Plan Ahead For the Holidays Gift Guide

This post includes both sponsored links and affiliate links.

Some of my favorite childhood memories are of our big family gatherings around the holidays. Once school was out, extended relatives we rarely saw came together, and the days until Christmas seemed endless. 

Thanksgiving, then Christmas...the holidays will be here soon, and now is the time to plan. Time with friends and family, cooking together, decorating, parties, special events in our church and community...I want my own children to have wonderful memories of the holidays, too. I'm sharing some gifts and ideas to help build the holiday spirit and make sweet memories in your own home. 

Kwik Stix are the perfect tool for handmade gifts with bright colors. Mess free is their feature that most endears these tempora paint sticks to me. Our giveaway (enter below!) features a set of original Kwik Stix in twelve colors. They also have metallic and neon sets, combined sets of 24 colors, and Thin Stix (come back for that review tomorrow.) 

Their newest product is Magic Stix washable markers which are innovative in their longevity. I'll also be sharing a review of the Magic Stix later this month. Any of these sets would be a great gift.   

What is your favorite holiday scent? What scents do you associate with holidays? Does the smell of a live tree or your Grandmother's perfume evoke memories? Light a candle and the whole atmosphere of your home can be transformed. 

Pebble Pond Homestead specializes in soy candles and goat milk soap and is giving away one of each! The winner will receive their choice of 16oz. Candle and a bar of soap. Visit Pebble Pond Homestead on Instagram, Facebook, and their Etsy shop.

Planning ahead means different things to different people. Years ago a coworker shared that she completed all of her Christmas shopping by July every year! At the time I was scrambling to purchase presents at the last minute. Her insight led me to plan ahead the next year, though I'm still more likely to finish mid-December than in July. If you haven't yet, start planning now!   

When my girls were very little, another mom shared how she 
wrapped children’s books for her girls to unwrap and read each night leading up to Christmas. I love family traditions!  We have different holiday traditions, but if we did unwrap children’s storybooks these three might be in that collection.

Do you or your children like to make gifts? Our house is full of secrets as art, knitting and sewing projects are worked on when the one the gift is intended for isn't in the room. And 
food! Seasonings and spices that fill the air as special treats are baked make the whole house smell wonderful.      

Raw Spice Bar offered to give a quarterly spice subscription of their freshly ground spice blends to our giveaway winner! I'll be sharing how we use their spices later this month. They smell fabulous! Their spices are freshly ground each time they sell them. Raw Spice Bar offers both individual spices and spice sets in their shop. 


While you are cooking, don't forget to pull your hair up. Lilla Rose flexi clips are functional and beautiful. These patented hair accessories can easily help you create lovely up-dos that are perfect for  holding your hair out of your face as you create holiday recipes and they just as easily transform your hair for an elegant evening out. My daughters and I love being a part of this business, and as independent consultants are offering this Freestyle flexi-clip to our giveaway winner in a small, medium, or large. Visit our website here: http://www.lillarose.biz/prettyhair

Watch the sizing and styling video to help you determine just the right size for your hair. 

Music can also set the mood in our home. Do you have a favorite holiday song? This is the time of year we start to play CDs we've collected through the years.  

Turquoise beads, crystal glass beads and pearls make up this charming little bracelet, together with a cute little owl charm. Value is $14.00 Visit Sweetpetitejewlz on InstagramTwitter, and Etsy.

Do you decorate for Thanksgiving? We traditionally put our Christmas tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving, but first everyone helps set up the nativity. On the first day of December we hang the advent calendar my grandmother made for me long ago. We've mixed holiday traditions from both my and my husband's family to make our own family traditions. 

The ebook From Frazzled to Festive: Finding Joy & Meaning in a Simple Christmas guides you through assessing what matters most to your family at Christmas and helps you gently trim away what causes stress instead of joy. It also helps you simplify the elements of the holiday that remain so you can focus on your family. Discover the joy and meaning in a simple Christmas. A copy of this ebook is also one of our giveaway prizes! 

Cuts by Laser is our family business, started by my parents 23 years ago! Some of the first ornaments that my dad made with his first laser are among the treasured ones we carefully unwrap and add to our tree each year. Now, ornaments are one of my favorite things to make with his laser. And nativity ornaments are the ones I like best. Visit our Cuts by Laser Etsy shop. This is one of the nativity scenes we are offering this year, and this ornament is also included in our giveaway. 

When you want to get a special gift but think they already have everything, consider making a donation honor of that special person. This season is filled with opportunities for service and giving. Our favorite children’s home just wrapped up their annual fall food round up. Next week, my children along with their Beta Club will be helping out with Operation Christmas Child. We’ve been receiving brochures about gifts we can donate around the world such helping dig a well for fresh water or giving money to provide chickens and livestock through agencies including World Help. Look for opportunities to serve this season, and you will be surely blessed as you serve. I’m adding my copy of Awake by Noel Yeatts from World Help to the gifts I’ll be mailing to the giveaway winner. 

What about cards? Do you send them or even create special family photo cards each year? Those filled with letters from friends and family who are far away are always such a joy to read. That takes planning ahead!

To me, the best gifts are those that show that the giver had the recipient in mind. Thoughtful. I love things that are handmade just for me. I especially try to plan ahead for people who are harder to shop for. Are you a list maker? Writing down gifts I'm planning to give helps me keep track.

Do you like to write out your plans? Leah @ As We Walk Along The Road has a free holiday planner you can download and print! 

Make a plan for organization from the start. For cards, keep addresses, pens, and stamps together. And for family members, be sure you let your children sign their own names on your cards. Another thing that works for us is a wrapping station. We have a long box that rolls of gift wrap fit inside, and I keep tape, scissors, tissue paper, and gift bags in that box, too. Dollar Tree has storage containers as well as pretty seasonal jars just right for homemade mixes. 

My hope is that these suggestions will help you take care of some things early so you can be engaged with your family as you enjoy this season together.  Enjoy planning for special days! 

Giveaway details: This giveaway is for one winner with a US address. The prize includes the following:

Kwik Stix solid tempora paint 12 pack
Pebble Pond Homestead 16 oz Candle and bar of goats milk soap
Quarterly Spice Subscription from Raw Spice Bar
Flexi-clip from Jennifer Miller, Independent Lilla Rose Manager
Bracelet from Sweetpetitejewlz
Nativity ornament from Cuts by Laser 
Awake by Noel Brewer Yeatts
From Frazzled to Festive ebook by Christy Bagasao 

DISCLOSURE: I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Some but not all products referenced have been provided for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 


  1. There are some really amazing products here.

  2. Planning is fun (often my favorite thing to do!). Looks like some great products here.

  3. This is a remarkable giveaway! Thank you so much for letting us now about it.

  4. What a great collection of items! I love the nativity ornament from your family's Etsy shop!

  5. Great giveaway!! I try so hard to be organized with my cards and gifts leading up to the holidays, but I still wind up scrambling a bit each year. :-)

  6. Wow! These are fantastic!

  7. I agree with everyone else. What a nice collection of items here. Have to say, I'm intrigued by the new Kwik Stix product.

  8. What a fun giveaway. I'm sharing it. Thanks for the chance!

  9. Great giveaway! So many great products.

  10. What a great way to share ideas to help motivate me for the holiday! Looks like a great assortment of gifts too!

  11. Some great products you offering! How generous!

  12. What a great give away!

  13. Wonderful products and such a generous giveaway! I can't enter because I'm in Canada, but I tweeted it out!

    Thanks for sharing!


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