Love: How The Mother Half Lives ($45) by Ali Smith was voted the #1 Mother's Day gift by the New York Times Motherlode Blog and is definitely a great holiday gift as well. Inside are beautiful photos and stories from real mothers depicted in a way that is honest, heartbreaking and inspiring.
But don't trust me, trust Gloria Steinem…
“Ali Smith has given us a gift with Momma Love: a fresh, eye-opening, firsthand manisfestation of motherhood's contemporary realities."
Ali is selling her book for 30% off the cover price up until December 24th. She is also giving away a copy of Momma Love at the bottom of this post.
1. Mixie ($18) – This formula-mixing baby bottle invented by a dad totally blew me away at the Biggest Baby Shower. The formula compartment has a patented, airtight design so it can be filled in advance and mixed at feeding time. Somehow, the lid acts as a free-floating agitator to prevent any clumping.
2. The Baby Owner's Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips, and Advice on First-Year Maintenance ($12) – Someone gave this book as a gift to Mike when we first had Mazzy. It was meant as a joke, but it's actually ridiculously informative and very easy to use when you have emergency questions that you are too embarrassed to call a doctor about.
3. Magnificent Baby Footie ($30) – While this looks like regular old pajamas, it's actually a high tech piece of fabric held together by magnets. Well, it's not that high tech. But it makes it much easier to change a diaper in the dark when you don't have to fumble for snaps or buttons. Especially when your baby is squirmy.
Baby Jack Blankets creates sensory ribbon tag baby blankets by hand, with vibrant colors, modern patterns and plush dimpled backings. Each blanket has a variety of textures that babies love instinctively. And falling in love with a blankie can be a miraculous thing for both parent and child— allowing for quiet car rides, easy transitions and pleasant vacations when your child must feel comfortable sleeping away from home.
Baby Jack Blankets is offering %15 off if you use the code HOLIDAY1, plus free shipping until the end of the year. They are also participating in our giveaway today.
1. Ikea Duktig Mini-kitchen ($80) – Totally gender neutral and matches any home decor.
2. Asher Doll by Groovy Girls ($12) – Next step for Groovy Girls is changing their name, I hope.
3. Little Henry Vacuum ($33) – Everything about vacuums is intriguing for little kids. Which is great, because if you train them early, you might be able to make them actually useful.
Baby Jives made this beautiful handmade mobile ($50) for Harlow before she was born and it remains one of my favorite things in her room. Her mobiles come in other varieties like hearts, boats and birds and are the perfect addition to a modern nursery.
Baby Jives is giving away a $50 credit today.
And finally, since I'm Jewish and Chanukah is starting next week, I thought I'd throw in one last thing…
1. Mensch on the Bench ($36) – As the Jewish version of the popular Elf on the Shelf, Moshe the Mench is here to add one more tradition to Chanukah. However, he's currently sold out. But you can pre-order one for 2014!
2. Chanukah House Do-It-Yourself Kit ($20) – With all the strutural cookie pieces, icing to hold it together and decoration you need to make it truly festive inside the box, making a Chanukah House with Mazzy was actually my very first time making a gingerbread house. That's a tradition I am happy to adopt going foward.
Today I am giving away one Benbini watch, one $50 Baby Jives gift card, one Casetagram mobile phone case, one I Pretzel NY onesie, one pair of 7AM Enfant Warmmuffs, one copy of Momma Love, and one Baby Jack Blanket.
There will be a different winner for each item.
1) To enter, you must be a Mommy Shorts facebook fan. Then, simply leave a comment below saying what you want for the holidays this year. Not your kids, not your spouse, not your mother. WHAT YOU WANT.
2) If you would like a second entry, follow Mommy Shorts on pinterest and pin the giveaway graphic with #mommyshorts_holidaygiveaway.
Seven winners will be announced on Friday December 6th.
UPDATE: This giveaway is over. To see the winners, click here.
I would love a trip to a tropical island or maybe just someone to clean my house and unpack what’s left of the stuff we have left to unpack since we moved !!!!
I want 2.5 days baby/ toddler free (I have two under two that are 17 months apart.) The first night to get good and drunk. The next morning and most of the day to recover from said drunkeness. And the rest of the time to enjoy relaxing with little to no responsibilities and just painful boobs 😉
I want a new computer… I’m currently using two 7+ year old laptops because each has different faults.
I would love another pair of my favorite boots that no longer fit me since I had a baby and my feet got bigger!
I’m not on Facebook so I’m not sure this will count (although if I were, I would totally be a fan!), but I’d love an espresso machine for Christmas – that, and 15 minutes of quiet in which to enjoy a latte.
Do you know when the 7 a.m. discount code expires?
