White Elephant Gift Ideas

A few years ago our family moved to doing a White Elephant style gift exchange rather than buying individual gifts for everyone. It’s been such a fun event each year! Not to mention it’s quite practical as our family has grown (never underestimate the mental load of finding gifts for a long list of people!).

We have had some practice at seeing the types of gifts that are popular and which are a flop.

TIPS FOR PICKING THE PERFECT GIFT

1. Avoid gifts meant for specific people.

Example: Don’t buy “hubby” and “wifey” mugs. Everyone may not be hetero married.

2. Unless your exchange is run by children, don’t buy kid gifts.

Even if everyone in your group has children, I assure you they do not want a gift meant for someone else – especially their kids who most certainly are receiving a ton of gifts anyway.

3. Pick a gender-neutral gift.

If your crew is mixed gender, pick a gift that’s not specifically “for men” or “for women.”

4. Consider the group as a whole.

Are there any common interests among the group?

It can be challenging to pick a gift that could suit anyone. I thoroughly enjoy researching and finding ideas to fit the bill so I’m sharing a few with you today!

GIFT IDEAS

1. Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager with Heat*

Being that getting a massage wouldn’t allow for social distancing, this may be your best chance at a deep tissue massage right now!

$29.99 on Amazon*

2. Kangaroo Original Standing Mat Kitchen Rug*

This is one of those fabulous-to-have but boring-to-buy gifts. The extra thick foam gives superior support and comfort. Perfect for the kitchen (cooking, food prep, washing dishes, etc.) or office (under a standing desk!).

$37.89 on Amazon*

3. Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light Therapy Alarm Clock with Sunrise Simulation*

This alarm clock simulates the sunrise for a more natural wake up. With 10 brightness settings, it can be used as a light therapy lamp or as a bedside reading lamp as well.

$41.66 on Amazon*

4. Noise Cancelling Headphones*

These Bluetooth wireless over-ear headphones effectively reduce distracting low frequency background noises. They also have a built-in microphone which is perfect for the zoom-filled world we’re living in right now!

$42.99 on Amazon*

5. Wireless Earbud Headphones*

If you prefer in-ear headphones, these ear buds have great reviews! With a single charge, they can last for more than 4 hours of playtime.

$29.99 on Amazon*

6. YETI Rambler 30 oz Tumbler*

I’ve tried several different brands, but if you want your coffee to stay hot, you need a YETI. Well worth the investment with tons of colors available. You can even personalize it with a vinyl monogram or fun [waterproof] sticker.

$34.98 on Amazon*

7. Anker Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker*

This Bluetooth speaker’s long-life battery technology lasts for up to 24 hours. Perfect for blasting holiday tunes year-round.

$27.99 on Amazon*

8. Amazon Fire TV Stick*

We got a fire stick recently and have been enjoying it! Honestly, my favorite part is that it shows my pictures as a screensaver (you can sync to Amazon Photos).

$39.99 on Amazon*

9. Portable Charcoal Grill*

In our effort to continue to stay home in this pandemic, we have started grilling out in the driveway so we can wave at all the neighbors while eating s’mores. So, this 14-inch charcoal grill from Cuisinart would surely be a great gift this year. If we’re ever able to have cookouts again, you’ll appreciate the latches to keep the lid from rolling off en route.

$24.79 on Amazon*

10. Conair Foot Bath with Bubbles and Heat

Just the thought of soaking my feet in a warm bubbling tub already has me feeling relaxed.

$24.99 at Target

11. Diffuser and Essential Oils

I love diffusing essential oils – they’re great for people who can never remember to blow the candle out before leaving the house (guilty!).

This diffuser* has over 51K reviews and 4.5 star rating and it’s only $14.99!

$14.99 on Amazon*

You can pair the diffuser with a variety set of essential oils for your gift recipient to see which scent(s) they like best!

$9.99 on Amazon*

12. quip Metal Electric Toothbrush

I got one of these for the Hubs last year and he loves it! It’s lightweight and has a built-in timer with 30-second pulses to encourage you to switch quadrants for a more even [2 minute] cleaning.

