Dadsense 2017 Holiday Gift Guide:

With Christmas just around the corner it’s time to start making a list and checking it twice.  This is probably the most stressful time of year for me, I’m terrible at gift giving.  I end up scrambling last minute to find something, heading out to late-night gas stations on Christmas Eve because I’ve forgotten someone. Merry Christmas, here’s a diet coke.

This year will be different though.  I started early, I did research, I took notes all year.  Unfortunately most of the things that K wanted back in February she has already bought throughout the year, but I’ve got back-up ideas.  Compiled below are a list of ideas for him, her, baby, and the family.  I hope this helps!

For Him:

Tools:

The handyman around the house can never have enough tools.  There is always SOMETHING they don’t have – new or old. For example – You probably already have screwdrivers laying about the garage, but do you have a French Screwdriver?  These classic tools are not only very stylish, but incredibly useful!  Thinking something a little more basic?  You can nail it with a good hammer (see what I did there?) engraved with something meaningful.

If you are buying any power tools it is best to stick to a common brand.  If he already has a collection of the Black & Decker 20v Matrix system, avoid buying Dewalt or Ryobi.  Since the batteries are interchangeable you can save money by buying the tool only without a battery included.

Tech:

There is all kinds of new tech gadgets out now, from drones to tablets.  Try to think of ways he can integrate technology into his day-to-day life with home automation, or accent his style.

Google Home is a great place to start – Both the Google Home and the Google Home Mini are compatible with IFTTT, a service which runs “If This Than That” commands.  Basically you can program your google home to stream your favourite show to a particular TV in the house, or turn the lights off in a room.  While the devices that can link to IFTTT are limited, the web applications are in the thousands.  If you are debating the Google Home vs. the Mini, there are a couple of things to consider – the Google Home has a wonderful microphone which will pick out a voice even with the radio on full blast, whereas the Mini isn’t as sophisticated.  The Google Home also has a better sound system than the Mini, so you can really blast the tunes.  Other than that they are fundamentally the same tool!  If you have a larger apartment or a multi-story home it may be better to buy 2 Minis and have them spread throughout your home.

Another option is a smart watch.  Android wear comes equipped with Google Assistant, so it is fundamentally a portable Google Home, just without the speakers.  I have a Moto 360 (2nd gen) that my wife bought me last year and I absolutely love it’s functionality and style.

For Her:

Clothes:

If she is pregnant or nursing you can’t go wrong with comfortable clothes!  Pajamas are always a hit, but she will probably need to extend her wardrobe a bit.  Momzelle has high-quality maternity wear which looks great and can then be used for nursing once baby comes.  For a guest post review from K and a $25 giveaway for momzelle.com, click here:

Spa:

Give mum an afternoon off.  Find a local spa and book her in for a massage.  Better yet find a babysitter and make it a romantic evening for both of you!  Think of it this way, you’re crushing this Christmas thing, you’ve earned a little time off too…

Chocolate:

Can’t go wrong with a classic!  Try to avoid the cashier check-out line chocolates and go for something a little fancier. In Toronto we have a store called Soma which has an amazing Mayan Hot Chocolate – sweet with a kick of heat.  If you don’t have a local chocolatier, try the Lindt dark chocolate with Sea Salt.  You should probably know her favourite chocolate, if not there is no time like the present to find out!

Tech:

My grandad always said “If it has a plug, it’s not a gift for a woman”, and at the time, I’ll bet he was right.  Electronics were all about practicality, not fun.  Buying a vacuum for Christmas is a great way to end up building a dog house and then sleeping in it.

That said, times are changing.  Technology is all about making life more convenient and entertaining now.  Think about her daily situation and try to make that go a little easier or more fun with one of these great ideas:

Are you an Instagram Husband?  She probably needs an HTC Sprocket to print out her favourite shots.  She may also appreciate a lens for her phone’s camera to snap some stunning shots.

