Christmas will be small and simple in our home this year. It’s unlikely that we will see many family members and our gift budget is modest. Even with the limited spending, Rob and I both benefit from shopping suggestions for the other person, so we compiled Christmas wishlists to share with each other and any family members that are also scratching their heads trying to think of the perfect gift for either of us. We shared Dessa and Harvey’s Christmas wishlists on the blog a few weeks ago, and are happy to be back with a look at the gifts we are hoping to find under the tree this year. If you know someone our age with a similar lifestyle or interests, these gift suggestions might bring the shopping inspiration that you need.
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Maria’s Christmas Wishlist
I start collecting ideas for my Christmas wishlist in January and gradually add items throughout the year. My list is typically full of practical items that I would love to own, but don’t absolutely need. When I step back to look at this year’s wishlist, I can’t help but see a few very distinct themes, the first of which is at-home self-care. After eight long months at home (and counting), I can use all the simple self-care solutions that I can get my hands done (especially if the products make my hands look a little prettier). The few wardrobe items I have on my list are also clearly intended for casual comfort at home, and it’s pretty easy to tell that I have a bit of an obsession with blush pink and neutral colors. Here’s a quick look at all the items I have my eye on this year. Click on the image to shop, or scroll down to read more about each item and with shopping links.
- Beautycounter Skin Twin Featherweight Foundation ($45): For the past year or so, I’ve been gradually switching to cleaner household and beauty products. Even though their products are a little pricey, I really love the Beautycounter brand because they actively advocate for legislation demanding higher safeguards for beauty and skincare products. I’ve been using Beautycounter’s Tint Skin foundation for the past year, but the company released their Skin Twin foundation line this past year. I sampled a shade to match my complexion and was thrilled with the results. (Right now the foundation is 15% off, so grab some at a low price while you can!)
- Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara ($23): I’m happy I made the switch to clean makeup, but it took some trial and error of searching for a great clump-free mascara with safe ingredients that I love. I tried a travel size of Lights, Camera, Lashes earlier this year and fell in love. It gave me the reassurance of knowing I was using a beauty product with clean ingredients, without sacrificing any clump-free performance. This was a no-brainer for my Christmas list. (Save 30% on Tarte cosmetics with code CYBER for a limited time.)
- Latched Mama Petal Front Nursing Hoodie 2.0 ($49): Of all the items on my wishlist, this one may seem the most out of place. I’m not pregnant, past the breastfeeding stage with Harvey, and I’m quite certain that I’m done having babies. Yet I couldn’t resist putting a heather gray hoodie from Latched Mama on my Christmas list. You see, I actually asked for the pebble color of this top last year, received it from my mother-in-law, and absolutely fell in love. The hoodie is a perfect combination of warm, lightweight, long enough to wear with leggings, is flattering to wear and the cut hides any unwanted curves. The pebble shirt from last year is practically part of my at-home mom uniform (I wear it at least twice a week and am sporting the shirt once again today) and I really want to add a second one to my wardrobe. The heather gray color is exactly my style and will fit perfectly into my closet.
- Nail Polish Remover Caps ($8): The worst part of an at-home manicure is removing the polish from my previous manicure before I can begin. It always takes forever for me to completely remove old polish the old-fashioned way, and I’ve heard great things about these polish removing caps! They give all of your nails a chance to soak in polish remover so that the saturated old polish can wipe right off. Best of all, they’re very affordable.
- Beautycounter Countertime Deluxe Mini Set ($169): I’ve been wanting to try a high-quality skincare regimen for a while and even bit the bullet to try a less-expensive regimen from a different clean beauty brand when I was pregnant with Harvey, but the product made me break out after a few weeks of use. I tossed the old products and set that goal of finding a great clean skincare routine on the back burner for a while and almost forgot about it until Beautycounter released the Countertime skincare line. I am curious about this regimen because it’s an anti-aging formula that uses a safer alternative to retinol. Right now, Beautycounter has a limited edition mini version of the Countertime set that really has my attention since storage space is limited in our house (especially in the bathroom). And just in case the unthinkable happens and my skin gets irritated by the products, Beautycounter has a 60-day free return policy that gives me extra peace of mind.
*The full-size products are here to stay, but the mini set is a limited edition that will disappear very soon. So, if you’re interested, act fast before it’s gone.
- Olive & June Mani System ($50): I really love a good manicure and try to visit the nail salon every few months to keep my nails groomed and in good shape, but these days I’m not sure how long it will be before I have a chance to get my nails done professionally. I’ve been hearing good things about the quality of Olive & June products, which are rumored to be long-lasting and are trying to clean up their act by keeping a few particularly unsafe ingredients out of their polishes. They have a Mani System that comes with polish plus seven tools, plus a bottle of topcoat. I really want to give the Mani System a try – especially the Poppy, which is a special handle that attaches to any bottle of nail polish and makes it easier to grip and manipulate while you paint. (Save 25% on everything at Olive & June right now with code MAGIC25.)
