gift ideas

Christmas Gifts

I’m just going to come out and say that I hope you don’t think this is a tacky post. It’s not something I was planning on sharing on the blog, but I’ve been getting a ton of emails (and Snapchats/tweets) about where I got certain things. I shared a few snippets of what I got my family for the holidays on social media, and I’ll just round it up in one post here.

That’s the first disclosure. The second disclosure here is that I went overboard with the presents. I normally do one “big” gift for my mom, dad, and sister, but this year I did a bunch of around-one-hundred-dollar gifts. Also, I was buying things from Thanksgiving to Christmas and shipping directly to my parent’s house in Florida… and didn’t realize the extent of shopping I did. (Frankly, I couldn’t help myself because I kept finding “perfect” things for each member!)

Oh, and while I’m at it, I wish I could have shared all of this before Christmas… but I didn’t want to ruin any of the surprises.


FOR MY DAD // My dad is one of the hardest people in the family to shop for. He doesn’t need a lot… he says he doesn’t want a lot… and he’s the first person to tell you he doesn’t love a gift. (Not in a mean way, just an honest, “let’s return this because I won’t use it.”) I was especially thoughtful with his gifts and knocked it out of the park. Like home run, pat myself on the back, nailed it.

I think the riskiest gift I got him was a pair of Allbird Sneakers. First of all, buying shoes for someone else is always a risk, let alone a guy. Let alone an extremely picky guy. I did ask my dad for his shoe size before I purchased and he gave me his long spiel about why shoes NEVER fit him. They. Fit. Perfectly. And he’s been wearing them every day. They look amazing and are a very “in” sneaker. Completely made of wool, you don’t have to wear socks which I knew my dad would love.

After playing with my friend’s kinetic sand from Brookstone. It was such a fun feeling, and I knew my dad would be obsessed. He immediately opened and started playing with it. He puts the little sandbox on his lap while he watches tv to play with it. The sand is so weird but feels so relaxing.

While I was home over Thanksgiving, my mom and dad had this huge discussion about espresso versus coffee. My dad loves espresso, but my mom (and I) had a feeling that the “shots” he was making weren’t actually espresso. I knew he’d LOVE a Nespresso machine… and (bam!) he does. He says he has to stop himself from making them too often throughout the day and that he’s addicted already.

FOR MY MOM // My mom is honestly pretty easy to shop for, which also makes it hard. My sister and I got her a really nice present for her 60th birthday in June, and it felt like the pressure was on.

On Cyber Monday, I ordered my mom a bunch of plates, mugs, and dishtowels from Anthropologie. They all had vintage winter scenes on them; my mom loves them.

Last minute I ordered her an LL Bean Boat and Tote with “Meesh” embroidered on it. It’s perfect for her errands. (Here’s my guide for finding the perfect size.)

Then I also got her one of these desk signs. Hers is sold out, but it says “World’s Best Mom.” Because, duh! She’s the world’s best mom!

When I bought my dad the Allbird sneakers, I also got my mom a pair! Martha Stewart apparently wears them, so I knew my mom would also approve. They’re so comfortable and look chic with a bunch of her outfits.

FOR MY SISTER // I knew my parents were getting my sister an iPhone for Christmas (which she needed and got earlier in the month), but I still wanted to make sure she had a bunch of stuff to open on Christmas. Plus, her birthday is in December, and I wasn’t home for it, so I doubled down on everything.

Stacy is incredibly musically inclined. She can play any instrument without lessons. It drives me crazy because I can’t, but it’s pretty incredible to witness. So, I bought her a ukelele! She immediately started strumming along. Can’t wait to see how she progresses over time.

One thing that I knew she would love was the Mantraband that says “She Believed She Could So She Did.” We’re all about positivity and good energy in our family, and the message couldn’t be better suited for her.

Bah and then I found this constellation light for her bedroom. She’s trying to not have too many decorations, and I thought it was the perfect thing to hang without being overwhelming. It felt like fate when they only had Sagittarius (her sign) in stock.

When I read You Are a Badass earlier in the year I knew my sister needed to read it too. We love sharing self-help books, haha. So into her stocking it went! I also got her this 52 Week Journal, which is right up her alley.

Those were the original gifts that I had for her and then I saw this letter board and also had to get it. I know she wanted to keep things “minimal” in her room, but she shares the cutest apartment with her friends, and I thought it was such a fun thing to hang by the front door with messages. They host great parties, and it’s the perfect welcome sign!

See? I went a little crazy! But it was such an incredible Christmas morning, and I love ’em, so it was 200% worth it!

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Shayla McMurray

Love hearing about your thoughtful gift giving! What did you get for Christmas?



I purchased the same mantra band a few years ago and I wear it everyday! Great gift idea!


These sound like great gifts! I’m definitely thinking about getting that exact Mantraband soon.


Lindsay Cornish

Love this post! You gave some super thoughtful gifts! I bought a Letter Board on Black Friday from Letterfolk and I am obsessed! What gifts did you get for Christmas?

Maria Fernanda

I love this post Carly, buying presents for family members is just super fun and extremely rewarding when you know that they actually like and use what you gave them. 🙂