$30 on sale at Target

13. Radio Alarm Clock with Wireless Charging*

Be honest: Your phone is always beside your bed, right? Let your alarm clock help ensure it’s charged!

$43.99 on Amazon*

14. 8-Sheet Capacity Cross-Cut Paper & Credit Card Shredder*

This shredder cross-cuts sheets for security and turns it into confetti-like pieces. You can shred up to 8 sheets of paper at a time (bad news for junk mail!) without having to remove staples or small paper clips. It can also handle credit cards which [in my opinion] makes it the perfect at-home shredder.

$35.63 on Amazon*

15. First Aid Kit*

Everybody needs one but nobody wants to buy one (because that’s no fun!). This 100-piece kit is perfect to toss in the trunk just in case!

$8.99 on Amazon*

16. Double Layer Inverted Umbrella*

An umbrella is another of those gifts that are often not purchased but always in need! This double-layered umbrella inverts when folding up to prevent excess dripping.

$21.66 on Amazon*

17. Heating Pad for Neck & Shoulder Pain Relief*

This heating pad wraps around the neck and shoulders with a magnetic clasp to help it stay in place. It sounds so luxurious!

$19.99 on Amazon*

18. Fireproof Lock Box*

Every home needs one of these!

$47.00 on Amazon*

19. Portable Wireless Phone Battery Charger*

A coworker got us these portable phone battery chargers for Christmas when I was pregnant and I used mine in the hospital after I had Andy. Having a battery nearby to charge my phone without having to get up was a blessing! These would be handy for camping and traveling or keeping charged during hurricane season just in case the power goes out šŸ˜‰

$19.99 on Amazon*

Do you have any gift ideas to add? I’d love to hear them!

*This post may contain affiliate links. If you use the link to make a purchase, I may receive a small compensation at no additional charge to you. 

What I’m Lovin’ this Fall

It’s been a while… I know I’m not the only one struggling through this pandemic so I won’t bother making excuses šŸ˜‰

This post has morphed into a compilation of things I’ve been lovin’ starting back in August… through September… and here we are in October – so I’m calling it my list of Fall lovin’!

Continue reading “What I’m Lovin’ this Fall”

Free Halloween Printable for Contactless Trick-or-Treating

Social distancing is creating quite a conundrum for traditional trick-or-treating. But have no fear: the internet is full of great work-arounds for fun and SAFE celebrating amidst COVID-19 fears.

Continue reading “Free Halloween Printable for Contactless Trick-or-Treating”

5 Podcast Episodes to Listen to Right Now: COVID-19 Edition

As you already know, podcasts are my favorite way to consume media. Often when I’m curious about a topic, I’ll search for it on iTunes to see if there’s a podcast about it.

Throughout this global pandemic we are in, I’ve been seeking out podcasts that tell the story of COVID-19’s impact on our society. Like all of you probably are, I’m curious (and anxious) as to what’s ahead for us. We are certainly living through a time that will not only serve as a turning point in our own lives but will undoubtedly impact our society as a whole and how we function moving forward.

That sounds heavy, but I’m actually quite optimistic about it. However, I’m trying not to bury my head in the clouds (like usual). I want to understand the impact of this pandemic on families and communities that may differ from mine. I think that’s an important perspective to seek out. Continue reading “5 Podcast Episodes to Listen to Right Now: COVID-19 Edition”

A Guide to Fabric Face Coverings: Making, Wearing, and Caring for Your Mask

I was heavily resisting sewing masks for lots of different reasons, but now it appears fabric masks can serve a preventative purpose (by preventing an asymptomatic mask-wearer from spreadingĀ toĀ others as well as by preventing them from touching their faces which is a known method of transmission).

As I do with nearly everything, I over-researched. So as not to waste all of my valuable research time, I’ve compiled the cliff notes to share!

This post is heavy on tips for wearing and caring for your fabric face covering. I share a few no-sew patterns in this post but will be sharing a longer, more detailed post soon that will be full of face mask patterns to sew along with more tips/tricks and recommendations – so stay tuned!

Continue reading “A Guide to Fabric Face Coverings: Making, Wearing, and Caring for Your Mask”