Families With Grace

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Quirky, fun holiday gift ideas under $25 for everyone on your list

44+ Unique Christmas gift ideas for kids and adults that they’ll love — and your wallet will, too!

44+ Quirky, fun Christmas gift ideas for everyone on your list
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Coming up with unique Christmas gift ideas for everyone on your shopping list can be a challenge. And coming up with ideas for the people in your life who have everything is even more challenging. But there are some quirky, fun and practical gifts for pretty much everyone on your list that you can find without breaking the bank.

And, even better, these are all on Amazon, so you can order them and have them show up at your house with the click of a button. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

For almost anyone

I am a huge fan of stainless steel insulated tumbler cups. And I am also a huge fan of drinking with straws. I don’t like the stainless steel straws, though. These silicone straws not only work well and look good, but they’re also affordable and dishwasher safe. What’s not to love for only $5.99 for 10?

Unique Christmas gift ideas: silicone straws

Evidently this is called a pin art board. Who knew? No matter what you call it, I can’t think of anyone at any age who wouldn’t love playing with it. From preschoolers through adults, these things are just so much fun. They’re great for a desk, bookshelf or wherever you want to have something to do with your hands while you’re thinking. (Or wherever you want to occasionally gently smush your face and look at your profile!)

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Pin art board

Unless your friends and family live somewhere magical that it never rains, they could use an umbrella. These reverse inverted inside-out umbrellas are awesome! I’ve been using one for a few years and love how easy it is to put up and down as I’m getting in and out of my car. It’s my favorite. These come in 39 different colors and patterns.

Unique Christmas gift ideas: reverse inverted inside-out umbrellas

Everybody has a slew of pencils and pens that need organized whether it’s at home or at work or both! You might as well organize them in something fun and clever. Even better, this adorable elephant pen and pencil holder can hold writing utensils and a phone!

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Elephant shaped phone and pencil holder

If you think just a device holder would be a better unique Christmas gift idea for your friend, I’ve got you covered for that. I use mine all the time. In fact, I use it so much that it resides on my kitchen table. It is ideal for a Kindle. I love being able to prop up my Kindle Paperwhite and read during my lunch breaks. There are all sorts of fun options!

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Dinosaur phone holder
Unique Christmas gift ideas: Dog phone stand
(comes in 6 different dog breeds)
Unique Christmas gift ideas: Ninja phone stand
(also has a horse option)

While you’re at it, you might as well add a fun charging cable to go with the phone stand. This 46-inch USB charging cable that lights up like Christmas lights.

Unique Christmas gift ideas: USB charging cable that lights up like Christmas lights

And then there is this 14-in-1 hammer tool. It looks cute because it looks like a little hammer, but it’s also incredibly functional and would be something pretty much anyone could use in one of their kitchen drawers.

Unique Christmas gift ideas: 14-in-1 hammer tool

For the person who loves retro

It pains me a bit to say that cassette tapes are retro, because they were such a big part of my childhood, but the truth is, they are. My kids were recently confounded by cassette tapes, in fact. This tape dispenser and pencil holder looks like a cassette tape and would be a fun, useful addition to any desktop — at home or at work. It’s definitely falls into the unique Christmas gift ideas category!

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Tape dispenser and pencil holder that looks like a cassette tape

To go even more retro, check out these cute vinyl record drink coasters. I won’t even pretend that I also didn’t have a few records as a kid, because I certainly did. I’m a fan of fun coasters. If you’re going to use a coaster to be a responsible adult, you might as well have fun with it!

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Vinyl record drink coasters

This Hemingway typewriter pencil holder just makes my heart happy. I’m not really sure why because I was only on the very tail end of using typewriters way back in the day, and then they were electric. But something about this just makes my old soul happy, and I’d bet you know someone who would agree!