- Allbirds Wool Pipers ($95): You may recall that Rob and I each bought a pair of Allbirds shoes last year and gave them a try. Rob loved everything about his Tree Runners – so much in fact that he bought a pair of Wool Runner Mizzles to try this past spring and loves his Mizzles even more than his Tree Runners. When I bought my pair of Allbirds, I really wanted to get a simple pair of gray Allbirds in a casual everyday style. Tree Skippers seemed like the best choice for my lifestyle and while they were comfortable with a pair of Bombas no-show socks, the toe shape really bothered me and the white pair that I settled on got dirty almost instantly. I wear my Skippers often in the summer, but they’ve become the shoes I bum around in, rather than something special that I really like. Allbirds recently released their new Wool Pipers style in a silhouette that is just my style with gray as a color option. The fact that they are wool means they will be extra-cozy to wear out of the house this winter, and you know they’ll look great with a pair of black leggings.
- Packing Cubes ($19): Rob and I haven’t stayed anywhere overnight since our family getaway to Charlevoix back in August of 2019 – when I was pregnant with Harvey. When this pandemic is behind us, I’m determined to go on a much-needed family vacation and I want everything about the trip to run smoothly – including our packing our bags! These packing cubes will be a perfect way to keep everyone’s belongings organized in our luggage. They come in lots of colors, but of course, I have my sights set on the gray.
- Fleece-lined leggings ($31): Since I’m stuck at home with no place to go, black leggings have become an essential part of my daily style. They’re casual, comfortable and make it easy for me to crawl around while I play with the kids. The only problem is that my legs get cold and I prefer to be warm and cozy. Since it’s not an option to sit on the couch with my legs wrapped in a blanket all day, fleece-lined leggings are the logical way to add a little extra warmth. I found this pair on Amazon and they seem like the perfect choice with 4,000 positive reviews and a reasonable price.
- Color Street Nail Strips ($13): When I take the time to do my nails, I alternate between using regular nail polish (my current go-to is Vinylux Romantique) and Color Street Nail Strips. There are different things I like about each type of nail treatment, but Color Street has the distinct advantage of being smudge-free because they aren’t wet. Even better yet, Color Street actually encourages women to do their nails in bed right before they go to sleep. I’ve used Color Street several times, and it’s so relaxing to do my nails in bed while I watch a show on our iPad. I always love to do my nails in a pale shade of pink, so I’ve got a few packs of Havana Honey nail strips on my list this year. Each pack contains enough nail strips for two complete manicures. They don’t sell Color Street in stores, but Rob’s sister is a stylist, so I included her link for you.
- Dainty Initial Necklace ($30+): This is the perfect gift for any mom! I’ve been wanting a new simple silver necklace and I adore this dainty necklace from the Etsy shop . The seller offers many variations of hand-stamped disc necklaces with multiple chain lengths, disc sizes, and customizable stamped charms. The exact necklace on my wishlist is a 15-17″ silver chain with two stamped 6mm discs (one with a D and one with an H in the “Elegant” font style.) I haven’t been able to get this necklace out of my head since I found it online and will probably end up buying one for myself after the holidays if I don’t open it on Christmas morning.
- Dash Smartstore Stirring Popcorn Maker ($60): Popcorn is one of my all-time favorite snacks. It’s always great to snack on during a movie, but sometimes Rob and I skip dinner with the kids and munch on a huge bowl of popcorn after a particularly difficult day. We already have an air-popper, but there’s something extra delicious about popcorn that’s popped in oil. This Stirring Popcorn Maker is much easier than popping on the stove and the clear plastic dome doubles as a serving bowl. (Right now the popper is marked down to $40, with an extra 20% savings at checkout when you use discount code YOUGET20)
Rob’s Christmas Wishlist
Like Maria, I try to include a number of practical items on my Christmas list, but mine tend to skew more towards electronics I think we could use, or other similar such items. One type of item I’m requesting that seems appropriate for the times, but my desire to own them actually predates the pandemic, are some basic emergency preparedness items. Outside of that, my list has a few items that seem to appear on it every year, like new slippers and a few video games (not that I have a ton of time to play them right now.) So here’s a quick look at the items on my wishlist this year. Click anywhere on the image to shop, or scroll down to read more about each item and with shopping links.
- Hyper X Cloud Stinger Gaming Headset ($40): Now that I’m working from home and unable to hang out with friends in person, this gaming headset is becoming much more of a necessity for me. A headset like this will make many of my online client meetings (of which I have at least 4 a month, not including video chats with my coworkers) a lot better and quieter for Maria and the kids. But it will also be useful for playing games online with my friends (especially Star Wars: Squadrons – which I highly recommend for the gamer in your life). This is a fairly basic gaming headset, but it’s really all I need or want.
