Last year I suggested a list of last minute gift ideas for your ground redeeming friends and family. I’ve recently been asked if I was going to do it again…and I am. Today. Right now. So keep reading.
(By the way, feel free to look at last year’s list if nothing on this year’s strikes your fancy.)
GROW Gifts | grow something beautiful
In order to grow something beautiful, you need the right tools. So if you have a gardener in your life, here are a few gift ideas to consider.
Trowel: Just yesterday I was scrambling around my yard trying to get a few random small plants in the ground before this weekend’s freeze that I had inherited from my mother-in-law. I couldn’t have done it as easily without the right digging tool. Here’s a trowel from Fiskars that would definitely do the trick if you don’t have one. Sure…you could find one that’s fancier and maybe even more durable, but it’s probably also more expensive. I think you’ll find that this one can still dig a hole just fine.
Refuse Tub: Speaking of my mother-in-law and inheriting things (but no…she’s still alive)…one of the things she’s given me that I love the most…besides Britt…is a large refuse tub. It’s perfect to use when meandering through my yard collecting leaves and clippings. Mine’s black, but Gardener’s Supply has them in fancy colors. Having one just makes things so much easier. So I really do recommend it for any gardener. Price: $9-$13.
Garden Utility Cart: For those bigger hauls, well…you’ll need something bigger. Here’s a garden utility cart from Smart Carts recommended by gardener extraordinaire, Margaret Roach (A Way to Garden). What I love most about it is its design. Its 2 big, nicely treaded wheels help you keep your balance and push through those particularly mucky areas much more easily. But it’s not a cheap purchase and it’s not small…so you’ll probably want to buy it live vs. online. I think Sears carries it. Price: $250-$300.
PLAY Gifts | fun starts at home
Unfortunately, too many people think that they have to leave their home to have fun outside. But that’s not how it has to be. Here are 3 gift ideas that will help you and your family bring some fun back home…where it should be.
Butterfly Nursery: Both of my girls had one of these butterfly nurseries from HearthSong. If you’ve never “hatched” your own butterflies, it’s really amazing to watch the complete metamorphosis from wonky caterpillar to beautiful butterfly. Not only does it provide you and your kids a great science lesson…in the truest sense, but these flying lovelies will also do wonders for your flowers and veggies. Price: $20-$30.
Canvas Teepee: There’s just something about a teepee that encourages outdoor exploration in a kid. It doesn’t have to be fancy…just a place that transports them back into another time. You could spend a good bit of money on this basic canvas teepee from Trademark Innovations or simply buy a canvas drop cloth and drape it over a limb. Regardless, either will open up your kids’ minds for greater adventure outside at home. Price for Teepee: $100-$150. Price for Drop Cloth: $20-$45.
Hammock: When I want to take breather from all our play time…or contemplate my navel after a long day’s work, one of my favorite things to do is to glide effortlessly on one of our hammocks or porch swings. We don’t have one yet (!), but if you’re looking for a cool and very portable hammock option, consider getting an ENO hammock. Our girls have been asking for one for some time…so they’ll just have to wait and see if Santa thinks they’ve been naughty or nice this year! Price: $50-$100.
HARVEST Gifts | feed your body and soul
I find few things more rewarding than growing our own food at home. No, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have to visit the produce section at the grocery store…but there’s just something so rich about getting your hands dirty, watching a plant grow, and then eating something that you know exactly where it came from – the dirt in your own back yard. It’s good for both your body and soul.
So here are some gift ideas that I’m sure your Resident Gardener or Cook will love.
Leatherman: I have a number of cutting tools…many made for specific uses. But I often find myself reaching for the basic Leatherman that I’ve had for years. Whether for cutting, gripping, or screwing something in or down, this multi-tool classic gets the job done. And although Leatherman discontinued its gardening line some years back, their Juice line appears to have a number of tools that would be very handy in the garden.
So check it out. Price: $40-$150.
Harvest Basket: On those particularly bountiful days in our garden, it makes the job a lot easier if our family gatherer carries a harvest basket with them. We keep several waiting to be easily grabbed in our mudroom or on our back porch. Here’s a metal option that will not only help you haul a respectful sized harvest, it will also look cool just sitting there with or without veggies in it.
Cookbook: So once you’ve brought your veggies inside, you’ll want to eat them. And before that…for some, you’ll need to cook them. One of the best cookbooks I’ve found recently is by Linda Ly (aka, Garden Betty) – The CSA Cookbook. I highlighted it on RYGblog last week…but in case you missed it I wanted to share it again. Not only are Linda’s no-waste, largely vegetable-based recipes ah.may.zing, the photographs her husband Will Taylor took are equally as tasty.
GATHER Gifts | let’s get together
All too often people spend their time hanging with friends and family inside, while all along their outdoor spaces sit lonely and silent. Here are a few items that will help you leave the confines of your home to enjoy the great outdoors found right outside your back door.
String Lights: Nothing sets the mood for a relaxing evening outside more than the glow of string lights…festively draped back and forth a patio, deck…or anywhere really. We have some hanging near our chicken coop…and I plan to add some to either our patio or veggie garden this year. As with any landscape lighting, string lights extend the life and value of your outdoor spaces. And the bonus with string lights is that they’re relatively cheap and are really easy to install – like hang’em and plug’em in.