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Hemingway typewriter pencil holder

So not all of these literary themed socks are retro (there is an adorable pair for Harry Potter fans!), but my favorites are the socks that look like old-school library check-out cards. They come in white, pink, yellow, green, gray, multi-color and black. The socks are in two different sizes and there is even an ankle sock option for this design.

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Library card print socks

For the person who can use kitchen stuff

I love having fun stuff in my kitchen, and I assume everyone else does, too! I found some great, unique Christmas gift ideas that I would enjoy having and get a kick out of.

Fun in the kitchen kicks off with making food. If you’ve got to measure out ingredients, you might as well have some fun measuring cups. These OXO Good Grips Measuring Beaker Sets are great for that. You get a set of seven. I love things that are useful AND fun!

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Measuring beaker sets

Whether you’re buying a gift for a novice cook or someone who seldom cooks, everyone can use spatulas. They just seem to make any kitchen work a bit more fun and days brighter. There are a few available designs as single full-size spatulas, including a honey comb and bee, ladybug and leaves, the word “love” and various cooking-related sayings.

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Honey comb and bee spatula

And if that doesn’t get you smiling while you cook, add on this smiley face turner, which is perfect for making pancakes on a weekend morning.

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Smiley face turner

When it comes to unique Christmas gift ideas, this clever Nessie Ladle that looks like the Lock Ness monster would bring some fun to soup night!

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Lock ness monster ladle

Staying with the theme of fun utensils, this dinosaur pasta server makes me smile. Anyone with kids would enjoy having this in their kitchen. Kids love pasta and dinos, so it’s a great combo. My son would think this was fabulous if I used it to serve him dinner! As a bonus, it’s dishwasher, top-rack safe.

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Dinosaur pasta server

To keep the kitchen dino fun going, you have to know someone who would love this TriceraTaco Taco Holder. While it is adorable and cracks me up, it’s also helpful and useful. Hard taco eaters would love it. There’s also a TacoSaurus Rex for or a NachoSaurus snack and dip bowl set.

Unique Christmas gift ideas: TriceraTaco Taco Holder

This funny kitchen towel is a great option to go with the dino taco or nacho holders!

Unique Christmas gift ideas:  "Every now and then I fall apart" taco kitchen towel

An incredibly clever Christmas gift idea for any Star Wars fans on your list (and I’m sure there’s at least one if not more!) are these light saber chopsticks that actually light up. You can get two sets in red and blue or opt for 8-different color options for two sets. The 8-different color light saber chopsticks can also be bought as a single set or a set of four.

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Light saber chopsticks

With all that fun going on in the kitchen, it’s going to have to be cleaned. While cleaning a kitchen isn’t the most fun job in the world, this adorable sponge holder makes me smile every time I see it! For only $12.90 and Prime One-Day, it’s a great gift for pretty much anyone on your list who has a kitchen!

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Sponge holder shaped like a bed

We have been using a crumb eater to help clean off our table for the last year or so. Ours is just plain. My kids still like using it to clear off the table, but how much fun is this adorable ladybug mini tabletop vacuum?! It comes in red or green as a lady bug and red or black as a funny face. If you’ve got to clean up dust or crumbs, you should at least have fun with it. And, bonus for giving it to a family with kids, because they’ll find it fun for clean-up time. It’s a win-win!

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Ladybug mini tabletop vacuum

Finally in kitchen, check out this Gracula garlic crusher. It’s functional in that it crushes garlic, but it’s funny and quirky in that it looks like a vampire.

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Gracula garlic crusher

For a family

Coming up with a gift to give to a family can be a challenge sometimes, so I’ve got some great ideas for gifts that you can give as a family present and all family members would love!

This indoor electric smores maker is one of my favorite things we have! I can make smores year-round. I don’t have to worry about an open flame. And it really does toast the marshmallows just like I want them. My kids get a kick out of it, too. It’s a great family gift! It’s a unique Christmas gift idea that works well for families with small children, older children or no children. Who doesn’t love a smore?!

