Holiday Gift Ideas

The gift giving holiday season is upon us.  Gift shopping can be a bit overwhelming when you have a variety of people to shop for or are just looking for that great idea.  When it comes to giving gifts I tend to stick to the following tips:

  1. Don’t give them the same type of item multiple times in a row.  For example if I gave my mom a kitchen item for her birthday I won’t give her one for Christmas.  It’s like my mom says, “at first when I got stuff for the kitchen it was great.  Soon each new kitchen gift just reminded me of working in the kitchen.”  And an item might be best saved for after the holidays, or might work when paired with something really nice.
  2. Don’t give someone too much of the same type of gift at one time.  A prime example is with the new Star Wars movie there is a ton of merchandise out there.  From bedding to video games to toys.  Even though they might be a Star Wars fan they might not want every gift they receive to be Star Wars related.
  3. No pets or live critters.  When it comes to giving pets during the holidays the basic answer is to just skip it.  Puppies and kittens need time to adjust to new surroundings and people.  Even fish have their issues from setting up the tank to types of fish and cohabitation.  It’s just simpler to say no and then take the time to research pets after the holidays.
  4. Research gifts, especially technology or any gift that can access the internet.  Make sure that there is a way to change the default passwords associated with the toys.  As seen by recent news stories some popular kids toys were found to be hackable.
  5. If the gift is expensive see if others can go in on the cost.  Just make sure that if the cost was split between people that everyone is credited with giving the gift and is thanked.  It can be really frustrating to share in the cost of a gift only to have the recipient believe that only one person gave them the gift.
  6. Remember to thank everyone for the gift, or if they sent cash to let them know what the money was spent on.
  7. Make sure that the gift you are giving is something that they want, not something you really secretly want.

Here are a few gift ideas*:

Food Vacuum Sealer:  These units work great for food storage.  I got a horizontal unit because it allowed for less waste of the plastic when sealing the bags.  The benefits of the unit include: food storage that keeps food fresh longer, increases the space in the freezer, allows for some items to be purchased in larger more economical sizes and then stored.  I wash out the bags and reuse them until they get too small.  Some things I have noticed:

  • Need to wait the full 30 seconds between uses,
  • With some moist/wet foods I have to fill the bags and then freeze them before sealing them.
  • The bags have to be flat and dry to get a good seal.
  • Need to leave the space at the top of the bag for the Vacuum Sealer to actually work.

The brand I went with was Food Saver because it was on sale and came with accessories and a good supply of bags.  The bags also come on sale at a variety of stores every now and then.

Vacuum:  When it comes to vacuum cleaners when half of the dust that is picked up by the machine is being tossed out the back while vacuuming it is time to replace the unit.  I did a lot of research due to having some specific concerns with the amount of dust that some machines produce.  I found a Shark® Rotator™ Professional Vacuum that got great reviews especially for people with pets and dust allergies.  This unit works incredibly great and pulled up fine dust particles from the carpet.  It doesn’t lose suction and came with some great attachments.  The headlights are great and it has a forward momentum that makes it easy to use.  The one issue I have is that the unit is top heavy so it can fall over easier than my old vacuum.  Depending on where you get a Shark Rotator Professional it comes with different attachments and accessories.

GPS Unit:  If you know someone geographically challenged, like I am, then a GPS unit is a great investment.  I personally have had units from two different manufacturers.  The things to look for when getting a unit: size of display (4.5 inch or larger), life time maps and system updates, traffic alerts, and how long it takes for the unit to update its location.  Everything else comes down to preference.



*Disclaimer: I do not work for any of the companies that make any of the products listed. I did not receive any compensation for my review and none of the items were given to me for the review.  In short I am simply writing my opinion to help you, the reader, get your own ideas for gifts for yourself or someone else.


4 thoughts on “Holiday Gift Ideas

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  1. ….I bought a Foodsaver Vacuum Sealer about 15 years ago and it is a truly remarkable product because it can keep expensive food like cheese almost indefinitely, and fresh meat (which I freeze first before sealing), can truly keep in the freezer for multiple months without a problem. It is also very handy for prepping for camping trips because whole meals can be premade, placed into a foodsaver bag, then frozen. Once the food in the bag is frozen, the foodsaver is used to suck all the air out and seal the bag, which is returned to the freezer. Making all one’s meals this way then allows you to take all the premade meals out of the freezer and put into an ice chest just before going on your trip. Because the meals are frozen solid, they will keep in the ice chest a long long time. Because foodsaver bags are heatproof, just take one of the frozen meals out and plunge it into a pot of boiling water and wait until the contents are heated through, then just cut open the bag and your hot meal is ready to be served. No cooking on site. No pots to scrub and wash. Propane is needed only to heat up a pot of water. And that pot of water is then able to be used to wash up the cutlery and plates. I even pre-fry bacon and sausages which I vacuum seal, so I have them ready also when camping.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree they are remarkable units. That is a cool way to use the Food Saver. I didn’t know the bags were heat proof or could be heated in boiling water. 🙂 Past food storage I’ve used the bags to create my own ice packs and for storing my dogs food.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m retired and my wife has COPD. We finally moved into a house that does not have central air which I was grateful for as the dust in our old house was terrible. The ducts were dirty and just kept pushing dust into the house. So finally we cleaned the new place. No dust. Then there was lots of dust. This place became worse than the last place for dust. For fathers day my wife and kids got me a vacuum cleaner. A Shark. I laughed and asked “why are you spending money on such a thing!” I was not happy. I finally used the thing. I couldn’t believe how much dirt I got out of those rugs. And my wife could stay in the room when I vacuumed when before she had to leave. Then I noticed the dust was no longer accumulating on things… I read the manual that came with the machine. I checked out the filters…. my God! The house isn’t dust free… but it’s 100% better for sure. There may be better cleaners out there but for me this Shark is very good.. I think my wife likes it to. A great gift idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does have a lot of filters that seem to do a great job of catching the dust. The video I have above at 13 minutes shows under black light how much dust can escape other machines vs. this one.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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