My favourite season comes with the inevitable challenge, what should you get for your friends, family, neighbours, workmates, and random other people who seem to expect a thoughtful gift but are happy to re-gift a selection of teas that they got from their office secret Santa.
To make it easier, I’ve broken it down into price levels within these categories:
- Art and Building
- Tech Gadgets
- Dolls and Teddies
- Hobbies and Crafts
- Tech Gadgets
- Cool and Quirky
The cheaper gifts are around $10, then something a little more expensive at $30-$60, and finally the extravagant $100+.
Also, most of the links are for online purchase. Don’t forget to leave a little extra time for delivery as your friendly mail carrier gets pretty busy this time of year.
The 2017 Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide
Art and Building Toys
$10: I really like Melissa & Doug wooden toys as they’re well made and aren’t more plastic for the toy box. For $10.99 CAD, this 52 wooden alphabet magnets is a great stocking-stuffer or gift for a child learning the alphabet. It’s particularly useful for keeping them busy in front of the fridge while you cook dinner.
For slightly older kids, a pack of stickers will keep them busy for hours. The Crayola Sticker Design Studio has a mat, 3 paint bottles, and lots of re-positionable stickers. Now you’ll be safe to fall asleep in front of the TV without being jumped on. It’s under $15 CAD from Amazon.
$30-$60: Perfect for occupying them on a rainy Saturday is this Pottery Cool Studio with bonus project. This is great for getting your child into crafting with clay and they can actually make something to be proud of. It’s $39.97 from WalMart.ca
LEGO is always a winner. This City Trains set is for ages 6-12 and has 888 pieces. It includes 4 minifigures: a forklift driver, a train driver, a farmer and a truck driver. The cargo train has a motorized locomotive with 8-channel, 7-speed infrared remote control. For $45 CAD, that seems like a fun project well worth the money. Available at Walmart.ca
$100+: Meccano was created in England after World War II as there was a shortage of engineers. It was meant to inspire creativity and educate kids in how to build things. Things have changed a bit since then and now you can program your robot after you’ve built it. This Meccano MeccaSpider Robotic Toy has built-in games. It’s $139.97 CAD from WalMart.ca
$10: This category was hard to find something good to fit the budget. I think I’ve done it though. This LED pocket microscope is perfect for getting your little ones interested in science. They can look at bugs, sand, coins, or whatever they can find and see the hidden details. It’s $14.81 from Amazon.ca
$100+: The Nintendo Switch is this year’s hottest console. I remember getting an original GameBoy and I was glued to Tetris and Super Mario for years. It’s $400 CDN but hopefully you can always play on it while your child is napping. The latest Super Mario game, ‘Odyssey’ looks like another epic adventure for the brand’s central character.
Dolls and Teddies
$10: That’s right, Hatchimals are back and this time, they’re collectable. These are right at the top of the Must-Have lists for Christmas and will probably sell out before the big day. For $13.50 CAD, you get a 4-pack and a bonus creature.
$30-$60: If you’re in the USA, give your kids an in-depth lesson in geography. They’ll learn their states better than most adults with this jumbo colouring poster. It’s $38.03 CAD from UncommonGoods.com
$100+: Another find from Melissa & Doug is this Multi-level wooden dollhouse with furniture. It’s wooden, so won’t snap or fall apart and will last for years. It’s $149.99 CAD with free shipping from Amazon.
Hobbies and Crafts
$10: After all the indulgence over the holidays, you’ll probably be making a couple of new year’s resolutions to lose weight and to get in shape. We’ve all said “This year I’m really going to do it”. Keep it up beyond the 3rd of January with this Everlast Twist Board and start working on your abs before the Summer. Don’t blame me if your recipient is offended by your offer of fitness equipment though! $11.97 from Walmart.ca
$30-$60: Once the ground thaws, it’ll be time to get back to the garden and grow yourself some vegetables. This all-in-one garden tool set has a stool, detachable canvas tool bag and all the tools any green-thumbed gardener will need. It’s $44.99 CDN from Amazon.ca
$100+: Again, this is fraught with potential offense, unless they asked for it, but a 3 month membership to your local gym is a great idea for a gift. There are always deals on to encourage those of us who want to burn off the many, many Christmas leftover sandwiches and extra large Toblerone.
Or, if you’d prefer your gift recipient to finally put those shelves up, give them the power tools to do it. This Cordless Combo Drill Kit from Dewalt has plenty of power to play (work on serious jobs) with. This one is $189 CAD from Amazon.
$10: I have to put my hands up on this one. I simply couldn’t find anything worth mentioning for $10. Just get him/her a Toblerone. Remember, if it’s a triangle, the calories don’t count.
$40-$80: I wasn’t sure where to put this one, but I wanted to include it because I love mine. This ultrasonic diffuser from Saje.com lets you have one of the company’s incredible range of aromatherapy scents wafting through your home or office. I have one by my bed that either has a couple of drops of lavender oil, or just the plain water mist. The heating over the winter has been drying me out, until I switched on my diffuser. (Not an ad, I just love it). It’s $79.95 from Saje.com
$100+: You’re paying too much for coffee. There I said it. If you want your own espresso, get a Nespresso. You’ve probably seen the TV ads. Sure it’d be nice to be like George Clooney, although I associate myself more with Danny DeVito.
It’s $179 CAD from Amazon.ca but be on the look-out for deals before Christmas. If you’re giving it to someone, throw in a few Nespresso ‘pods’ so they’ve got something to drink that isn’t egg nog.
Cool and Quirky
$10: This is perfect for your office secret Santa. this USB powered clock/fan plugs into the computer and will keep you cool while giving you the time. Useful? Not really. Cool, yep.
$30-$60: A 3D printed moon light. It’s a USB rechargable light that comes with a wooden stand. It’s $41 CAD (with free shipping) from Amazon.ca and is perfect for that special someone who you have no clue what to buy for.
$100+: If you’re buying for a loved one or a couple, this Intersection of Love print makes a really nice gift. They take your names and make a personalised print just for you. It ranges from $95.23 – $222.20 CAD depending on the type of frame and sizing you’re looking for. Available at UncommonGoods.com
There are plenty of ways to do something really good this season, from giving a few dollars to someone looking for a warm meal, to donating online. Here are a few easy-to-donate options:
Disclaimer: There a couple of affiliate links in here. If you click on them and buy the item, I get about 1 cent. So far, I’ve earned about 3 cents. I’m very much looking forward to retirement in 2218.
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