Tag Archives: unique gifts

5 Gifts I Gave in 2015: Ideas for your 2016 Gift-Giving


Yeah, it’s been over two months since I’ve last posted.

That’s my longest stretch since I’ve started this little blog. And I have lots to say. So much that I kept writing and re-writing the return post in my head over and over. It seems like there is no satisfying way to jump back in, so let’s just do it with something easy.

It’s my annual list of holiday gifts I gave the previous year! I hope it spurs some ideas for you!

1 – Ornament Storage Box

Last year I shared how grateful I was that my husband’s mom gave him a new ornament every Christmas marked with the year. When we put up our first tree together, she made sure we got that box of ornaments. It’s just wonderful to have a tree filled with ornaments that have meaning and evoke precious memories!


I started to give my niece and nephews an ornament each year so that they’ll have their own collection when they become adults, too. Some years, I’ve done person-specific ornaments. Other years, everyone gets the same thing, but marked with their name and the year. Some years, the ornaments will be purchased. (Last year was Packer footballs!) Other years, they will be handmade. Although I’m not very crafty. If you are, check out last year’s post filled with links to all the crafty ornament ideas.

But then I started to wonder what happened to all of these ornaments when the kids took them home. Were they scattered about the house? Put in boxes? Would they even find them by the time they move out?

That’s when I had the idea to get them each an ornament storage box. There are so many styles out there, but this is the one I snagged for each of them on Black Friday for only $14.99 last year:



You don’t have to start the ornament tradition at birth like Rob’s mom did. It’s never too late! Give a box and start now with the very first ornament in the box. If you are crafty, you could even create yearly or special occasion ornaments. My hairdresser loved this idea so much that she thought about creating ornaments that represent each year; perhaps something from a vacation, an accomplishment or big moment in the year, a school photo. Then just put them all in the box to start!

Here is the note we included with the box for the kids:

Your Own Collection

Save all of the Christmas ornaments you receive over the years and store them safely in this container. When you grow-up and get your own place, you’ll not only have ornaments to put on your own tree, but also the memories of receiving them!


Aunt Carrie & Uncle Rob  ~ 2015


2 – Homemade Wine

You know all that wine we made in 2015? Well, our first batch was due to be ready on February 14th. Oh wow. That’s a little eerie typing that. February 14th has a whole new meaning for us now.

Anyway, we gave a bottle of my parents and a bottle to my brother and sister-in-law with a tag indicating the date it would be ready to drink. We had no idea if it would be any good, so I also posted a recipe to make to make sangria or mulled wine with it!

When the wine was opened in February, they all said (politely?!) that they loved it. I personally did not like it. But we’ve had some great sangria and mulled wine in the past year! 🙂


3 – Personalized Mugs

I just love giving personalized mugs. One year we gave Photo Magic Mugs that when hot liquid is added you can see a lovely photo of Sophie and Shamrock. Last year, I sent these to Rob’s parents, who live in Michigan.

I found the instructions here.  I found it difficult to write “Miss You” on the bottom of the mug like they did. So when I failed on the first one, I put it on the lip instead.


4 – Luxury

What you might find luxurious might be different for someone else. Have your gift recipient in mind. What would they find luxurious? A soft blanket? An electronic toothbrush? For a teenage girl, I thought a Venus razor set would be a break from the norm. I gave my favorite one. The type of razor does matter! One way to come up with a luxury gift for your loved one is to think of something they already like or already do and upgrade it. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You could get someone who likes to write a nice journal and/or pen.


5 – Books You Love

Now that I am finally back into reading, I’ll be giving a lot more of these this year. Last year I gave my teenage nephew A Dog’s Purpose – one of my all-time favorite fictional books that is written from the point of view of a dog.

What’s absolutely wonderful is that this past year, W. Bruce Cameron adapted his wonderful story for young readers (for 8-12 year olds, grades 3 to 7) and named it Bailey’s Story. (Shhh!!! My 9-year-old nephew is getting it this year!)

What’s more is that A Dog’s Purpose is now a movie and will be out in theaters in January! I can’t wait to see it, but am curious how it will be done from a dog’s perspective.

Tailor your gift to your recipient, thinking about what he or she likes. Or, offer up your favorite book(s) that you think might make them as happy as they made you. I’ve been trying to think of who else would like the book I’m reading as I’m reading it.

Best book I read all year? Kitchens of the Great MidwestI thought it was non-fiction, but it is a wonderful fictional story, especially if you live in the Midwest. It made me laugh out loud at times. Oh, but I listened to the audiobook version of this one. It was so worth it!


Want more unique gift-giving ideas? Here are a few of my posts from past years:

Looking for more ideas? Try these links!

Looking for more ideas? Try these links. Some are older, but I still think they have great ideas:

I’m baaaack…. (I think.)

What unique gifts did you give or receive last holiday season?