Unique Christmas gift ideas: indoor electric smores maker

Another great option is family conversation starter cards. They’re perfect for chats at dinnertime or even long rides in the car. Check out this set of 101 Conversation Starters for Families for or 88 Conversation Starters for Husbands and Wives.

Unique Christmas gift ideas: 101 Conversation Starters for Families
Unique Christmas gift ideas: 88 Great Conversation Starters for Husbands and Wives

For the coffee or tea lover

I don’t drink coffee or tea, but I love a fun mug nonetheless. I mean, I do drink hot chocolate. And it tastes better when it’s something fun to drink it out of! Mugs make a great gift for nearly any adult. They even make good pencil holders! You can give mugs solo or pair them with a coffee shop gift card or fill them with candy. There are lots of good options. And there are even more fun options when it comes to finding the right mug.

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Harry Potter cauldron mug
Unique Christmas gift ideas: Unicorn mug with tea infuser
Unique Christmas gift ideas: Lllama in a Christmas sweater mug
Unique Christmas gift ideas: Bobba Fett mug

(If you go with the fishing mug for the angler in your life, consider pairing it with this fishing memory picture frame for a very nice — and meaningful — gift!)

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Fishing memory picture frame

For the kiddos

And, of course, we can’t forget unique Christmas gift ideas for kiddos. I’m making a priority this year to only buy things my kids will use. Of course they have given me ideas for bigger things they want. But I purposefully trying to add small gifts that they will actually play with or use versus just buying a bunch of cheap stuff that breaks quickly or is tossed aside. It was with that in mind that I looked for some interesting gifts kids would actually like.

The first one has to be this Little Live Pets Wraptile. I got this for my son. for Christmas this year. Then he inadvertently saw it (through no fault of his own), so I let him have it. He has played with it every single day ever since. He absolutely loves it! One of his favorite features is that he talk into a microphone on it and it will say what he said (in its voice). He also likes that the eyes change color based on what mood the creature is in, which is pretty neat.

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Little Live Pets Wraptile

The Lego Creator sets are different from usual Legos. Each set builds three different things. My son has had various sets of them and loves each one. This Extreme Engines kit builds a speedboat, race car and hot rod. I like them also because they are reasonably priced (especially for Legos) and with three different design options, it just increases the value for your money.

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Lego Creator Set Extreme Engines kit

For kiddos as young as 24 months, this dog grooming and doctor kit actually straps on like a backpack. It comes with an adorable white plush dog and a variety of accessories that any kiddo would enjoy playing with.

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Dog grooming and doctor kit

This Ken Wildlife Vet playset is pretty darn cool. It comes with adorable animals as well for lots of pretend play fun!

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Ken Wildlife vet playset

And as the mom of a 10-year-old girl who enjoys crafts, we have had our fair share of craft kits, jewelry making kits and the like. What I love most are crafts that the kiddo can actually use. This DIY water bottle fits that bill nicely. It comes with markers and and gemstones so your kiddo can personalize it.

Unique Christmas gift ideas: DIY Water bottle

When I was a kid, I had something very similar to this rainbow silk streamer and loved it! I made up so many routines and dances and flung that thing all over the place. It would be a hit with kids a wide array of ages. I can see my 10-year-old playing with it now but also from the time she was 2 or 3 as well!

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Rainbow silk streamer

Continuing the stroll down memory lane leads us to a Light Bright. Remember those? It’s a great holiday gift idea for any kiddo. Mine have one they share that they got a couple of years ago. They both really like it. (And you can also order a refill pack if you have missing pegs!)

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Lite Brite

Games are also a great idea for Christmas gifts. If you’ve got little kiddos on your list, check out this list of five cheap games for small children the whole family will love. Then add to it a couple of classics that have been updated! First up is the classic hot potato game. Instead of someone having to play music and hit stop at random, the potato now plays music and stops on its own. How nice is that?!

