Category Archives: Holiday Gift Guides

Locals Only Holiday Gift Guide: Launching Success {Giveaway}

Locals Only Holiday Gift Guide

Some of our favorite spots to shop in Bellingham let us come wander around their stores, picking gifts we love for our first ever LOCALS ONLY Holiday Gift Guide on bellingFAM!

We hope you enjoy these peeks into local stores and that you take the time to stop there over the holidays (and beyond!) to do some shopping. We all know how nice and easy it is to order your gifts from Amazon, but I’m encouraging you to pick at least one gift on your list this year and find it locally instead. It makes a difference!

Our first stop for our LOCALS ONLY Holiday Gift Guide is Launching Success Learning Store (133 Prince Avenue, Bellingham). Tucked just off of Meridian, behind the shopping mall that is home to the car wash, this is, without a doubt, one of our favorite places to shop in Bellingham. There is so much to love at Learning Success, for the holidays and beyond, including countless birthday gift ideas, educational tools, craft supplies, kid-friendly science kits and more. We could go on for days, truly.

Here are ten of our favorite gift ideas from Launching Success, although this is really just a tiny peek at what they have to offer!

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 Make Your Own Comic Book Kit, $30

They actually had a few different versions of these kits available and I know that they’d be a hit with kiddos like mine who love gifts that combine creativity and imagination. You actually send their draft to the company and they send you a printed copy, which is extra cool!

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Stamp Mino Sets, $12

Stamps can be tricky for kids of all ages, especially for little ones, but these looked cute and easy to hold. Launching Success said this is a new line they’re carrying and at just over $10 for a set, they make the perfect gift.

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Floating Tug Boat & Tip Truck, $16 each

I have a little guy who loves vehicles, so I know a good one when I see it! Launching Success has a really nice selection of cars and trucks and boats and such and these looked like the perfect start to a new vehicle-lover’s collection. Plus, that tug boat is bath tub friendly!

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Plus-Plus Building Set, $20
(Psst! Giveaway below!)

These Plus-Plus building pieces caught my eye right away. I had received a tiny little sample pack for work recently and I was thrilled to find them again. They take builders who love Legos to the next level and are a great gift if you still need to pop something in the mail to the kiddos you love! (Easy to ship!)

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Teeter Popper, $38

For kiddos who can’t, won’t, shouldn’t sit still, I love the Teeter Popper. You can sit on it, stand on it, lay on it, rock it, or whatever helps channel the energy of those wiggle worms! I love that this is a gift that grows with your kids, from toddlers to tweens.

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Water Dancing Speakers, $60

Jen of Launching Success gave me the heads up on this cool gift idea. You hook up these speakers to your music-playing device (iPad, iPod, iPhone, smart phone, computer, etc.) and the water dances and lights up to the beat of whatever tunes you play. I saw them in action and they are very impressive! They come in a set of two and would be a fantastic gift for the tween who has it all.

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Miner Helmet, $15

This was the first gift I spotted when I got to Launching Success and it made me smile because I could just imagine how much fun these lighted helmets would spur. And, at under $20, they’re a great price point for a gift that has a lot of wow.

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Sing-Along Star Microphone, $40

I added this microphone to the list of my favorites because we have had a handful of them over the years for the girls and they’ve all been pieces of junk… until now. These came with a stand and they actually seemed to be kid-friendly and like they would stand-up to some true kid rock star moments (AKA tantrums).

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Individual Chalkboards, $4 each

Don’t forget to wander over to the section of Launching Success where they keep all of the teacher supplies. There are some great gift ideas over there… especially if you have kids who love to play school, like I do. These chalkboards will be an instant favorite at my house and at just $4 each, I can tuck some away for when friends come over to play, too.

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Music Maker, $39

When I saw this on the shelf, I had to take a moment and step back to my own 5th grade music class (with Mrs. Wood at Silver Beach, in the old brick building!). I was just reminiscing about them with a friend and was thinking about how much the girls would love having one. They also carry the sheet music that you slip underneath the strings for $6 each.