What do I want? I want a new down comforter and a laptop!
Book books and more books. Oh and uninterrupted time to read them.
I’d love a bread machine or a swifter steam boost mop lol.
Honestly? To get pregnant and not have it end in a miscarriage like last time.
I want a kuerig and year supply of k cups!!!!!
A day at the spa…..
For the laundry to automatically fold and put itself away… but in all actuality a new pair of sneakers to workout in would be great.
I want a weekend alone at the spa at Biltmore.
I want a pair of Frye boots.
I want one interruption-free night of sleep with the bonus of being able to sleep in as late as I want that morning.
I want a SPA day. I want to be taken care of for once. And a shopping spree
I have 2.5 year old twin girls who look better than me and have cuter clothe
I would love a glass of wine… In some peace and quiet!
All I want is a weekend to go visit my best friend in Chicago. She is getting ready to have her second little girl and I know life is going to be super hectic for a while!
I want a spa day! Hair done, massage, facial, soak, wrap, the works!
A spa day with no guilt about spending money or time on myself!
I would love a fancy new sewing machine or a vacation!
A weekend on a snowy mountain without and screaming children or an infant squirming in our bed!!!
A pair of kickass boots to amp up my wardrobe or a full night’s sleep.
The boots are probably more reasonable…
I would love a new wardrobe!! It’s sad that I haven’t been able to spoil myself in a LONG time!
I want a Kindle Fire. It would be for me and me alone.
To go with that I’d like my daughter to nap/sleep (in her crib) without my boob so I could actually use said Kindle Fire.
A million cookbooks. And a weekend trip away by myself.
A vacation away with my husband only! No kids !
I really want sleep!
I want a massage!
I want a day at the spa! Massage, facial, mani/pedi, and champs!
I just want help!! A maid once a month to really deep clean my floors would be amazing. You know you’re a mom whien you wish for someone to scrub your baseboards.
A massage! This chunker of a baby is in a clingy, “if you even try to put me down I will just crawl up your leg to get back up and pull your pants down in the process” phase and I’m not sure how much more my back can take!
As I just told my husband….I want 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Simple enough but he just laughed.
I want a cuisinart griddler…..and a copy of the Mama Love book!
I really want a new laptop for Christmas! I’ve needed one for a long time, we will see if Santa delivers! 🙂
I want a keurig! Or to own a Starbucks! Or a few days off! 🙂
My list: someone to clean my house, perhaps unpack & organize my chaos, that watch that’s featured would be awesome, an uninterrupted shower with enough time to actually do a good job shaving my legs, a mani / pedi, and an auto start for my car… Most of all, I want to see the joy & happiness on my kids faces this Christmas because at the end of the day, that is what really matters the most to me!!
Someone to lovingly clean and decorate my house for the holidays. And a very plain toaster (ours broke last month and my oven sets bread on fire.)
I want a pair of warm slip-on shoes (not Crocs!) that look decent so I can get my shoes on easily when I have to walk the dogs in the freezing cold Chicago weather with my baby in the carrier and my three year old on his bike. That’s it.
Time…I want more time!
A rose gold watch and perfume. I’m easy!
I would really love a bottle of real perfume – not the knock-off stuff I buy myself 🙂
Clothes! I need new clothes so badly 🙂
I’d love a spa day!
I would love for Quinn to sleep through the night.
As for something I might actually get? I kind of want to start knitting so I’d love a beginners kit.
Also, I pinned it: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/190347521724500291/
I would love the gift of a professional organizer. Seriously. Just someone to come in and tell me what goes where and what goes! I feel like I make some headway and then start drowning in the day to day stuff and BOOM! surface abuse EVERYWHERE! Gah!
Pinned the giveaway! http://www.pinterest.com/pin/52987733089659449/
Project life stuff!
I want a massage and relaxing time after.
I would love a family vacation with a white Christmas. Being from Connecticut and living in Georgia I miss snow at Christmas.
Love your blog!
A weekend with my best girls… Sans kiddos.
I would love a head to toe makeover:)
I want a day (or three) off and come home to an impeccably clean home and a well behaved child. Is that too much too ask? I’d settle for an iPad.
iPad mini. Sigh.
I want to go to New York. Besides the bus station! And pjs, man I want some fuzzy pjs…
I’m sick of washing dishes instead of spending time with my family. I want a dishwasher installed for Christmas!
I want a night in a hotel myself so I can get a good nights sleep!
I would like a vacation to a warm place with great food and no stress. I hear Belize might fit the bill.
I want a vacuum. A good one. Please!
I would love a spa day
I would love a day and night without the babe and husband. I want to sleep through the night I don’t want to be mad at the hubby because he can sleep through a absolutely anything. Especially the babe screaming at 2am.
