Gifts Galore! A Guide to Holiday Gifting BY: Sarah Nonnenkamp

Today’s post comes from my BFF, Sarah. She is queen of creative gifting around the holidays! Enjoy! -The Summer Wife, Jen

It seems to me that we start the Christmas season earlier and earlier as the years go by, but that’s no issue because I love celebrating and preparing for the holidays – the longer I get to enjoy the glowing lights, warm laughter and cozy evenings the better! With the bustle of the season’s preparation comes the task of shopping around and selecting “the perfect” gifts for all of your loved ones.

I always make it a goal to have most all of my Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving arrives. I come from an extremely large family — there are four sides we celebrate. A typical shopper might find the prospect of gifting for over 25 people daunting, but over the years I’ve found a few tried and true tricks that make Christmas gift-giving more enjoyable.

Pick a Theme: You don’t have to get to kitchey when picking out a theme for your gifts, that’s not what I’m inferring here, but if you can narrow your gifts down to a certain category, you’d be surprised at how personal your gifts can still be!

Here are some starting categories to consider:
Board Games

Get Crafty: Look for a feasible project that you can personalize, whether it be a monogram, quote or picture that is meaningful to your gift recipient. If you aren’t sure about tackling something artsy, you can get something monogrammed at many retail sites or even find someone who can do it in bulk for you on Etsy. I got crafty last year with a ‘chalkboard’ theme for my family. I found frames that fit each family’s home decor and then hand painted the included backing with cardboard paint and personalized their last names names and home cities on each board. For my friends, I painted cardboard triangles from a hobby store, added some cute designs, and strung them through rustic twine for personalizable banners they could use for any event. Each project only took about a half hour each when I did the painting in batches, so I was able to take care of many gifts at one time. Here are some pictures!


Make it an Experience: Gifts don’t always need to tangible items to be special. These days, time seems to fly, we get lost in our days and quality time with loved ones slips away. What better gift to give than a shared personal experience? Planning logistics and keeping the gift a surprise can be a challenge for this concept but the memories you make from your gift often far outlast typical physical items received.

Some ideas:
Ballet, Play or Movie Tickets
Sports Games
Museum Passes
Ice Skating
Trip Away

If you try out one or a few of these tips this year, I can guarantee you’ll have fun getting creative about making your gift thoughtful and personal, and with plenty of time to kick back and enjoy the holiday season with your family and friends, instead of fretting down to the wire.

On that note, I will leave you with the following quote that spoke to me this year. Have a very Merry Christmas and soak up this season’s blessings! -Sarah

“Christmas! The very word brings joy to our hearts. No matter how we may dread the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given–when Christmas Day comes there is still the same warm feeling we had as children, the same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes.” ~ Joan Winmill Brow

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