Is she an avid reader, but finds she just doesn’t have time to get into a good book?  Try a subscription to Audible where she can listen to thousands of audio books!  Pair it with a set of Bluetooth headphones and she’ll get through War and Peace in a couple weeks.  Remember, with headphones you don’t need to spend a fortune for excellent audio quality. K loves her Bluedio headphones!

 

For Baby:

Last year I said the best gift for a baby is an investment in their future.  While I still believe that a contribution to an RESP is a wonderful gift, I got a lot of grief saying we should be using this time to shower our children with toys and fun things, not the promise of a future pay-out.  If you want to read more about RESP contributions, click HERE, but if you are looking for other ideas, read on:

Clothes:

Whether its your baby or another family that’s on your list, chances are they need a new outfit.  As new parents know, dressing your little one at 2 in the morning can be a complete nightmare, but MagneticMe is the ultimate solution for this.  With a quick tug the magnets will automatically line up on your little one’s onesie, and they’re back to bed in a new outfit.  No need to fiddle with snaps or buttons!  Click HERE for more information and a chance to win!

Toys:

Depending on your little one’s age there are plenty of toys to choose from.  I’m looking forward to seeing T race around on his new balance bike, and play with his pop up tent.  For the older kids you can’t go wrong with the classics: Lego, Barbie and Nerf.

Books:

The Wee Baby T is quite the reader.  At daycare he will sit in the corner with a pile of books and rifle through each one before putting them back on the rack and grabbing a new stack.  When you buy books for your little one make sure they are engaging enough that you won’t get tired of them after the 10th read on Christmas morning.  I’d suggest anything by Sandra Boynton or Crocket Johnston.  I’ve put together an Amazon wishlist with some great titles HERE.

 

For the Family:

QuickZip Sheets:

I love clean-sheet day, but I HATE changing the fitted sheet.  Banging knuckles, lifting the mattress, then it just springs off in the middle of the night anyway…  QuickZip has every bed in the house covered (no pun intended), from the crib to a California King.  Read more HERE, and enter for a chance to win your very own QuickZip sheet set!

Moso Natural:

“Some children smell… BABIES SMELL!”
~Dr. Grant, Jurassic Park

It’s kinda true, there are times after a diaper change that you feel like it might be easier to burn the house down and start over.  Baking soda doesn’t work, that thing about old teabags is a complete myth, and those spray air fresheners just make it smell like your baby pooped cherries and vanilla.  Try as it might the diaper pail just can’t keep up sometimes.

Enter Moso Natural’s activated charcoal bags.  Made from all-natural bamboo, these inconspicuous bags sit nicely in the corner and tackle even the worst diaper changes.   Read more HERE, and enter for your chance to win a 200 gram bag (big enough to keep up with a nursery or car) and a pack of 2 Moso Natural Minis for your shoes!

Museum Memberships:

We are so lucky living in Toronto, there are so many options for museums and day trips.  The last year we have spent so much time in the aquarium, the Wee Baby T loves it!

Stocking Stuffers:

“A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer”
~Mitch Hedberg

Unless you have some extra Halloween decorations laying around this might be a tough one to pull off.  Hilarious if you do though.  Baring that, why not try one of these, and don’t forget the orange!

Socks:

Socks are a traditional classic.  Both K and I have fond memories of opening oddly shaped packages to reveal cleverly packaged socks.  I remember wrapping socks individually for my mum when I was 16 so she had WAY more presents than anyone else.  Mcgregor is always a great option, and their new line of holiday themed business socks will bring a smile!  Click HERE for a chance to win a holiday pack for him!

Beer:

Everyone enjoys the occasional draft, it’s easy to sneak a can of their favourite brew into a stocking, or try something new!

Mini Lego sets:

What a great way to keep everyone entertained for 20 minutes or so!  Available on Amazon and suitable for ages from 4-99, this is something everyone can get behind.  Buy similar sets and challenge family members to a race, and when everything is built and judged get creative, put the boxes together and see what you can come up with as a family.  Take pictures, I’m dying to see!

You’ve got 3 weeks left, good luck out there!

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