Launching Success has kindly offered a giveaway for bellingFAM readers! One winner will receive a 300-Piece Mini PlusPlus Shape Set ($20 value). Winner may choose from pastel or basic color, pending availability. Winner MUST be a local reader, as prize pick-up is only available at the Bellingham Launching Success location! No exceptions. This is a ONE-DAY ONLY giveaway! Ends tonight at midnight, so enter before you go…

Don’t forget to enter our bellingFAM Holiday Gift Guide Favorites Giveaway while you’re here!

To enter to win a 300-Piece Mini PlusPlus Shape Set, please visit Rafflecopter:

Giveaway Button

You can find our other Holiday Gift Guides on bellingFAM:
Gifts for Girls
Gifts for Boys
Gifts for Moms
Gifts for Dads
Katie’s Favorite Gifts

This giveaway was provided by Launching Success.

Are you a local store or business that would like to be featured on bellingFAM?
Email us! bellingFAM at gmail dot com

Holiday Gift Guide Favorites {Giveaway}

If you’ve been anywhere near bellingFAM the past couple of weeks, you’ve been bombarded by our Holiday Gift Guides. Gifts for moms. Gifts for girls and gifts for boys. Gifts for hard-to-shop-for dads. And, some of my favorite gifts from my own holiday wish list.

As we were pulling together our gift guides and chatting with some of these brands and stores about being featured, a handful of them kindly offered to provide a giveaway for our dear bellingFAM readers… and, of course, we said yes!

We also have our LOCALS ONLY gift guides and giveaways happening this week, so if you are in Bellingham or Whatcom County, you won’t want to miss that… stay tuned!

Holiday Gift Guide Favorites Giveaway

One winner will win the following favorites from our Holiday Gift Guide series… (EEK!!!)

Gift Guide for Moms- TriBELLA

TRIbella Wine Aerator
($40 value)

We’re obsessed with our TRIbella Wine Aerator and think it’s the absolute perfect gift for the holidays… especially if you’re on the hunt for a hostess gift or a gift for your favorite girlfriends. Just add a bottle of wine and you’re set!

Gift Guide for Moms- Erin Condren Phone Holder

$50 Erin Condren Gift Card
($50 value)

We featured the new Erin Condren Phone Wallets in our Gift Guide for Moms, but there is so, so, so much to love from Erin Condren and you’ll have a hard time picking what to spend this generous gift card on… trust us! (I had the chance to interview Erin Condren once and I admire her, very much. Such a great model of a mom building a successful business! Read the interview on SheKnows Parenting.)

Gift Guide for Boys- Kate&James

kate&jAMES Kids’ Tee of Your Choice
($24 value)

You know our love for kate&jAMES, who we featured in our Gift Guide for Boys, runs deep and they’re always so kind to give us a cute tee for our giveaways. Choose one of their kids’ or infant tees for this giveaway from what they currently have available in-stock.

Gift Guide for Boys- Grom Squad Hat

Grom Squad Kids’ Hat of Your Choice
($23 value)

While we featured Grom Squad on our Gift Guide for Boys, they actually have very cute hats for girls, too! The winner will get to pick a kids’ hat from their current collection, which comes in sizes 6-months to 5-years.

Gift Guide for Girls- Jamberry Nails

$25 Jamberry Gift Certificate
($25 value)

I was thrilled when a local Jamberry Nails consultant, Sommer, contacted me about featuring these cool nail wraps, which we featured in our Gift Guide for Girls, because they’re such a great and affordable gift idea. She’s generously donating a $25 Jamberry gift certificate, so you can pick out your favorite Jamberry style to try! Please note that your order must be placed through Sommer… (and, if you’re a local, stay tuned because she’s donated a little something for that giveaway too!)

Cupcake Royale Kit

Cupcake Royale Cupcaking Mix & Frosting Bundle
($20 value)

Absolutely the most delicious gift in this giveaway, Seattle’s Cupcake Royale has included one of their Cupcaking Mix & Frosting Bundles in our giveaway. Yum, anyone? I’ve personally used this kit and the cupcakes are to die for. They truly taste like they’ve come straight from the bakery. And, don’t even get me started on that frosting, which you’ll want to eat with a spoon. Straight out of the container. Don’t miss their larger Cupcaking kit on our Gift Guide for Girls for a great gift idea.

