It makes me sad when I am in a store and see people tossing things into a cart. They think “this will do” for so and so because it fits within their budget. I see so much waste. Gifts that will not be appreciated, or are not needed. Many pushed aside permanently; and those that will simply end up as thrift store donations the week after Christmas. As a family, we have chosen to eliminate so much STUFF that the last thing we want is a closet refill for ourselves or someone else. We’d like to think that many of our gift ideas will SAVE the recipients $$$’s over the years. These gift ideas will enable them to make something themselves, throw less away, and overall reduce, in general! Hopefully you can find some great ideas with our Holiday Gift Guide.
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2017 Holiday Gift Guide
For the Cook-
Our favorite bread is sourdough….it really is a weakness! So now we have starter on the counter and in the refrigerator. We found success using Gold Rush Old Fashioned San Francisco Style Sourdough Bread Starter, 0.5 Ounce Packets. Since I am gluten-intolerant, I became aware of the great things about making sourdough using Montana Wheat. I have not had my usual side effects of eating wheat using this combination.
I have been closely following Tamara Rubin from Lead Safe Mama and Carrisa from Creative Green Living who are both advocates for informing the public of lead in consumer products. With this new information, I am making safer choices in my home. Pyrex measuring cups contain lead in the red paint marking so I have replaced them in my kitchen with clear glass choices (without paint) from Pampered Chef and Anchor Hocking. I recently purchased an Anchor Hocking Glass 8 oz Triple Pour Measuring Cup. It is my new favorite measuring cup in the kitchen!
Give the gift of improved gut bacteria-
Cultures for Health Water Kefir Grains – Heirloom Organic non-GMO Live Dehydrated Starter. We are going on almost a year of making water kefir.
We use swing top bottles for our 2nd fermentation of the water kefir. I purchased ours locally at a beer brewing store but you can also find them on Amazon.
Last year we featured a couple of items for brewing your own kombucha. Well, we are still using The Big Book of Kombucha , and now we are brewing continuously so we needed to upgrade our brewing vessel. We chose Circleware Beehive Huge 3.5 Gallon Glass Beverage Drink Dispenser for our brew. The brew safe stainless steel spigot we had previously purchased from Kombucha Kamp works perfectly in it. Now we have enough kombucha for the whole family to enjoy without having to purchase any!
Does someone on your list enjoy the outdoors or have issues with power outages?
A number of years ago we received a MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0 – Inflatable Solar Light as a Christmas gift. We love camping and this lantern works great inside a tent, inside the rv, on the tabletop at night, for walks to the bathroom, or when the power goes out at home. Since it is inflatable it doesn’t take up hardly any room in the motor-home and is easy to charge.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Compost, Unplug-
One way we found to reduce waste is investing in Eneloop Rechargeable Batteries. These batteries have been used in our house for a number of years, they are a great investment! Great for remotes, headphones, for the clocks below, and so much more.
Back in 2015 we replaced our plug-in alarm clocks with old-school alarm clocks. There were a couple of reasons we did this. First of all, we don’t keep our phones in our bedroom (for alarms). The energy emitting signals of cell phones emit harmful energy that can be disruptive to sleeping. And second, we didn’t want a a digital clock that we could see when we rolled over at whatever hour in the morning. Besides, the light can be distracting all by itself. We did away with our digital alarm clocks and haven’t looked back!
For our daughter who is a heavy sleeper, we purchased this horribly loud but super cute clock Retro Twin Bell Silent Non Ticking Alarm Clock that does the job of waking her up…and anyone else in the house.
For our room I fell in love with the look of the a Handmade Classic Small Round Silent Wood Alarm Clock with its simple design. The stainless button atop illuminates the face, as well as providing the snooze feature.
This past year we have drastically reduced our household waste partly by using the YukChuck Under-Counter Indoor Kitchen Food Waste Compost Container/Bin System. In the past we had a bowl on the counter which was not appealing to look at and attracted fruit flies. Now with our new compost container that mounts inside the sink cupboard it is out of sight and latches closed… so no bugs! Our family has been composting much more with the use of this bin! The Biobag 3 gallon Food Waste Bags work excellent in the bin and make replacing each time quite easy; however, they are only suitable when using a commercial composting facility, which is typical of a curbside yardwaste service. (If you are composting at home, skip the bags.)
For the landscaper or gardener-
If you are like me and enjoy a beautiful, clean edge on your lawn the WORX WG163 GT 3.0 20V Cordless Grass Trimmer/Edger is battery operated and easy to use. It does a great job keeping our 1/2 acre looking good.
It takes a while for us to jump on the new craze but after much though I think 2018 will be the year of the Instapot for us! I have been listening to all the chatter about this latest gadget, but I think I have finally heard and seen enough to know that if we purchase one it won’t be a dust collector. We have decided on the Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker because I want it to be able to make yogurt, also. I purchased Cultures for Health Vegan Yogurt Starter Culture that I am anxious to try.
A goal of ours is to get our 14-year-old daughter in the kitchen cooking a couple of nights a week. She has spent some time in the kitchen, but not nearly enough. A meal delivery program will assure detailed directions (not coming from mom), and all the ingredients without having to run to the store.
I have researched a number of meal delivery programs and have decided that after Christmas we are going to start delivery of Hello Fresh. Why did I choose Hello Fresh? One of the complaints I had heard about these types of program was the waste. Hello Fresh’s packaging is all recyclable and I like that they carefully source their ingredients. If you have had any experiences, good or bad, with home meal delivery programs, I would love to hear about it!
And the most important gift you can give..
It sounds so cliche but I do believe it to be true.. the best gift to give is yourself and your time with your loved ones. It seems like life gets so busy we loose sight of what is the most important!
Check out our gift guide from last year for more ideas!
Hopefully you found some great ideas with our Holiday Gift Guide!