This Christmas Give Good Gifts

My favorite gift ideas for loving people well

I love giving gifts.  I can’t wait for the actual gift-giving occasion to give them and am always accused by my family of having no patience.  (I don’t have much.) I do like receiving gifts, too, especially if they are selected carefully and thoughtfully in regards to who I am and what I love.  Perhaps it’s a fault, but if I had to give up receiving gifts and only GIVE them, I’d still be happy.  If I had unlimited supply of money, I’d buy and gift something to someone every day of the year.

OH! How I love to give gifts!

But I think it’s much more fun to give something that you know is a surefire winner.  I mean, that’s why we read all those reviews on Amazon while we’re shopping right?  But those recommendations are from perfect strangers, and well, you and I are friends, so you can trust my advice and wisdom here, people.

So, sit back and read, and enjoy your coffee and then head on over to Amazon and get busy.  And be sure you bookmark this gift list because you will want to come back to it!

Music Gifts:

Are CDs really out of date these days?  Well it depends how old you are.  If you’re over 40, you’re probably not streaming music all the time like the young’uns, even though you should be. So if you want to help a friend out, gift them Pandora so they can join the modern world. (I use it daily at the office, and pay for the subscription commercial free.)

But if you want to go old school (think the Nylons) and give a great listen this year, give a Pentatonix Christmas CD, a favorite at our house these days.  Regardless of how old you are, they have a pure sound and great vibe.  But what’s old is new, so maybe you want to get in on vinyl?


And if you don’t know how to play that vinyl because you gave away your 1970’s turntable, you can join the cool kids with this portable turntable.  Everyone’s doing it these days.


Another gift of music you can give is by my very own nephew, Griffin Peterson.  If you don’t want to spend much, but want a bang for your buck (literally) gift this awesome Christmas tune “Go Tell It on the Mountain”.  {If you just click on the double arrows on the right hand box, the drop down menu allows you to give it as a gift to someone!}


Another staple in my repertoire these days is this awesome UE Boom Wireless Speaker. You connect it with your phone bluetooth and take your tunes wherever you go.  I use mine in my office, but it easily fits in a suitcase for a trip to the beach, out on the boat, or for your hotel room.  screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-3-18-03-pm

Cooking Gifts:

I could go on for a long time about my favorite cookbooks and recipes.  But very few cookbooks grace my counter these days, and these are few that do.  These are very special and I use them. 

My first favorite is Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist. This is hands down my favorite book of hers.  I have made at least half of the recipes from this book—all AMAZING—and the stories of life, community and love around the table make me want more than just the beautiful food from her table.  Be sure to check out the gluten free brownies, the chicken mango curry, the goat cheese biscuits and the slow cooked scrambled eggs.  Life-changing, all.


Another winner is this doozy from Six Sisters.  Being that I myself have 6 sisters (there are 7 of us girls in my family) and we mostly love to cook, entertain and host, this one is dear to my heart.  I haven’t made anything from this book my family didn’t love! (or people I deliver meals to)  A few favorites: Chicken Lasagna and the Chocolate Bundt cake on the cover are just a few.  Add “A Year with Six Sisters Stuff” to your own wish list or get it for a friend.


Ok, I’ll be honest. I don’t have “The Pioneer Woman Cooks Dinnertime” yet, but I dropped a MAJOR hint to hubby last week that I wanted it under the tree this Christmas.  I started reading it online (Yes, I love to “read” cookbooks!) and I was hooked from the start.  Her simple recipes and step by step photos are key.  I made her pecan pie at Thanksgiving (YUM) and the weeknight tortellini soup (with modifications) last week – both found online, so I’m hopeful this treasure will end up on my counter before December is over.  And after all, who doesn’t want a dinner meal they can cook in 16 minutes?


A favorite tool in my kitchen is this Pampered Chef Mix & Chop which will change your life the next time you brown meat!


Family Gifts:

There has been no other book that has impacted my family’s Christmas traditions more than this one.  The Advent Book! Each year since they were small, we’ve cherished the journey through this book, taking turns opening each beautifully decorated “door” and reading the scriptures behind them.  My kids are all teenagers now, and it is still a meaningful part of our Christmas. It’s a must buy for your own family or anyone you love and want to give a special gift to this year.


Gift box subscriptions are all the rage these days, but how does one choose?  We gifted several subscriptions from Kiwi Crate last Christmas to friends with young kids and they LOVED them.  They have packages based by age and gender and you can send a one-time gift or a subscription of any length.

Fisher-Price Little People Nativity Set is another family gem!  If you haven’t given this before, get it now for a family or precious young one in your life.  screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-2-42-35-pm

Gifts for Her:

When my hubby brought me back UGG Slippers from Australia, I chastised him for being to extravagant.  But now I know: these are the greatest slippers of ALL TIME.  I have worn them from MN to NM and everywhere in between and after 7+ years, they are still in great shape!  They are super warm and have a durable sole so you can wear them out to get the paper (maybe even to the store, but who’s looking?)  They are admittedly on the spendy side at $100 bucks, but treat yo’ self or someone you love a lot with this awesomeness for your feet.   screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-2-54-51-pm

I just LOVE this Benefit Mascara I found at the AIRPORT kiosk of all places.  Isn’t life great?  Now we can buy make up from a vending machine!  The mascara I like is called “They’re Real” and if you’re not flying soon, get yours online. (a bit more pricey) Another product a good friend of mine loves is this Benefit POREfessional Agent Zero Shine Powder.   She swears by this cure for those of us who tend to “glow”!  Same friend recommends  Dr. Jart BB Cream , which is an all-around SPF, elasticity, and tightening cream. Not that any of us have wrinkles, but just in case.

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And you can round out the beauty fest with an all-around best ever in the hand lotion category

Aveda Hand Relief Moisturizing Cream .  I CANNOT live with out this in the winter.


Gifts that are great, and do good!

If you know me at all, you know I LOVE HAITI.  Singing Rooster is an amazing company providing jobs and exports for Haiti which is a win for everyone.  Whether it’s a monthly coffee subscription or this beautiful metal art, you can shop with purpose when you gift people you love with these goods.


You can also support Healing Haiti, our family’s favorite charity by purchasing great gear for anyone on your list— hats, t-shirts sweatshirts, stickers, coffee mugs, wall art all that help support job creation and bringing clean water to those in need!  My favorite one is this shirt probably because I love the expression “Holy Buckets!” and it helps bring clean water.



Well friends, that rounds out the list for this year.  I could go on and on, but now I’d like to hear from you! 

Question: Do you have a great gifts to share with us this year? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Sarah Beckman inspires people from the stage and on the page. She is the bestselling author of Alongside: A Practical Guide for Loving your Neighbor in their Time of Trial, which is filled with practical tools to love people well in the rough patches of life. Sarah speaks to audiences across the country on topics such as loving your neighbor, sharing your faith, safeguarding your marriage and digging up your talents.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “This Christmas Give Good Gifts

  1. I recommend the Amazon Echo Dot. I received the Amazon Echo this year from my husband and love it. They have come out with the Echo Dot…less than half the price at only $49.99, and from what I’ve read, has the same features with the exception of slightly lower speaker quality. I just talk to “her” and she will add things to my grocery list, play music I like, even order things from Amazon. I ordered a couple of the Dots on Cyber Monday for $39.99 and can’t wait to give them…good thing my Dad doesn’t read this post:)