The truth is that I wasn’t going to do a holiday gift guide this year. They’re an insane amount of work because I personally choose every single thing that ultimately makes it into the pages of this here blog. Brands can’t just buy their way in.
But then I got a few emails from readers asking when it was coming. Another blogger even seemed upset when I confessed that one wasn’t likely on the table this year.
So I had an idea.
I can make the holiday wish list as big or small as I want. And I don’t have to use only original photography as I’ve always done, or create a fancy slideshow or even do collages in Photoshop that make me want to spoon out my own eyeballs. (Because I own this space, right?!)
And I can also spread some serious holiday cheer in the process.
HOW? Because every single thing listed in my 2016 holiday gift guide is up for grabs for one lucky reader. Stick around until the end to find out how to enter this giveaway worth nearly $1,100.
Before we get started, though, NO — there are no Hatchimals on this list. And I don’t know where you can get them. I spent a day with one recently and that was enough to tell me that it was going to be just as annoying as the Furby (or, the old Furby, as I have it on good authority that the new Furby has a “sleeping mask”). I know it’s THE “IT” TOY of the season, but I wouldn’t want Santa bringing it to my house. Because I might hurt Santa. And no one wants that.
So with that…I bring you my 14 favourite things guaranteed to keep Santa unharmed.
Here we go-ho-ho!
What is it? Think the best candy-gram ever with the candy chosen by the gift recipient, but paid for by you. It’s such an easy concept, you’ll be mad you didn’t think of it first: you spend what you want, your loved one gets an eCard inviting him/her to pick out their own candy and Sugarwish ships it to them in beautiful packaging. Boom.
How much? US$45 (incl. taxes and shipping) for “The Classic” — eight quarter-pound bags of candy.
Where can I buy it? Online through Sugarwish. (Available in Canada and the USA.)
2. Glama Gals nail polish
What is it? From the founders of Glama Gals and Petite & Posh comes safer, water-based nail polish for your little princes and princesses. It comes with 10 awesome colours that can be mixed and matched, and are guaranteed to peel off so you don’t even need to use nail polish remover.
How much? $24.99 plus tax.
Where can I buy it? At any Glama Gals location or online.
What is it? We’ve been having a love affair with Skechers ever since Miss Q was 18 months old and got her first pair of those little cutie-patootie shoes that light up. Since then, we’ve had running shoes galore for both kids. They’re built for kid fun and they never seem to fall apart. But Skechers is more than just runners — check out its lineup of fall and winter boots and shoes that work with your kids’ dressier clothes for the holiday season.
How much? Prices vary. As shown: girls’ Mad Sass boot, $78; boys’ Bowland shoe, $58.
Where can I buy it? Use the Skechers store locator for a retail store nearest you.
4. Just Dance 2017 for Wii U
What is it? If you haven’t tried Just Dance before, this is the year to do it on your Nintendo WiiU. With songs like “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd to “Single Ladies” from Beyonce, the dance routines will have your whole family laughing and moving together. This year’s game has the added feature of working with your smartphone through an app, too, which is great for homes with more people than controllers. Play against each other or work together — but just dance already.
How much? Just Dance 2017 retails at most stores for around $50, but I did see it at Costco for $39.99
Where can I buy it? Walmart, Amazon, BestBuy, Costco — just look for the best price!
5. WellieWishers from American Girl
What is it? WellieWishers are a new line from American Girl. They’re a bit smaller than the typical 18″ dolls, but they’re just as gorgeous and still have matching outfits available for your own little doll. There are five to choose from so far and their accessories are super-fun.
How much? US$60 per doll, which comes with the outfit and accessories shown online (some pictured here are extra).
Where can I buy it? On the American Girl website.
6. Disney DVDs
What is it? Alice Through the Looking Glass, The BFG and Pete’s Dragon are some of our favourite movies from 2016 that are now available on DVD and Blu-ray. Many of these are also available with the digital download as part of your video purchase, and we love the value associated with those combo packs. What’s better than a kids’ movie? One you don’t mind watching with them — again and again.
How much? Priced separately, usually starting at around $20 for the DVD and $25 for the combo pack.
Where can I buy it? At walmart.ca via the title names.
7. Wheat Canada
What is it? If you haven’t read about Wheat Canada on my site, you may not know why you should be totally swooning over this brand. Danish, fashion-forward kids’ clothes that wash and wear like a dream meet Canadian pricing that’s better than the prices in the USA and Europe for the same clothes by the same brand. True story. This year, Wheat partnered with Disney on a gorgeous collection that includes this “Elsa” dress on Miss Q, and also came out with a merino wool line (perfect for ski season or lounging-around-watching-football Sundays) as seen on The K Man.
