2018 *Meaningful* Gift Guide

This is a time for joy! This is a time to come together in love! But we know that the pressure of gift-giving can sometimes stress us out. And even when we have all the toys purchased, we sometimes feel a little empty, as though something is missing. That’s why we’ve put our heads together to help you navigate your gifting in a way that can be a little more meaningful than simply pushing “Checkout” in an online store.

As you scroll through our lists below - one for Kids, one for Him, and one for Her - we encourage you to think outside of the box, literally!! Each of these gifts extends beyond what is in the package. That’s what makes them meaningful! We are confident that as you prayerfully make your lists this year, you will know what you can give and how to give it, so that this Christmas is especially meaningful for you and for those you love.

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  1. LOOM Journal: There is nothing better to young children than time with their parents. However some kids don’t open up as well in talking as they may in writing! This amazing journal recently took kickstarter by storm, and is a way for parents and kids to journal together! The journals include guided journal prompts, pages to fill with dreams and wishes, ideas for affirmations with children, gratitude practices and more. It is all geared to foster a more genuine connection with each other.

  2. Blanket: Often the things our young children want most is time with us. Gift them a  soft blanket like this one with a certificate for some one-one-one time with you, or to enjoy during family scripture study or game time. Sometimes it’s the little things like this that will remind you to slow down and take time together! 

  3. Music: Little kiddos learn so much from music, especially when they are also feeling the Spirit.  We love this music about the Savior’s life that helps their little souls to be filled with song, and teaches them the stories of Jesus too. Here are some fun, kid-friendly headphones we like!

  4. Artkive: If you're like most families, you have kids' art lying around everywhere.  This digitized artbook makes it easy for you and your kids to remember their creations.  They'll love looking through this and hopefully it will help them remember that they can make big things happen.

  5. Books for Read-aloud: Find inspiring, favorite, nostalgic reads and offer your children the gift of your lap, of your voice and heartbeat, and of your own laughter and tears as you revisit your favorite characters in literature. Perhaps you could even include in it when you’ll read to them (before bed, a window on Sunday’s) so that you make sure that special time is set aside.

  6. Relay: This screenless phone works like a walkie talkie, but SMART!  It has an integrated GPS tracker and 4G LTE coverage.  What a fun way to stay in touch with your kids – give them reminders, pep talks, and encouragement throughout their day!  Make sure to give one to Dad, too.  Sometimes he misses out on the mid-day chatter, and this could be the perfect way to include him!

  7. Chatbooks: Kids love reliving past memories by looking at old photos, so why not make them a photo album? You could make them an album of their first year, Christmastime, or even this last year of their life. They’ll love looking through the photos as you tell them the stories of who they are and why they are special. 

  8. Namesake Gift: If your son or daughter is named after someone, give a gift that helps your child to get to know and remember that person. One of our staff gave her son a pack of bowties, to remind him of the grandfather he was named for, who always wore bowties to church. If the one the child is named for is still alive, ask him or her to write a letter of well-wishes and heartfelt advice to go with the gift.

  9. Opportunity to Serve: Some of the best memories we have with our own parents was when we had a chance to serve together. Think of something your child likes to do (perhaps sewing, baking, working outside, or organizing something with others) and find a way to do it together! This could include sewing blankets together to donate to a local hospital or shelter, baking and playing secret Santa, or organizing a drive for books/cans with friends, just because.   

  10. Roadtrip: Give your son or daughter a couple days 1:1 with you! Think about what would be especially meaningful for them—perhaps tickets to see a favorite performance or event, going to a game together, or maybe just spending the time in nature! If this trip involves them developing one of their hobbies or talents, include in the package a new tool to support their passion. Use this as an opportunity to deepen your relationship, tell them stories about them and their ancestors, and share stories about their lives and yours. Consider finding ways  to visit a relative, a meaningful site to your family, history or church, or worshiping together! 

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  1. Star Chart:  Give him a framed, customized star chart representing the most significant moments in his life – marrying you, of course!  Or becoming a father.  Or becoming a father again.  It’s an instant download, so this is perfect for those last-minute gifts!  Send it to your local print shop and buy a poster-sized frame, and he is sure to love it! They look super sharp as a set of two or three.

  2. Daddy-Kid Date Nights: He wants to spend time with the kids, but may not always know how to make it happen deliberately, easily, or consistently.  You know it’s more about the time together than about what they actually do, so make it easy on him! Give him a stash of gift cards to local eateries for him to whip out when he (and the kids!) need some one-on-one time. As a bonus, write a card telling him all the reasons you’re grateful that he’s your children’s father.

  3. Digital Photo Frame:  For that Dad that aches to be part of your daily lives and wishes that he could see all the little moments when he’s away, the perfect thing for him might be to be a digital picture frame! Keep him visually in the loop as you update his picture frame in real time. Just make yourself an administrator, and send it pictures remotely at the push of a button.

  4. Cookbook: Food is a great way to connect with people we love and break the ice with new friends. You can gift the special man in your life a cookbook and make plans for a meal the whole family will come together for. Involve the kids in preparing the meal, and have fun learning a new recipe together!

