Monday, November 11

Shop Small Gift Guides (under $30!)

Supporting small businesses and makers is a great way to tackle Christmas shopping while making a positive impact. It's something we've been trying to move toward for the last few years. But along the way I've stumbled across a few challenges and I'm wondering if you have the same struggles? So today I'm going to try to help guide you through them and share my 2019 Shop Small Gift Guides {for women, men, and kids}!

The two biggest challenges I've found in "shopping small" are budget and local availability.

The availability issue is becoming increasing easy to side-step, thanks to sites like etsy that bring hundreds of handmade shops right into our own living rooms. If you live in a rural area without local shops, this is a great option! If you live in an area that does offer local options, however, you should check them out! There are some really friendly people out there running the cutest little shops! For today, I'll be sharing a bunch of Etsy options that should knock this issue out of the park.

Now about that budget question. I know we all have different Christmas budgets and we do our best with what we have. I also know it can be tough to find local or handmade gifts that fit into smaller budgets. But I've got two tricks to try to help you over that hurdle today, too.
  1. All the options in my gift guides today are $30 or less. And I know, for some of you even that can be too much. I get that and I don't ever encourage going in to debt for Christmas gifts. It's not worth it. If you don't have that much to spend, don't sweat it. This is a zero judgment post. I just want to share the best options I can find and you are welcome to do whatever you want with the information. And just to be clear, we will be doing plenty of not-small shopping this season, as well. Looking at you, Legos. At the MLH house, we're all about those baby steps, folks.
  2. Sometimes it helps to rethink our priorities. This is a seed I've been watering for the last few years as I ask myself "What do we really want to bring into our home, and what values do we want to instill in our boys?" Do we really want to fill our home with a mountain of cheap plastic crap that will end up broken and in the trash? Do we want to create the feeling of such over-abundance that our kids stop feeling grateful for all the good things we have? Or... would we rather take that Christmas budget and invest it a little differently? Instead of a mountain of cheap gifts, buy fewer gifts that are meaningful and higher quality. Instead of a bunch of plastic, invest in sustainable wooden toys and gifts whenever possible. Instead of over-crowding and cluttering our home, give fewer toys and less junk we just don't need.
So today I'm making it a little easier for you to take that first step by rounding up a few of my favorite gift ideas that are all available on Etsy and that are all under $30. Ready to shop small?

Plant Gifts

For the Home
  • This speckled ceramic serving dish is great for everyday and special occasions! $24 plus shipping.
  • Beeswax candles are an all-natural, look super cozy, and actually help purify your air! $9-30 plus shipping. 
  • LOCAL OPTION: google beekeepers in your area to find locally made candles and honey!

Clothing and Accessories
  • Schrute Farms Bed + Breakfast tshirt! Because everyone loves The Office. $16 plus shipping.
  • Wallets are my go-to gift. He seems to need a new one every couple years! Starts at $28 plus shipping. 
  • This leather key fob includes free personalization! (not pictured)  $13 with free shipping.
  • Another leather keyfob with free personalization, but this one also has a handy way to wrangle your keys! (not pictured) $20 with free shipping.

  • A traditional wood kuksa cup is lightweight, durable, and perfect for camping or backpacking. $24 with free shipping. 
  • This wood kuksa cup can't technically make the list since it's $32, but it's beautiful and I would love to have a stack of them on my shelf! (not pictured) $32 with free shipping. 
  • A durable Tool Rool is great for keeping tools organized and handy on the go. $27 plus shipping.

Food Gifts

  • A gourmet marshmallow kit is perfect for an outdoorsy guy, but just as much fun at home! $19 plus shipping.
  • A Spice Rubs of the States sampler pack is a great way to try lots of regional favorites. (not pictured) $20 plus shipping
  • Break out of the ordinary with a dessert jam sampler pack! Yes. I said dessert jam. (not pictured) $30 with free shipping.

Pretend + Adventure Play
  • My boys love our toy bow and arrow. We bought ours at a local craft fair years ago, but this set can be delivered right to your door. You can also add extra arrows and a quiver! $24 plus shipping. 
  • This little wooden dagger with a sheath would be a dream for an adventure-loving kiddo. (not pictured) $15 plus shipping. 
  • Play silks are great for all kinds of dress up and creative play! (not pictured) $16 plus shipping. 
Play Food
  • Etsy is full of great felt food, like this sweet PB+J set! $18.50 plus shipping.
  • This sweet wooden tea set even includes cake! (not pictured) $27 plus shipping. 
  • Or for $64 you can get this wooden tea set that is totally amazing. Not under $30, but probably worth the extra. (not pictured) $64 with free shipping.  
Animal Toys
  • This crochet bunny might be the cutest thing I've ever seen.  $19 plus shipping.
  • My boys would lose their minds over this wooden stag beetle. Pretty sure this will end up in a stocking at our house this year. $9.00 plus shipping. 
  • That same shop is full of beautiful wooden animal toys, like this sweet little whale family! $25 with free shipping.
  • This leaf puzzle is beautiful, fun, and your kids will learn to identify leaves! $25 plus shipping. 
  • These mini tree puzzles are amazing and perfect for your littlest puzzler! (not pictured) $8 each with free shipping.
  • Also a big fan of this larger tree puzzle. I obviously have a theme. (not pictured) $21 plus shipping.
  • I love puzzles like this elephant one that can be used as a family of elephant figurines when it's apart, then be put back together like a puzzle! It's an animal toy and puzzle in one. (not pictured) $16 plus shipping.

My Favorite Shop

And here's a shout-out to my very favorite small business shop - RBH Print Shop! My sister makes the most amazing hand-printed items, all based on her original hand drawings. No vinyl cricut shortcuts here, guys. Just legit handmade artwork for your everyday life. It's amazing. She's amazing. It's all good. Some of my favorite products (all under $30!):
  • Set of 4 cloth napkins with hand-printed veggies!
  • Hand-printed tea towels like that veggie-covered beauty. 
  • The most amazing t-shirts.
  • The funniest tote bags.
  • Beautiful woven blankets.
Check her out! Note that her shop is down from time to time for local shows, but you can still message her through etsy. :)

That's it! We're trying to make small steps toward items that are produced sustainably, locally, and by small businesses. I'd love to hear how you are shopping small this season!

Check out the rest of my gift guides here.

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