I have a lot of important women in my family – my mom, sisters-in-law, aunts, friends. I want to get them gifts they’ll really enjoy to let them know how important they are to me, but it can be difficult to find just the right gift. Here are a few of my favorites and maybe they’ll help you shop for the women in your life.
Yep, I put this on the right list. Coloring books aren’t just for kids anymore. Coloring books are a great way to wind down after a long day. You often hear about the benefits of meditation, but for some of us it’s hard to find the time or to slow down enough for it. Coloring books are a perfect alternative to meditation. In fact, the Huffington Post recently wrote about Why Coloring Could Be The New Alternative To Meditation. I like it for three reasons. First of all, I have a hard time winding down enough to meditate; I’m generally going 60 miles an hour and it’s hard to crash to a halt. Coloring is a nice way to continue to be active but slow down. It helps me to relax and gives me something to focus on without adding any stress or something else I need to finish. Second, I am not artist, but I enjoy creating things. My crafts and projects are often not Pinterest-worthy, but when I coloring in a coloring book I create something beautiful without needing a lot of time or talent! Third, it’s an activity I can do alongside my children. They love to color and draw pictures and they love having me spend time with them and do what they’re doing. This is a good way to spend time with them but feel like I’m doing something for myself too.
There are about a bajillion adult coloring books on the market, but I really enjoy the books by my friend Wendy Piersall, which are all available on Amazon for between $5.50 and $9 each (Amazon prices often change, so they may go up or down):
- Coloring Animal Mandalas
- Coloring Flower Mandalas: 30 Hand-Drawn Designs for Mindful Meditation
- Coloring Dream Mandalas: 30 Hand-Drawn Designs for Mindful Meditation
- Coloring Ocean Mandalas: 30 Hand-Drawn Designs for Mindful Mediation
My personal favorite is Coloring Dream Mandalas, but they’re all pretty awesome. Wendy has a very helpful article about How to Color, and includes her recommendations for colored pencils, markers, and pens. I haven’t tried as many as she has, but my budget picks are Crayola 36-count colored pencils or Fiskars 48-count gel pens. Give a coloring book and colored pencils or gel pens as a gift for around $25, or make up a relaxation basket with a candle, slippers, a mug, and a favorite hot beverage like tea, coffee, or hot cocoa.
It’s hard to go wrong with a spa service – massage, facial, or mani/pedi. Whether stress comes from school, a job, kids, or life in general (or all of the above), this will give the woman in your life a chance to forget it all and focus on herself for an hour or so. Buy a gift certificate so the recipient can choose their treatment, or if you really want to splurge you can purchase a spa package. If it’s for your mother, daughter, sister, or friend consider booking some service together so you can enjoy some relaxation too.
If this seems a little too pricey, check out a discount site like Groupon or Living Social for a good deal near your recipient, although be aware that there will likely be a few restrictions on use.
Housekeeping or Meal Prep Services
It’s pretty sexist to assume that only women are responsible for household work and meal preparation, but in many cases women are doing the bulk of it. Housekeeping or meal preparation services can benefit the entire household. Get recommendations from friends on good housekeepers in the area, or turn to a service like Molly Maids to find someone in the area. Companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh offer services where they deliver fresh, prepared ingredients along with a recipe so all you have to do is a small amount of cooking and then enjoy a delicious meal. They often have options for special diets if that’s necessary.
Something (or some things) to read
Kindle is sometimes my best friend. I love my life and my family, but escaping, even for just a few minutes in a school pickup line, or when I’ve finally gotten the kids to sleep can be heaven. Of course, a Kindle Fire is a great gift for anyone who doesn’t already have one and you can get it for less than $50. I read on my tablet all the time and I love that it syncs with the Kindle app on my phone so if I have a few minutes unexpectedly I can read on my phone too. A good old-fashioned paper book is an awesome gift too though.
Of course, everyone has different reading taste, but here are a few books I read this year that I really enjoyed:
- Wreckage by local author Emily Beeker. Emily’s next book, When I’m Gone will be out in March 2016 and I’m really excited to read it; it’s available for pre-order now.
- Gone Girl, Dark Places, and Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
- Wool by Hugh Howey
- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
- You by Caroline Kepnes
- The Room by Emma Donaghue
- The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
- The Deepest Water by Kate Wilhelm
Ditto Wearable Tech for Smartphones
Ditto is a new, affordable device you clip to your clothes and it notifies you of calls, messages, emails, and calendar updates you receive on your phone. It also offers a silent alarm that will wake you and not your partner (or children!), and it notifies you when you forget your phone (which happens daily to some of us!). Best of all, it’s only $39.95.
Because you can just clip Ditto on to your clothes, it can be especially convenient for parents who need to pay attention during a meeting at work, but don’t want to miss an important message from a child’s school, or playing at the park with the kids while waiting for a call or email. Raise your hand if you’ve dropped a phone while bathing a child (I have!). Ditto lets you stay connected without the risk that you’ll drop you phone into the water.
I noticed most of my selections for gifts for women are things to help them relax. Think that says something about my life? I think it says something about all moms – we need a break! Got any other great ideas I missed? I’d love to hear them – leave me a comment!