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Hot potato game

Another update on a classic game is this Connect 4 Shots game. I got it for one of my nephews one year and my own kids the next. We have had fun with it. It has the same basic rules as the classic Connect 4 but with the twist of having to bounce balls into the holder instead of dropping in pieces. Our whole family enjoys it!

Unique Christmas gift ideas: Connect 4 Shots
Looking for more Christmas ideas? Check out these posts!

6 tips for protecting your teens on social media

Ivana Davies, from Find Your Mom Tribe, has some practical ideas for keeping kids safe online.

This guest post is part of the Families with Grace’s Social Media Savvy series that covers a commonsense approach to handling social media as a parent.

Social media has its positives, but like pretty much anything else online, it also has dangers. Scammers and predators are always on the prowl, and online bullying has risen significantly in recent years. Teens are constantly bombarded with ads, threats, frauds and general bad influences.

If you’re a parent, you’re probably familiar with the little gnaw of worry whenever you think about the darker corners of the web. How do I keep my child safe? What can I do to protect them without smothering them?

You aren’t alone. Many parents have these concerns, but a few tips and tricks can help keep your teen safe online.

1. Get familiar with social networks.

Most teenagers don’t use Facebook. Studies have shown that it’s less popular than sites like Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Snapchat. Teens also do most of their browsing on their phones rather than traditional computers or laptops.

Knowing these things are important if you want to understand what your child is doing on social media. You don’t have to be a technological genius, but you should have a working knowledge of the problem if you want your actions or advice to carry any weight.

To put it another way, your child isn’t going to let you deal with Snapchat bullies if you don’t know about or can’t even operate Snapchat. Your first step in becoming a social media warrior is learning what the battlefield looks like.

2. Protect their identity.

We live in a world where our GPS-enabled smartphones can track and analyze our locations. Our social media accounts are full of names, addresses, schools, workplaces and family pictures. Most people don’t even think twice about letting an app announce who they are or where they’re going. They might even help with things like vlogs and livestreams!

Make sure your child understands the danger of giving out too much information on the web. For example, they might complain about a late ride, but they shouldn’t share street names or broadcast the fact that they’re a stranded minor at a particular location without any adults around. Don’t let them ask their followers for a lift or accept any offers from accounts they don’t know.

You should also warn them against divulging personal information just because people ask for it. You might be stunned to realize how easily teenagers are willing to share their bank information just because someone claims to need it to resell them some concert tickets.

“Could a weirdo use this against me?” is the golden rule of posting things on social media. Tell your child to memorize it and ask it of themselves before they post anything. A little diligence today can save them a lot of trouble tomorrow.

3. Remember the internet is forever.

People don’t always understand the permanency of things posted online. While this applies to both kids and adults, impulsive, short-sighted teenagers are particularly vulnerable to it.

If they make a questionable post that gets taken out of context and publicly shamed, they could be haunted by the screenshots for years to come. If they share racy selfies that get passed around, both sender and receiver could be in trouble under child pornography laws.

The “delete” button is pretty much useless on the Internet. Make sure your child understands this. If necessary, remind them of all of the silly or embarrassing things that they might’ve posted before, and ask if they would still want to be known for these things five years down the line. Remind them that whatever they post today will have to pass the five-year test someday.

4. Watch out for stranger danger.

Unfortunately, lots of predators are on the web. Some are scammers or identity thieves; others have more nefarious purposes, especially for young people.

The simple truth is you can’t protect your teenager from every creep on the Internet. You can, however, teach them how to recognize the signs of one, and make sure they’re comfortable coming to you if they suspect someone is trying to take advantage of them.

Here are a few danger signs:

  • Anyone who offers to send them money or buy them things
  • Deals that are too good to be true
  • Deals that require them to give personal or financial information to strangers
  • Weird links, ads, promos or direct messages

You should also teach your kids to never trust a profile of someone they don’t know. It’s way too easy for a 40-year-old man to pretend to be a 16-year-old girl! It’s called catfishing, and people do it for money, power, influence, sexual gratification or personal amusement.