- Classic Zip-Front Hoodie ($35): These are my go-to sweatshirts for lounging around the house. In normal times (which we all hope and pray come back soon), I change into my pajamas almost as soon as I get home from work. And when I want to wear a sweatshirt, I reach for one of my trusty zip hoodies. They’re very convenient to put on and take off and they allow me to unzip if I’m a little too warm to keep them zipped up. And since I only have two, I could really use one more to help lighten the load on the other two, which are starting to look quite worn. (Currently marked down 50% at checkout!)
- FosPower Emergency Solar Hand Crank Radio ($40): When it comes to emergency preparedness, a solar powered emergency radio is a must-have for an emergency preparedness kit. This one is even nicer than a plain old emergency radio because it has a hand-crank back-up, a flashlight, and can charge your phone in a pinch. Heck, this might even come in handy for camping, too. (Currently marked down to $37.)
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons ($50): This is a super popular Nintendo Switch game right now. I’ve never gotten into the Animal Crossing games, but apparently, it’s a bit like the Sims in that you create and develop a community. Honestly, that type of gameplay sounds pretty good right now, given the pandemic and how crazy things are at the moment. Count me in.
- Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity ($60): As much fun as a relaxing Nintendo Switch game sounds, I also really love me some Zelda. This game is the follow-up to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which is by far one of the best video games of all time. So you can see why I’m excited to play some more in the Breath of the Wild universe. (Currently marked down to $50 – save 17%!)
- Neel Trifold Wallet ($48): This one is pretty simple: I need a new wallet and this one looks great. I prefer a trifold wallet as I keep my wallet in my front pocket and this fits much better than a bi-fold. That’s really all there is to it. (Save 40% with code SNOWGOOD.)
- Vont 2 Pack LED Camping Lanterns ($18): We seem to have more power outages here in our house than I had in other areas (must be all the above-ground wires), which is why I think these lanterns would be great to have around the house. Plus, given a recent 2.5 day brownout in our house (thank God that Maria’s dad had a generator we could borrow) and the shortages during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve gotten more mindful of our emergency preparedness around the house. Having a few extra lanterns fits right in with that goal. (Currently marked down 20% for Cyber Monday!)
- Albrillo Under Cabinet Lighting ($30): I’ll be honest, I’m cheating a little bit here. I bought these a long time ago to light my workbench in the basement and they work GREAT. I love them. They’re dimmable, get super bright, and are easy to install. What I want a new set for is at the office (you know, once I can actually start working at the office again). I have a hutch over my computer monitor and it makes my desk a bit dark. These lights would really improve the lighting overall.
- Netgear Orbi Compact Mesh Wi-Fi Router ($250): This may seem like a lot for a router, but this is actually on the more affordable end for what we need. Our house has two problems that lead to a few Wi-Fi dead spots, no matter how we try to place the router: (1) it’s long and (2) because it’s old, a lot of our walls are plaster, which interferes a lot more with Wi-Fi signals than drywall. Mesh routers fix this by having multiple access points so that the exact same Wi-Fi network has much better coverage throughout the house. I really look forward to eliminating those dead spots and having better coverage throughout the house. (Currently on sale for $180 – that’s a 28% discount!)
- XOOL Electronics Repair Kit ($21): I’ve had to repair my fair share of electronics around the house. I always make do with the tools I have available, but it would be nice to have a kit that actually has many of the right tools. I usually seem to wind up screwing up a small screwdriver or shredding a screwhead with my makeshift tool attempts
- Dockers Basic Cushion Crew Socks ($20): These are my go-to dress socks for work. They look nice and are quite warm, which is great for my cold feet. I’ve been using these Dockers socks for years and I’ve always been quite happy with them. But, as I wear them so much, they get threadbare and need replacing regularly. (Currently on sale for 50% off!)
- Hanes Comfortblend Max Cushion Ankle Socks ($15): Even though we keep our house pretty warm, my feet get freezing quickly (hence the slippers on my list.) To keep them warm, I wear a lot of socks and these will do nicely for some around-the-house socks, which I almost always wear with my slippers. (Currently marked down 18%.)
- LL Bean Men’s Wicked Good Slippers, Venetian ($79): LL Bean, hands-down, makes the best slippers. These are super comfortable and durable and I’ve pretty much gotten a new pair of these every year for the past 20 years or so. For a while, In the past, I always went with the moccasin style, but this year I’m making the switch to the Venetian style because Harvey loves to untie the laces way too much. (Save 15% on your order with code THANKS15.)
- Letters of Note, Vol. 2 in Hardcover ($25): I fell in love with the Letters of Note blog ages ago and the hardcover compilations of the letters that editor Shaun Usher has put together are just wonderful. To get a feel for what kind of letters are in the book, I recommend checking out the blog or watching some of the clips from Letters Live, an event in which celebrities like Benedict Cumberbatch, Oscar Isaac, and Tom Hiddleston read historical letters to a live audience. (Save $2.22 when you apply coupon.)