Unbreakable Wine Glasses: Now that you’ve struck the right mood with string lights, you might want to toast your time together with a nice glass of wine. But unlike indoor gathering spots, many outdoor settings don’t provide you with the perfect place to put down your libations. That’s where these unbreakable wine glasses come in very handy. Not only do they feel and look like glass…oh, and hold wine, they are also stemless. Which makes it even less likely for them to topple over off of an uneven surface. Cheers! Price: $25-$35.
Wooden Cheese Tray: Alright…you’ve set the mood and have wine in hand, now you just need to top it off with something to munch on. But to get your flavorful bites outside on something that keeps the mood moving in the right direction, consider a natural looking cheese tray. Here’s an option made of olive wood that can serve double-duty as a cutting board too. Let the good times begin!
RAISE Gifts | expand your family
I realize that some people think it’s strange when my girls tell them that we have pet chickens. But I’m good with that…and so are they. Sure, they’re not man’s best friend nor as cuddly as a kitten…but they’ve certainly extended our family’s everyday enjoyment into the animal kingdom.
So below I’ve provided you with one expected gift idea for your family pet-lover, but I’ve also shared a couple of other ideas for those on your Christmas list who are…well, strange like my family and me.
Leather Dog Leash: Although we don’t have a dog, both Britt and I always did when we were growing up. And if you have a dog, you need a leash. And in my opinion, if you have a leash it should be made out of leather…that is unless you have a dog the size of a cat, and then you should just have a cat (…don’t hate me, I said it was just my opinion). But I digress. So if you’re in the market for a leather leash, try this handsome 6’ option by Smart Dogs. Price: $20-$30.
Egg Basket: Alright, for your strange chicken-owning friends, one of the reasons that they have chickens is probably for their farm fresh eggs. And if they have more than a couple of hens they’ll risk breaking their shell-encased golden treasures if they don’t have something to put them in. Enter the classic egg basket.
Although we have one, it’s currently hanging from a rope and pulley on our girls’ treehouse. Instead, we typically use some other basket. But the point is, we have a basket. So consider this thoughtful gift for your friends who have feathered friends at home. Maybe in return they’ll give you some eggs…maybe. Price: $15-$25.
Protective Beekeeping Gloves: If you think I’m strange…I have friends who are even stranger. They raise bees. But truth be told, I’m a bit jealous of their oh-so-sweet honey and all the pollinating going on in their garden. So jealous that this year I’m seriously thinking about adding bees to the Scott Family Farm (…err, our side yard). And once I do, I’d be very happy to find some of these fancy protective gloves made from goatskin under the Christmas tree. So Britt…make a note of it for next year. Price: $7-$30.
BLEND Gifts | bring life inside
Britt likes to use use objects, textures, colors and materials that you would typically find outside to decorate inside our home. That way she kind of blur the lines between our indoor and outdoor spaces. So if you’re like Britt…or if you someone on your gift list is, here are a few ideas you could consider.
Burlap Pillow: Although burlap is a fairly rough material, it’s being used more and more on pillows, drapes, and upholstery these days. We like it because of its rough-hewn appearance…reminding us of old feed sacks. So here’s a burlap pillow that you can take one step further by personalizing it with a monogram. Price: $10-$40.
Hanging Pallet Board Panel: Spend about 13 milliseconds on Pinterest and you’ll see that building things out of pallet boards is all the craze these days. I’ve even jumped on the pallet board band wagon and built a coffee table and crafted some “art” out of this perfectly imperfect material. So if you want something made from pallet boards, but don’t want to bloody your knuckles trying to wrassle the pallets apart, check out this pre-made pallet board panel of sorts that you can use in various ways. Price: $10-$30 (or free if you have a pallet board and crowbar handy!).
Coffee Table Book: I don’t have The Southern Rustic Cabin…yet, but it’s definitely on my wish list. In its pages, author and photographer Emily Followill shares her love of the South and all things beautiful. Complemented by a peak into the history of 13 amazing cabin-style homes, Emily’s stunning photographs make anyone want to live in a cabin of their own.
And besides being an amazing photographer, Emily is an amazing person through and through. We know because she’s one of Britt’s dear friends from high school. So take a look for yourself and buy one for one of your dear friends…or treat yourself. Go ahead, do it…you deserve it. (By the way, I’ll be doing a review of this gorgeous coffee table book sometime the first of the year, but I didn’t want to miss out on sharing it with you before all of these full-octane gift-buying days are over. So stay tuned for that.)
Alright, there you have it…the RYG Christmas Gift List for 2015. I hope you found something you liked. But, again…if you didn’t, check out last year’s post. Perhaps you’ll find something there.
Merry Christmas friends,
Disclosure: I don’t know if I’m legally required to do this, but other bloggers do. So just to be on the safe side, I will too. Soooo, just FYI…a number of the products above go to Amazon affiliate links, from which I make a small commission. So if you happen to buy something from one of these links I might be able to buy a pack of gum….maybe. Thanks!