If your child doesn’t understand the dangers of catfishing, try registering for a fake account yourself to show them how little effort it takes to lie on the Internet.

5. Install controls and blockers.

Lots of parental control software is on the market and doesn’t have to be a bad thing that your child rails against.

For example, your teen might not appreciate any programs that monitor his web activity or limits her screen time, but he or she shouldn’t be bothered by adblockers or virus blockers. As long as you’re not butting into their conversations, they probably won’t care if you know who’s on their friends list.

Content filters are usually the biggest argument. Teenagers don’t want to be restricted from seeing “inappropriate” content like they’re little kids being denied access to an R-rated movie. Try sitting down with them and seeing if you can agree on reasonable content filters for things like violence, pornography and hate speech. R-rated sites might be okay for older teenagers, but you can draw the line at X-rated.

You should probably stay away from things like keyloggers. Unless your child is being punished, that level of scrutiny is only going to foster resentment.

6. Always be willing to listen.

At the end of the day, there’s only so much that you can do to protect your child on social media.

Your best bet at staying “in the know” is to keep an open line of communication with them. Emphasize that you’re always available if they want to chat, discuss, whine, rant or ask questions about something that they’ve seen. Even if it’s just complaining about spam accounts or a bad website design, it’ll build trust between the two of you, and they’ll be more likely to seek you out if and when they have a real problem.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. You won’t have a rapport with your child after a single conversation. Just like parenting classes would tell you, it takes consistent, everyday effort to maintain an open and honest relationship about their online activity, but it can definitely be done.

About the author:
Ivana Davies is an educator turned stay-at-home mom to a beautiful 7-year-old girl and a playful 5-year-old boy. She found so much parenting information online that she started her own blog, Find Your Mom Tribe, to share her experiences and struggles as a mom. You can connect with her on Facebook and Pinterest.

This post is part of Families with Grace’s Social Media Savvy series that covers a commonsense approach to handling social media as a parent. Check out these other posts from the series:

How to decide which holiday traditions to keep

Holiday traditions should be about making good memories and not be stressful and over-complicated.

The holidays are fast approaching. I’ve been thinking of things like getting my kids dress clothes for their programs at school, what cookies I’m going to bake this year and what gifts I need to order to cover everyone on my list. But, I also don’t want to overlook the good parts of the holiday season.

I’m a person who likes holiday traditions. In fact, last November, I told you all about 8 simple Christmas traditions that will bring your family closer. In that post, I included two free printables of traditions my family does yearly: an Advent calendar and a daily Bible verse that leads us through the Christmas story.

We will maintain those holiday traditions this year along with other things like unwrapping a Christmas book each evening Dec. 1 through 24, having a cookies for breakfast on Christmas Eve and driving around to look at Christmas lights.

Through the years I’ve learned to evaluate traditions and whether we should continue them or let them pass on by. Sometimes figuring out which traditions to keep and which to let go can be challenging.

Why it’s hard to let traditions go

Traditions in and of themselves are things we have come to count on. Some traditions we’ve done for most of our lives, so we have feelings strongly attached to them. And if those traditions are associated with family members who are no longer with us, it gets even more intense.

Traditions carry so much emotional baggage that they can be very hard to let go. We feel like we are betraying our loved ones if we stop carrying on their traditions. Or we feel like our kids are deprived because we’re not continuing traditions we started or we did ourselves as children.

Plus we often think we HAVE to do something because it’s ALWAYS been done. We can treat traditions like if we don’t do them, the world will come crashing to a halt and all will be ruined. We can take them very seriously.

And then traditions can also be hard to let go because we are creatures of habit who typically don’t like change. Change can be hard, especially for some of us (raising my hand high!).