A few giveaway details:
One winner will receive all six giveaway prizes, over $180 total value. US residents only, please. You must be 18 years old to enter and to win. All entries will be verified. Christmas delivery for these giveaway items is NOT guaranteed, or even likely, so don’t count on these to be under your tree!

To enter the bellingFAM Holiday Gift Guide Favorites Giveaway, please click below to enter via Rafflecopter:

Giveaway Button

(A HUGE thank you to these generous brands for providing these giveaway items! We are so grateful and love working with each of you. xxoo.)

Giveaway items provided by each brand.
Some items were received for review.
No additional compensation was provided.
All opinions are my own, as always.

bellingFAM Holiday Gift Guide {2014}: Katie’s favorite picks

Holiday Gift Guide

Last, but not least, in our Holiday Gift Guides this year is the gifts on my very own wish list! I try to make it easy on my dear husband and collect gift ideas for him throughout the year on a specific Pinterest board… and it usually works in my favor, as he’s pulled gift ideas straight from that list more than a couple of times. Here’s what I have my eye on for the holidays… just in case Santa is reading!

Katie's Favorite Gifts

One.
Bobbi Brown “Beach” Eau de Parfum, Nordstrom, $65
To be honest, I’ve never tried this scent, nor have I ever sniffed it in person, but I hear so many good things about it, that I can’t resist. Who doesn’t want to smell like the beach? In a good way, I mean.

Two.
Threshold Pouf, Target, $60
I’m dreaming of one of these poufs and I swoon over them every time I go to Target. We don’t have a coffee table in our living room and I’d love to have one (or a few!) of these to kick our feet up on.

Three.
Women’s Insulated Tatiana Jacket, The North Face, $185
Mmm… This jacket. I actually spotted it in navy first, but it sold out quickly. This army green is just as good and I love that high collar.

Four.
Kate Spade New York Acrylic Desk Accessories, Swoozie’s, $24-28
Another gift idea that I’ve been stalking for ages… first on Anthropologie (where they’re sold out) and now these, from Kate Spade. Even though Meg would likely hoard them both for crafting, I have my eye on the stapler & that cute tape dispenser.

Five.
16 Ounce JOCO Cup, JOCO, $27
My poor travel coffee bit the dust earlier this year and I’ve been hunting for a new one to take its place. I love the idea of a glass cup like this, which is a nice update on the ever-popular Mason jar.

Six.
Copper Pint Glass, Sur la Table, $20
Copper Moscow Mule mugs are at the top of my must-have list right now, but as I was searching, I spotted these tumblers and practically cried with happiness. Because what’s better than a Moscow Mule in a copper mug? An ENTIRE PINT GLASS of Moscow Mule. Yum.

Seven.
Leather-Wrapped Headphones, Anthropologie, $158
Headphones are a huge part of my work survival, since I often make my office at a local coffee shop. I have a great pair of ear bud headphones that I love, but thought these would be a nice addition to my “office supplies.” (That’s considered a write-off, right?)

Eight.
Midnight Floral Kitchen Recipe Box, Rifle Paper Co., $34
I received my current recipe box at my bridal shower. Almost 13 years ago. The end.

Nine.
Women’s Fergalicious Disobey Wedges, OnlineShoes.com, $60
This could hardly be a holiday wish list of my favorites without include a pair of shoes! While these are hardly winter-appropriate, I’m in love them with them all the same.

Ten.
5-Piece Calibowl Nesting Bowl Mixing Set, Crate & Barrel, $50
I’m trying to slowly rebuild my kitchen collection. We received so many of our kitchen supplies from our wedding (again, a million years ago) and a lot of our pieces are in their last stages of life. I’m down to two mixing bowls — a big one and a small one — plus some other cheap, random bowl that I use in a pinch. They’re all ugly and nearly dead, so this new set looks like a dream.

