Since having children, we’ve adopted a 3-gift rule at Christmas: everyone receives something to read, something to wear, and something to play with. This keeps gift-giving delightfully simple. We also give stockings, filled with items from our local dollar store that our children have chosen for one another (plus a few small things I’ve added), and a new pair of pajamas that they open on Christmas Eve.
I want to share the following list with an important reminder: The best gift you can give your children is a peaceful, joyful home… and that begins with you. I encourage you to honor your limits—your time, your finances, your emotions, your energy levels—and do your best to stay within them as you prepare for this Christmas season. Keep things simple and stay present. It will truly be the best gift you give!
So if this list inspires you and saves you time, I’m so glad! If it overwhelms you, feel free to click away. All of the items on the list are either well loved in our home or on our wishlist this year.
Some of these links are affiliate links, and I make a small commission if you purchase through them without added cost to you (thank you!).
Something to read:
- The Yoto Audiobook Player has been an absolute hit in our house this year and is my #1 gift recommendation for children ages 3-10. The Yoto is a screen-free way for kids to play a variety of audiobooks using either the Yoto’s small speaker or headphones. Kids have control over volume and chapters, and you can take the Yoto completely “offline” so it’s great for road trips, too! I’ve listed our favorite Yoto cards here. We store our cards in this case and use these headphones in a variety of colors. We decided to purchase a Yoto Mini for each child, which is definitely an investment, but it’s been worth it for us. Since having Yoto players, our children have not been asking for screens and love to play music or audiobooks before coming downstairs in the morning, during afternoon rest time, and periodically throughout the day.
- For our younger two boys (ages 3 and 5), these Photicular Books are so much fun! Each page looks like a 3-D movie screen, and there are fascinating animal facts throughout. We especially love the Outback and Safari books.
- If you haven’t read the Mercy Watson series with your little one (ages 3-7), the boxed set is on sale and would make a wonderful gift! These have been some of our kids’ favorite books for years. They’re hilarious, lighthearted, and engaging.
- For older children, starting a collection of classics is perfect for gift-giving. I love the Wordsworth Collector’s Editions, and purchased The Railway Children for our 10-year-old.
- If you’re an Anne of Green Gables fan, this set of beginning chapter books is the perfect way to introduce your children to Anne. These are gorgeously illustrated and a great option for beginning readers.
- Our two favorite books we read this year were both versions of Pilgrim’s Progress. Little Pilgrim’s Big Journey is a 2-volume set that’s wonderful for little ones (I’d recommend it for ages 3-7), and Little Pilgrim’s Progress is a longer version with animal characters that is exquisitely written and illustrated and works perfectly as a read-aloud for ages 6-12. These books have led to such deep spiritual conversations and would make excellent gifts for the whole family!
- Be sure to check out the Book Lists section of our website for many more book recommendations based on age or interests!
Something to wear: With this category, I try to think a bit outside the box. If our kids really need a particular item of clothing (like a new coat or boots), we purchase something we know they’ll love. But I also think about a new watch, play makeup, jewelry, or even new, cozy bedding (because you kind of wear that, right?).
- For a digital watch option, this is a great one.
- Our daughter enjoys this natural mineral makeup for girls. It’s light and subtle and fun for her to play with while I put my makeup on in the morning (and includes the prettiest non-toxic nail polish!).
- For girls who don’t yet have their ears pierced, these stick-on earrings are really fun.
- All four kids are loving their new Beddy’s zip-up bedding! It makes making their bunk beds each morning a breeze (you just zip it up!) and is super cozy and easy to wash, too. Use code BRIGHTERDAY for 15% off! Each purchase includes everything you need - sheets, comforter, pillow case, and pillow sham. We chose the Morgan Minky twin bedding and have been so happy with it.
Something to play with:
- My kids have been loving these indoor scooters. They glide across our tile and hardwood floor on their bellies, and it’s the perfect rainy day or cold weather indoor activity.
- Bananagrams has recently become our family’s favorite game. It’s similar to Scrabble, but each player creates his or her own board simultaneously and tries to be the first one to use up all their letters. It’s wonderful to play as a family, and we are hooked! We also love Bananagrams Duel, a variation of Bananagrams for 2 players. And My First Bananagrams is perfect for ages 4 and up.
- Huggy Hymns are the sweetest stuffed animals that play a variety of instrumental hymns when you squeeze them. My kids love their huggies—they’re so soft and you can choose from a lion, a lamb, or an elephant (pre-order only). Use code SAVE15 for 15% off your order from now until Nov. 18th.
- For our 3- and 5-year-old boys, these giant floor puzzles are a hit and are played with again and again. You can choose from a variety of designs, and several are under $10!
- We purchased four very inexpensive activity kits from BookOutlet.com (most are well under $10 each): a make-your-own bracelet kit, a bouncy balls kit, an electricity book and science kit, and a glider planes kit.
- This ukulele is really fun for a variety of ages, and you can find a wealth of YouTube videos for children who are interested in learning to play songs.
- These pajamas (sizes 6 months to 7 years) are incredibly soft and are available in such beautiful colors! We have purchased these for years and they truly last.
- For our daughter, I purchased these pajamas as they’re a little more girly, but still available in gorgeous solid colors and soft material. Available in sizes 6 months to 12 years.
- For our oldest son (age 10), I purchased this set that’s available in size 4 to 16.
- I buy a pack of this organic lip balm and split it up among the kids’ stockings. It’s great quality and smells delicious!
- Have you ever tried chocolate toothpaste? It’s actually what my children love and use every day! You can also find this brand in mixed berry flavor, cinnamon flavor, and more.
- For our daughter, I love these soft hair ties that are gentle on her hair (I use them for myself, too!) and this pack of headbands.
- Our little guys love these color changing cars: you put them in warm and cold water and they magically change colors.
- We’ll be sure to add a couple Yoto cards to each stocking this year!
- For a sweet treat, we love these organic lollipops that contain no artificial coloring.
Looking for more ideas? Take a look at our screen-free 2021 gift guide here! Happy shopping!