I would like a cleaning service to come scrub all recognizable traces of juice, milk, pee, poop, sand, and other kid related detritus out of my house.
I was thinking what I really want this morning…. Usually it’s a personal chef or someone to do my laundry but being that it’s not realistic this year I would like some underwear and bras. I’m finally over looking like a mom and feel like 2 kids are enough I need to get my act together. When I put my ragged bra on it made a hole. So yes under garments would be nice!
I really would love to have my office space finished! I’m a WAHM who takes care of my lo during the day on my own and it would be awesome to have a finished space that’s just mine – even if it’s just a 4ft space of wall!
I want a Spa Day for Christmas!
I would like new makeup that hasn’t been destroyed by me 3 year old!
I want a nap. A long, three-hour, noiseless, uninterrupted, daytime nap.
I would love for my 10 month old to sleep through the night. Holidays are busy and I need sleep .. and every 3 hours is just too much lol
A camera! I’ve been using my phone for all pictures I’ve taken of my two boys. It’d be nice to have some better quality photos.
A new pair of boots!
I want my own library. And unlimited funds to fill it with all of my favorites and TBR books.
I want a piece of furniture for my entryway! We bought a house a little over a year ago and we are slowly furnishing it. The blank wall in the entryway is driving me crazy!
I would love a vacation with a hot tub involved, a new laptop, or parts of my house redone. However, I would be plenty happy with starbucks gift cards so I don’t have to feel so guilty about my coffee addiction.
My pre-baby clothes to fit again. At least my pants. I can dream, right? At least my 18 month old is keeping me on my feet all day, gotta get that exercise in somehow!
I’d like a set of sheets without holes. Every time I get a little money for new sheets something else pops up, and I’m sick with the old ones. And, since its a wish, I want good, soft sheets.
In a dream world, my own Skeeball.
I would like a new Ronaldo bracelet!
I would love an embroidery machine and/or a new purse! Having a new baby in late February and I want at least a month of a decent purse before diaper bag land takes back over!
I would like help of any kind. Help with chores, help with grading papers, help in the mornings to get a few extra hours of sleep, etc. I’m not even asking for all of the above, just one.
I would love a spa day!
Wow. Amazing list! What do I want? Hmmm never think about me. Maybe a use free home?? Permanently? Lol Actually, a membership to our Aquarium here in VA would be great. Educational and fun for my 17mo old little girl.
My dad passed away a few months ago and all I want is a tattoo I’ve designed in memory of him
I would some family photos with me actually in them, not the ever-absent mother behind the camera. Great holiday gift list.
We don’t have a lot of money to spend this year, especially on each other. But I would love it if my husband bought me an infinity (sign) necklace. It’ll still be species even if I had to show him instead of be surprised. Heck, I’ll be surprised even if I get it.
I would love for someone to come in and finish my house! Moving into a new house with a baby…yeah someone should have told me that is be lucky to get the boxes unpacked. And with another baby on the way…yep I need a miracle. Haha
I’ve been on maternity leave and am headed back to work in January. I would love to go to the mall and be able to find several pairs of dress pants in a style that I like. That would be amazing!
A new wardrobe… Since I will never fit into my clothes the same after my baby!
I’m dying to get a tablet!
A new bed frame.
I want to go on a vacation to a beautiful beach with my hubby and my three best friends and their hubbies! Lots of fun, Lots of drinking, and lots of alone time with the hubby! Oh yeah! !!
Tablet for lightweight travel entertainment.
I want an electric meat thermometer!
I would like to spend time with our entire family without the hassle of driving to Illinois one Weekend, two hours south another time, and trying to cram our family Christmas in with both sets of my in-laws and possibly something at my sister-in-laws all on the same day. I’m exhausted just thinking about it, but I wouldn’t trade in the quality family time on the holidays for anything.
I want a night of solid sleep. Baby #4 is 8 months old, but tiny (at the 0% on the weight charts) and still nursing every 2-3 hours at night because I’m afraid he’d be even tinier without it. He’s perfectly healthy and super active – just tiny. I also want a holiday season where none of my kids are sick. Realistically, I’d like to go see a movie by myself once or twice over the next month or two. We just moved to a new state, so finding a reliable babysitter would be good, too.
I think what I’d like most is some bras and underwear that actually fit and aren’t stretched out and ragged. I always feel better about myself when my lingerie is pretty and my boobs aren’t hanging to my knees or muffin-topping out of my bra. 🙂
I want a Dutch oven and/or an electric griddle. I pretty much only want kitchen and home things, things that we would have gotten as wedding gifts had we actually had a wedding.
A housekeeper and personal chef.
An interior decorator!
I would love a house cleaner!