How much? Prices vary. As shown: kids’ merino wool navy set, $80; empire-waist Elsa dress, $98.
Where can I buy it? At WheatKidsClothing.com.
8. Love2Learn Elmo
What is it? Elmo works with an app this year and is programmed with 30+ minutes of content. He can respond in more than 350 ways, offering each child a much more personalized play experience. Elmo learns your kid’s name and interacts based on information you share, like your child’s age and favourite things. Games, songs, numbers, animals and more are part of Love2Learn Elmo’s lexicon.
How much? $59.95 plus taxes.
Where can I buy it? ToysRUs.ca (shipping charges may apply).
9. Stash-It Cinch Bag
What is it? Even though it’s actually named a “cosmetic cinch bag,” you can see from the photo that the Stash-It bag can be used in a number of ways. I love that it could be used for kids as on-the-go baby toys, LEGO pieces and even doll clothes and accessories; and I’m excited about being able to see all of my makeup and brushes laid out when I’m travelling.
How much? US$14.97 plus taxes, with free shipping in the USA and US$4.99 shipping to Canada.
Where can I buy it? On the ModFamily website.
10. Happiness Is… Ts
What is it? Made- and designed-in-Canada, great-quality vintage organic cotton Ts. Pure and simple. Easy-wear designs for men and women that show your pride like only a Canadian can — with subtlety.
How much? $36 per T-shirt. But YOU get a 15 per cent discount at the checkout when you use MOMGEAR15 until the end of December 2016.
Where can I buy it? On the Happiness Is Inc. website.
11. Disney Princess Royal Dreams Castle
What is it? Move over Barbie, there’s a new castle in town. At more than three feet tall with four furnished rooms (thanks to the 19 accessories it comes with), your Disney-loving princess will be enchanted by Snow White’s kitchen, Belle’s ballroom and library, Ariel’s bathroom and Sleeping Beauty’s bedroom. Oh, and there’s even a “magic carpet” (elevator) for Jasmine.
How much? Usually around $100 but I found it for $70.39 plus tax (and FREE shipping!).
Where can I buy it? Amazon.ca.
12. Charley The Chameleon
What is it? From cloud b (which created the original white noise plush sheep you may already know and love) comes Charley, a plush chameleon — about the size of a large chihuahua — that glows softly and plays sounds to help your little ones self-soothe. Help them go from play time to nap time with a song or tropical white noise. The only downside is that noises play on a 45-minute timer, which isn’t idea for the infamous 45-minute nappers.
How much? $44.97 plus taxes (three AAA batteries included).
Where can I buy it? At Walmart stores or online (shipping charges may apply).
13. The Warsh Cloth
What is it? It’s basically the best face cloth you’ve ever used in your whole entire life. Because you don’t need any product to remove makeup or dirt. I’ve been using this product for about six weeks and am legitimately amazed. I normally use a really expensive cleanser AND the pricey Clairsonic Mia2 cleansing brush, and both can be replaced with this $10 cloth. Using only water, its teeny-tiny fibres are enough to wash and exfoliate your skin morning and night. I seriously love this thing.
How much? $10 per cloth when purchased in bundles like the REJOICE FOR HIM & HER three-pack and RESPECT FOR BABY four-pack.
Where can I buy it? Save 20 per cent off any order using this link.
14. PhotoPog ornament cards
What is it? Think holiday greet card mixed with tree ornament. These thick, high-quality glossy double-sided cards can be customized for your family. From the card itself to the photo you choose to the personalization on the front and back, it doesn’t matter if you want to say “Happy Holidays,” “Merry Christmas” or “Whasssssup?!” on your card — it’s your choice. Send it in an envelope as this year’s holiday greeting and the recipient can pop out an ornament for their home or tree. Love.
How much? This is where quantity wins, because just one ornament card is going to run you US$9.95, but order more than 100 and they’re just US$1.99 each (plus taxes and shipping). The contest winner will get 25 cards!
Where can I buy it? Order directly from PhotoPog.
Now for the most epic holiday giveaway of all time ever
What other gift guide gives you the chance to win EVERYTHING featured? (If there’s another one, just don’t tell me — let me revel in my glory.) Between now and Nov. 30, 2016, you have oodles of chances to win a ton of awesome to get through the holiday season. Enter here*.
*Contest runs from October 19 when this post goes live until 12:00:01 a.m. on December 1, 2016, and is open only to Canadian residents, excluding Quebec. Full terms and conditions can be found in the Rafflecopter widget. Please read carefully before entering.