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Don’t miss our other holiday gift guides:
Gifts for moms
Gifts for dads
Gifts for girls
Gifts for boys

bellingFAM Holiday Gift Guide {2014}: For the dads

Gifts for Dads

By far, the hardest ones to shop for are the dads. What is it about them anyway? Is it because when they want or need something, they just go out and buy it themselves? Maybe that’s it. So practical, those dads. We’ve literally been saving these gift ideas for dads all year long. Here’s to hoping that a few of them will be a good fit for the dads in your life! (Good luck!)

bellingFAM Holiday Gift Guide for Dads

One.
Collapsible Utility Bucket, Uncommon Goods, $30
Dads and buckets go together like, well, dads and buckets. Dads love buckets and they usually have quite a collection, if they’re like the dads in our life. But, does he have one that collapses? Very cool and bonus points if you fill it up with some fun stuff, like car washing supplies.

Two.
Solid Cologne Trio, Bawston & Tucker on Shoppe by Scout Mob, $42
If you’re dad loves to smell handsome, we think these little solid colognes are perfect for his stocking. Plus, the trio gives you three chances to find a scent he likes.

Three.
Totescarf, Wintercheck Factory on AhaLife, $48
You can’t see it well on the picture above, but this scarf has a hidden zippered pocket, making it a good gift for the dad who loves to tailgate.

Four.
European Sports Car Room Spray, Archer Men, $14
Now, we know the dad in our life would love this, especially since his European car lost that coveted scent, oh, about 30 years ago. Other manly scents available, including “Distillery” and “Hunting Lodge.”

Five.
Good Grips Silicone Razor Holder, The Container Store, $3
These little razor holders have “stocking stuffer” written all over them.

Six.
Picnic Plus Cooladio Tub Cooler, Amazon, $65
This collapsible cooler is super cool and will keep him from making endless trips to the cooler. Plus, it can easily be folded up  to keep in the trunk of his car for on-the-go cooler needs. Because those exist, in the Land of Dads.

Seven.
Pints of Steel Set, Urban Outfitters, $18
Because dads love beer.

Eight.
Popcorn Flight Carton, KuKuRuZa, $19
KuKuRuZa popcorn is one of our favorite gifts, especially if you have a dad that lives far away because they will ship for you! For the Flight Carton, you can pick SEVEN different flavors. (The Jalapeno White Cheddar is Josh’s favorite!)

Nine.
Custom-Message Leather Wallet, Found by Nicki on Etsy, $40 (she’s local!)
A local friend sent us this suggestion (thanks, hs!) and we replaced the wallet we were previously going to feature for these gems! These are custom-made wallets for dad, with any message you’d like to include. Check out her entire shop — so many thoughtful, beautiful gifts to choose from… straight out of Bellingham!

Ten.
Bamboo Calculator, West Elm, $24
Make him finally kick that TI-85 (from high school!) to the curb and upgrade his calculator to something a little more hip. If calculators are hip. Which they are when you’re married to an engineer.

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Don’t miss our other Holiday Gift Guides:
Gifts for Girls
Gifts for Boys
Gifts for Moms

Stay tuned for a gift guide favorites giveaway later this week! xo.

bellingFAM Holiday Gift Guide {2014}: For the moms

Gifts for Moms

It seems to me that moms are the easiest people to shop for, but maybe that depends on the mom! Here are some of my favorite gifts for the moms or for the gals in your life, AKA this is your shopping cheat sheet, guys!

bellingFAM Holiday Gift Guide for Moms

One.
Love + Salt Beach Hair and Body Mist, Olivine Atelier, $10
I’ve heard the best things about this beach spray and at $10, this is a great gift for a girlfriend or a stocking stuffer. Beach spray works great on any hair type…

Two.
Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix & Mae James Coffee Beans, Not Without Salt, $27
And, yum. Buy this cooking-making kit for mom and let her stash them away and eat them ALL BY HERSELF. You can also buy the cookie mix on its own (also available in white chocolate peppermint with vanilla salt for the holidays!), but I love the pairing with coffee. Two gifts in one!

