The holidays are near, and we are so excited to celebrate this year. For our family, 2021 was a wonderful year and we have so much to be grateful for. There have been some challenges and losses, and we still struggle in some ways, but overall, arriving at the end with our health, our family still around us, with the boys able to go in person to school again and enjoy learning, and for my husband to be employed, I fee grateful. I am looking forward to spending Christmas and New Year with all our family in a way I appreciate more than ever, and have been filled with the joy of the coming season, planning, and surrounding ourselves with the decor, scents, and feel of the season.
A big part of the holidays for many of us is gifting, so I wanted to share some of our favorite finds in the last year, whether as gift ideas for others or for ourselves (and yourselves). We tend toward minimalism, but some things just added so much to our quality of life, happiness, and overall goals that we didn’t mind adding items in, so without further ado, here are our favorite gift ideas for 2021!
Best Gift Ideas for 2021
I eat a strongly keto diet (mixed in with intermittent fasting) and I’ve been wanting to try an air fryer for a long time. Many people do, and they are so convenient and affordable that they tend to replace our constant use of ovens and stovetops once we get one in our kitchen. I really shouldn’t have waited, because these things are amazing. I am able to use the Dreo Airfryer Pro Max for air frying, baking, and more, and ever since we laid it on our kitchen counter, it’s been used at least three times a day. It makes amazing grilled cheese sandwiches for the boys for breakfast, fabulous grilled veggies for our snacks (love air-fried broccoli, cauliflower, or brussel sprouts!), and when I do splurge on some starchy, hearty sweet potato fries, they come out so crisp and delicious. Bacon made in the air fryer comes out perfect, and it’s easier to clean up the grease too.
Considering how much the price of gas went up recently, having an air fryer that lets us cut back on overusing our oven and stove is money-saving, and the Dreo Airfryer has all our foods ready way faster than typical baking or grilling allows. If you love kale chips as much as I do, they come out really great too, and the air fryer is able to cook vegetables from frozen (no defrosting required, and no sogginess), and even roast and bake. Since nothing is actually fried in oil, it’s healthier too. It heats up to 450º F (but really requires much less heat than a traditional oven and much less time, so keep checking on your food with the internal light and view window until you get used to the times), and I am anxious to try making dried fruits with it because I love dried mango so much (waiting for it to come back into season). There are multiple cooking options, so you can also cook chicken, baked treats, and even yogurt! The touch-button menu has a quick pick of most common options with preselected times and temperatures to make it easy to start, and I find myself using the options for vegetables, fries, and bake the most.
One of my favorite healthy snacks: I rinse a package of organic brussel sprouts, slice them up and toss them with a very small of olive oil in a boil, then air fry them until the edges are nice and browned. Then I throw them back into the bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, spritz of lemon juice, and some salt and pepper. It’s soooo good!!
I’m planning to try more recipes this season and will update with my favorites, but for now, if you are looking for Christmas Gift Ideas for someone who loves delicious, healthy foods at home too, this is a great pick! The Dreo Airfryer Pro Max doesn’t take up a lot of space, but will be one of the most versatile kitchen gadgets, especially if you are keto or low-carb and eat healthy. Buy one for your own family too! There is a recipe book with 100 recipes to help get you started.
We are simple when it comes to decorating, but we still love to decorate. Christkindl offers lovely, well made, simply beautiful Christmas decor that is so charming, as well as unique gifts that are hand made in Germany and are truly special. We fell hard for some of the offerings from ChristKindle Live, including their handmade (in Germany) nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, and gnomes. How beautiful are these?
There are delicate skiing ornaments, interesting treats made from dried fruits, teas and tea lights, a storm lantern (very romantic story behind it), a limited time Christmas sweatshirt with 3D printing, plush toys that are wonderfully huggable, and more to fill your home with whimsy and the Christmas spirit. We already know we are going to shop for Christmas gifts from CuckooForest.com (available at ChristKindle.live as well) for beautiful cuckoo clocks, and can’t wait to surprise our family and friends with such wonderfully crafted gifts.
Great Kids Books from Abrams Books
Reading = happiness, and we love, love, love the new books from Abrams Kids. The boys are HUGE fans of both the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and the amazing Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, graphic novels about real historical events retold in a way that children will embrace (funny and educational). My younger son loves animals so much, so added Earth’s Aquarium to his collection, a gorgeous picture book sharing facts and stunning drawings about sea life that has kept him entranced since he got it. It has information on a vast number of both well known and more exotic sea creatures, and we love learning about them.
Abrams Books encompass multiple lines that are created for children to enjoy, including Amulet, Cameron Kids, and Magic Cat books. The newest books are so amazing, and the illustrations are so lovely, that the hard cover versions would be wonderful gifts. If you have a history buff, Crazy Horse and Custer is a great choice, and if you have a little foodie, Feast Your Eyes on Food is an incredible book that showcases all types of foods for your growing epicurean. Soul Food Sunday and Terrific Table Manners round out a great gift collection so that mini-gourmands-in-training can read about family feasting and learn how to throw a great dinner party.
I love books that encourage thinking, teach new concepts, explain history, or flesh out a subject for an enthusiast who wants to learn everything they can about their new hobby, and I especially love stories that make children feel good about being brave, friendly, and valuing family and friends. Check out the newest books from Abrams Books online or at your local bookstore, and fill our your child’s personal library with some truly wonderful new books.
More ideas? We love experiences! Take loved ones out for a day of sledding, invite them over for a homecooked dinner, go for a walk on a quiet, snowy night and take a break for hot chocolate. Just be together, enjoy each other, and have fun!