  5. Circle: Dads often feel like they come home and can’t compete with the barrage of their kids’ entertainment devices.  Help them enter the fray with this handy tool, which monitors and filters connected devices to give him that extra quality time that he’s been craving! If he needs a little help stashing work when he enters the door, pair it with something like this wooden docking station or a charging station for all home devices. Make a family pledge outlining house rules for healthy screen time.

  6. Weekend Getaway: You know he wants it!  Give him that weekend away, but make it a little more meaningful by using some of the time to make goals and plans for 2019.  Here’s your chance to put your heads together about what you can do during the coming year to more deliberately parent your kids, strengthen faith, serve, and draw closer together. Even if you can’t financially make a weekend happen, consider swapping with another couple for a half a day and doing something fun together, or going somewhere he loves! If your man is the kind that works so hard that he never plays, surprise him with a weekend away with his buddies. We often get plenty of girl time, but our guys need meaningful friendships, too!

  7. Support a Hobby or Personal Goal: If your guy is the kind who often puts a lot on the back-burner and never gets around to playing, this could be the gift for him! Think about that guitar sitting in the corner of his closet. Help him to dust it off by springing for lessons. Or support his love of fishing by getting him a guided day on the river. You will know what that thing is for him, and he will love it!

  8. Personal Family History Stories: Men need good men to look up to, and this is especially powerful when those men are related to them! For a very meaningful gift, call up his relatives and ask them about the men that have preceded him – those inspiring stories and characters that he may not know but should.  Gather a few photos, type up a few stores and put them in a frame for him to put up at home or work. 

  9. Digitize His Glory Days: You know that box of old VHS and home videos from when he was a high school soccer star?  Make it easier for him to share them with the kids (and remember how it felt to be a kid) by digitizing his old material! You can send the tapes in to Wal-Mart or Costco (allow for up to 3 weeks) or order a cable and do it yourself. This is not only a great gift for your spouse, but a wonderful treasure for your children to hear and relive his stories too!

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  1. Powersheets: This goal-setting guide helps her to dig deep to evaluate what matters most to her and how to get there. With this tool, she can think about her goals for the next year and ask herself: does she want to focus on relationships in her life? Does she want to be closer to God? Does she want to increase her health so she can be God’s hands?

  2. DNA Test: With this awesome little DNA test, she can discover her genetic origins, trace her ancestors geographically, and connect with her living relatives! 

  3. Family Tree: Display her family tree in her home!  This customizable art is both personal and will look gorgeous on the wall.  Unless you have all the pertinent information, considering giving a gift card so she can personalize it herself.

  4. Live All In: To the music lover, give a monthly musical toolkit by Hilary Weeks which includes twelve new songs for 2019, instrumental track, sheet music, and printables. Use the coupon code LAI15 for a limited time discount! And if you purchase before January 1, 2019, you will immediately receive a new Christmas song and a digital download certificate to box up under the tree!

  5. Inhale. Exhale: Personalized jewelry can be such a thoughtful way to help her remember your message a long time after you’ve given the gift. We love this one with the simple reminder to just breathe.  To be grateful.  To be present. This one is also a favorite with its reminder that God is greater than all the highs and lows.  There are many Etsy artisans that will engrave actual handwriting into jewelry, like this one, which is a thoughtful way to memorialize handwriting of a lost loved one, or to send with a child or friend leaving for school!

  6. 2019 Calendar: These lovely calendars can remind her to remember the Lord in her daily activities.  The gorgeous watercolors will beautifully accent her home throughout the year.

  7. Gathre:  A company with a mission to bring the people you love together, we love these lovely bonded leather mats for all her family gatherings  – from the beach to the park to indoor popcorn parties! It makes an especially lovely gift for Grandma, to help her protect her house when grandkids come to visit!

  8. Date Night Out: For many young parents there is nothing better than a good night out! Offer to watch her kids, or if you’re not in proximity, send a gift card for dinner and a movie. Share with her some of your favorite date ideas and options, or part of your own love story!

  9. Anything Handmade: Don’t overlook what a simple handmade gift means these days. Depending on who you’re giving to, give something that you’ve made or something made by your kiddos.  There really aren’t many ways to go wrong when you put your heads together to create something one of a kind that shares your love in action.

  10. Take a Class Together: Learning a new skill together can be so fun!  By creating a shared memory (and perhaps even talent!) that will last a lot longer than just the class, you will see each other in a new light and learn and grow together!   

Meaningful Stocking-stuffers or Favors:

  • Study pencil or marking pens for scripture study

  • Emergency preparedness items like a Lifestraw or firestarter

  • Hand sanitizer case embroidered for someone who enjoys attending the temple.  Use Coupon Code smallseed10 for a discount (expires 12/31)

  • These scripture tabs mark favorite places in the word of God, providing easy reference to favorite scriptures. Give them with a book of scripture already marked or give them for someone to personalize their own scriptures.

  • National Parks Annual Pass is a gift to give someone who loves the great outdoors - and is a great way to encourage someone to draw closer to God through His beautiful creations.

We’re sure you noticed that many of these gift ideas are appropriate in multiple categories! Hopefully this was just a place to start your creative juices flowing! Give experiences, give time, give memories, give love. And please share your ideas below in the comments - we hope to continue this as a resource for years to come!!

May the joy of our Savior rest in your hearts now and throughout the New Year. Merry Christmas, Friends!

xxoo, The Small Seed Team

Design by Heidi Kreis and Melanie Burk