How to evaluate traditions

Nearly every year is a good time to evaluate holiday traditions. For example, my family’s tradition of unwrapping a Christmas book every night Dec. 1 through 24 has been something my kids have enjoyed. However, I am also aware that the year will come when neither of them get excited to open a picture book to read each evening. This isn’t that year; it will be bittersweet when that time comes.

As we head into the holiday season, we need to think about the traditions we do and evaluate whether they are still important to our family. If they aren’t, then it’s time to let them go.

We also need to consider how much stress a tradition is causing us. Sometimes traditions can be stressful. For a few years while my kids were toddlers and preschoolers, we would bake sugar cookies and have our parents over to help us decorate the cookies all together. We’d order pizza and make an evening of it.

Last year, that didn’t happen. Because this tradition relies on baked goods to be fresh, it added too much stress into our lives at Christmastime. This year it may work out to do or it may not, but I’ve realized that either way we’ll have a good holiday season. Letting go of one thing won’t ruin the holiday. In fact, trying to do too much and stressing myself out ruins the season.

And sometimes we let go of a tradition for even just a year or a season. The Christmas I was pregnant with my youngest child, I was on modified bedrest for intense pain. I had to let some traditions go because I physically couldn’t do them. Some years are just like that.

In evaluating holiday traditions, we also should consider how our family feels. Talk with them and see what they think about certain traditions. What’s important to them? What do they most look forward to each year? If your kids are old enough, ask their opinions. Have them pick their top three traditions they love. Prioritize those!

Remember that Christmas Eve cookie breakfast I told you about? That’s one of those traditions. It was a small thing that I had done with my daughter and didn’t think much of it. It has become something she looks forward to every year. I’m glad I asked her to know what she liked most. And the best part is that it’s a small, easy tradition to maintain!

Consider tweaking a tradition or creating a new tradition

While sometimes just letting go of old traditions is best for us and our families, other times changing them can work well. Maybe nobody is so interested in driving around to see Christmas lights, but instead they’d love a Christmas movie night in with hot chocolate and PJs.

Thanksgiving Day has brought one such tradition for me. Ever since I was a kid, I have loved watching the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.” As an adult, I continued doing so. I have a photo of my 3-year-old daughter and me watching the parade together the Thanksgiving I was pregnant with her baby brother. It was a tradition I was excited to share with my kids.

However, getting to actually watch the parade on Thanksgiving can sometimes be challenging. Last Thanksgiving was particularly out of sorts. My husband was gone on a trip to help hurricane victims in Florida, and my kids spent the night with my in-laws to help get everything ready for Thanksgiving dinner. I was alone on Thanksgiving morning and during the parade. I decided that instead of moping, I’d record it and we’d watch it later.

So Thanksgiving evening, the kids and I had snacks and watched the parade together. We fast-forwarded through some of the performances we weren’t interested in. My mom stopped by. We tweaked a tradition with great results.

This Thanksgiving my husband will be here. But I’m guessing that parade watching on Thanksgiving evening will stick with us. It’s just easier for us right now.

And easy is what any new holiday tradition should be. Traditions that are easy to do are easier to maintain. The most simple traditions are often the most memorable ones because they are low-stress and easy to do. The less stressed you are, the more you enjoy them and so does the rest of your family!

Focus on what’s important

Overall, traditions should highlight what is important to your family. You need to decide at the holidays what you most want to remember and focus on. What are the things you’ll remember most in 10 years?

I want to make sure that we focus on things like being thankful at Thanksgiving and remembering the gift of Jesus at Christmas. I also want to make sure that we have fun together. Those things are most important to me. If any of our traditions don’t fall into one or both of those categories, then I’m fine to let them go.

If we’re deciding to change a tradition or add a new one, I evaluate it with the same criteria as well.

Traditions really should be all about making good memories. They shouldn’t cause unnecessary stress and be overly complicated.

This post is part of The Blogvember Challenge on Forever Beloved!

Looking for more Christmas ideas? Check out these posts!