Three.
Enamel Initial Cuff, C. Wonder, $48
Every, every, EVERY mom will love this initial cuff. Get her first or last initial. Or, the initial of one of her kiddos. Some letters are already sold out, so if you want one of these as a gift for the holidays, grab it now.

Four.
RainColor Boots, MUNY, $139
A friend pointed me in the direction of these boots (thanks, kc!) and I think they are so cool! They were initially funded via Kickstarter and if the mom in your life loves boots, these are a fun new addition to her collection.

Five.
Faribault for Target Wool Shawl, Target, $60
Everyone needs something soft for the holidays, don’t you think? Loving this stylish shawl as a gift for moms because it is size-free!

Six.
Women’s Reclaimed Down Scarf, Patagonia, $99
I have a lovely friend who is a bit Patagonia-obsessed (name withheld to protect the guilty) and she was kind enough to share one of her favorites for the gift guide. Each scarf is made from used Patagonia jackets from this limited edition collection.

Seven.
TRIbella Wine Aerator, Amazon, $40
This gadget is my latest obsession, not only because it pours the wine in a very classy triple spout, but because, FINALLY, I don’t drip wine all over the counter top!

Eight.
Phone Wallet, Erin Condren, $29
So many moms on-the-go just grab their wallet, keys and phone to run into the store or to grab the kids from school. These phone wallets are a must — she can slip some cash and a credit card along with her phone to keep her hands free for shoe-tying and grocery grabbing.

Nine.
Small Weekender Bag, Kate Spade Saturday, $170
If you’re looking for a splurge gift for mom, consider one of these weekender bags from Kate Spade Saturday, their newest brand. This one is pretty cute, but you can also customize a weekender for her or get her a gift card to let her customize one for herself.

Ten.
Emily McDowell Grocery Bag, Urban Outfitters, $24
I couldn’t resist adding this tote bag because it sums up motherhood so well, doesn’t it? Groceries and shit, where “shit” usually means someone’s left shoe, a dozen string cheese wrappers, school permission slips and art projects, that tube of lip gloss you’ve been searching for…. You get the idea.

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Don’t miss our other holiday gift guides:
Gifts for Dads
Gifts for Girls
Gifts for Boys

 Stay tuned for a gift guide favorites giveaway later this week!

bellingFAM Holiday Gift Guide {2014}: For the boys

bellingFAM Gift Guide for Boys

Boys, boys, boys. They can be the hardest ones to shop for, can’t they? Here are some of our favorite gifts for boys that we hope will be a hit this holiday season. A few of these are already beloved, Everett-approved toys in our house and a few are ones that he might find under the Christmas tree this year!

Gift Guide for Boys

One.
Chase Wooden Taxi Cab, EllaMenoPea, $30
Everett has one of these gorgeous cars from EllaMenoPea and it’s one of his most prized toys. I love that it’s nice and big — I often try to steal it to put on his dresser, because it’s so cool as decor, but he always catches me and puts it back with his car collection! (Psst! EllaMenoPea is a Seattle company and all of their products are hand-crafted by a cool dad!)

Two.
Rock-Out Headphones, Pottery Barn Teen, $39 (on sale!)
These headphone from Pottery Barn Teen are a huge hit at our house. The girls both have them and Ev is next. They’re cool and useful and super sturdy, without looking like they’re made for little kids. Plus, they come with an extra long extension cord, which comes in handy often!

Three.
I’m Just Moon Walkin’ Tee, kate&jAMES, $24
You know we love our locally-based kate&jAMES! This is one of their newest tees and it’s a must-have for the little guys on your list… or the girls, for that matter!

Four.
Fish Bones Hat, Grom Squad, $23
I met this cool new brand at the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas earlier this year and was so excited when they launched recently. It’s harder than you think to find cool hats for little guys and these are awesome!

Five.
Home Run Baseball Blanket, Teamees, $53 and up
This blanket has been on my Gift Brainstorms Pinterest board for ages and I’m just waiting to find the perfect little guy to gift one to. They make blankets for other sports, as well, and each blanket comes in multiple sizes.

Six.
The S’more the Merrier Campfire Set, The Land of Nod, $69
I’m obsessed with this for Everett because he absolutely loves to tend the campfires during the summer… and throw stuff in the fire. Same thing, right? Looks like it’s backordered until January now. Bummer!

Seven.
Color the Earth Kit, Uncommon Goods, $25
A very cool gift for the boys who are a little older, this is a great gift to mail, since it comes deflated. Perfect for the kiddo with a touch of wanderlust…

Eight.
Handtrux Backhoe, Amazon, $18
How innovative are these? Apparently, there is an entire TV show based around these hand shovels for kids. There are other versions available on Amazon, as well.

Nine.
Star Wars Glowing Lightsaber Ice Pop Maker, Amazon, $35
While we’re not certain if these are a great gift idea or one that will have you yelling “stop touching your popsicles together!” they are still super fun. Maybe you should get these for someone else’s kid. That might be a better plan!

Ten.
Ferry Boat with Mini Cars, Green Toys, $25
Everything from Green Toys is a favorite, but this ferry boat caught my eye. Josh and I joke that Everett loves to line up his cars so much that he’ll likely be that guy who waves the cars onto the ferry boats when he gets older. You know what I mean, right?

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Don’t miss our other holiday gift guides:
Gifts for girls
Gifts for moms
Gifts for dads

Stay tuned for a gift guide favorites giveaway next week!

bellingFAM Holiday Gift Guide {2014}: For the girls

bellingFAM Gift Guide for Girls Banner

If there is anyone on my holiday gift buying list that’s easy to shop for, it’s my girls. I could shop for Janie and Meg for hours and have an endless wishlist for them… that they don’t even know exists. Here are some of my favorite picks for gifts for girls!

bellingFAM Gift Guide for Girls

One.
Glowing LED Memo Alarm Clock, Amazon.com, $15
This cool alarm clock has been on my Gift Brainstorms Pinterest board for ages and I think I’ll finally pick them up for the girls for Christmas this year. I can only imagine what they will write on there…

Two.
Cozy Cotton Robe, Pottery Barn Teen, $31 (currently on sale!)
These are so cute and the price is certainly right for a Christmas gift. I love that bold bright pattern. You might want to note that these come in teen sizes, not kid sizes, so order appropriately.

Three.
Show Horse Play Stable, Land of Nod, $29
This has Meg written all over it… and I suspect that if you have a daughter under the age of 10, it probably has her name written on it, too.

Four.
Sip Sip Tumbler with Straw, ban.do, $11 (currently on sale!)
Tumblers with lids and straws are such a great option for kiddos who have grown out of a sippy cup, but who aren’t quite ready for a lid-free drink. Loving this heart print for the girls and these would make a cute gift idea for friends, too.

Five.
Feeling Festive Nail Wraps, Jamberry Nails, $15 (Sommer is a local representative!)
Jamberry Nails are new to us, but they’re so fun and much easier than nail polish. I’m excited to tuck some in their girls’ stockings this year.

Six.
Cupcaking Kit, Cupcake Royale, $43
This kit is from our favorite cupcake shop in Seattle and being able to make them at home is such a guilty pleasure… for the kids. (cough, cough.)

Seven.
Heart Chalkboard, Cost Plus World Market, $10
I spotted these when I was shopping a few weeks ago and nearly bought them for every girl we know. They’re even cuter in person.

Eight.
Slush & Shake Maker, Zoku, $20
My girls would absolutely love these for whipping up a treat on their own and experimenting in the kitchen a bit. Plus, they’re a great price point for a holiday gift! (Buy it locally at Launching Success!)

Nine.
Friendship Bracelet Temporary Tattoos, Tattly, $5 for a set of two
I’m obsessed with this website and you will be too. They have the coolest temporary tattoos (for adults, too!) and there are a ton of designs to choose from.

Ten.
Carve-a-Stamp Kit, Yellow Owl Workshop, $30
For the girls who love to craft, this stamp-making kit is awesome. I love a good gift that will also keep my girls busy for more than 18-seconds.

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Don’t miss our other holiday gift guides:
Gifts for boys
Gifts for moms
Gifts for dads

Stay tuned next week for a gift guide favorites giveaway!