3 Tips for Smart Holiday Shopping + The Choosy Mommy’s Holiday Gift Guide

This post contains affiliate links. I have also been paid/provided products for inclusion in this post. Regardless of compensation, the opinions are 100% my own.


The holiday season is right around the corner. Have you started your gift shopping yet? I am a person that shops year ’round for gifts because I can’t pass up good deals. But then come November and December, the sales are wild and I just can’t help myself! No, I am not a shopaholic. And I do budget (see below). I am here to provide you with some tips for smart holiday shopping and a gift guide to steer you in the right direction of some cool gifts for others (or even yourself)! Take advantage of these tips and deals as you won’t find them anywhere else!

Tip #1: The Best Way To Gift Shop is Small and Online

I love to buy local. But let’s be honest. With two little kids, it is tough to do holiday shopping with them. So I do most of my shopping online. I can shop from the freedom of my home and in my PJs! The gifts arrive right to my front door and I don’t ever have to figure out how to get gifts from the store, to the car, to my hiding spot! Plus, there are a lot of “at home” businesses that people run and I like to support them. Etsy is a GREAT place to find unique gifts that no one else will have or likely have seen. You’ll also see familiar company names like Jamberry, BeautiControl, Usborne and others. Now is the time to make a purchase from them! Know that when you shop with these business owners, your money is going directly to THEM. That money helps them with bills, groceries, even buying their own holiday gifts for their kids.

Tip #2: Watch for Discounts and Codes

You’ll notice a lot of the companies and products I have listed here have graciously provided some kind of discount for The Choosy Mommy readers. Always check for codes when you are doing online shopping. Whether it is a discount or free shipping, you can always save a couple bucks and put that toward the next gift.

Check out these apps too that I use to find the best deals and discounts:

  • Ebates Coupons and Cash Back: Ebates list of stores is unreal! I also search Ebates first to see if I can get any cash back for going through them prior to making my purchase. I average anywhere from 3-6% cash back while using Ebates. It is free money back people!
  • Ibotta: This is my favorite grocery shopping app but other stores are also available.
  • Groupon: Kind of like Ebates, you can save money with Groupon Coupons! I talked about this before on the blog!
  • RetailMeNot: If I am shopping in a store, I always check out this app to see if I can find any in-store coupons. They also have online coupon codes that you can use AFTER you click through Ebates 😉 Learn to stack codes!

Tip #3: Don’t Over Buy and Do Budget

If I didn’t keep a list of what I have purchased for everyone for the holidays, I would over buy for sure! Especially for the kids in the family. Set a budget for what you want to spend per person or all together. Keep a list of who you need to buy for, what you have bought for them, and how much it cost. Then you won’t over buy or over spend!

3 tips for smart holiday shopping

Now for the Fun Stuff: Gift Selection

As The Choosy Mommy, I have sorted through a TON of products to find holiday gifts that I think are unique and fun! Buying things for the holidays can be hard! I feel like people in my family have everything. That puts them into the category of ‘hard to buy for’. So when I was looking at products and companies, I was trying to think of people I have to buy for and what they would like. If you are one of those people, you might want to stop reading now or you won’t be surprised when you get your gift. Some of these companies/products you may have heard of before. Some not. But the goal here is to get interested in SOMETHING and then share it and buy it!

Here are some ways to share the gift of your choice:

  • Share this post on your social media and tag someone who you know is looking to buy a gift for you (husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, parents, grandparents, friends, etc.)
  • Tell a friend about this guide so they know these products are available
  • Put something from this list on your own holiday list but make sure to direct the gift buyer back here so they can use the discounts and codes!
  • Leave me a comment below with an email address and I will personally email this person and let them know that you are interested in something!

I will tell you about each product/company. Feel free to check them out some more buy following their links. You can also ask me questions in the comments section too and I will share everything I know. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll put you in contact with someone who does! And don’t forget to watch The Choosy Mommy’s Facebook page as each week leading up to Christmas I’ll be featuring a giveaway with some of these products! How cool is that?! Note that I have tried to group these together in a way that might make sense to the shopper (like the “at home” businesses together for example). These are not in any particular order other than that.

Hover over each tree ornament to learn more about the business or product and click to go to their website! Scroll down to learn even more about each product from my experience AND to find some discount codes!!

The Choosy Mommy Holiday Guide

Playroom Prep

Playroom Prepplayroom makes these awesome preschool-age activity books. They actually are right on track with what my 4 year old is learning at preschool. And the best part is that you can use a washable marker and wipe the book clean so you can use it all over again! Practice makes perfect! This is a great gift for the child who doesn’t need anymore toys and is eager to learn! Use code CHOOSYMOMMY30 at Playroomprep.com for 30% off your purchase.

DavaahsLOVE – Belongings with Purpose – All Things CanvasDisney sign

I found this shop while searching around for unique items on Etsy. DavaahsLOVE features beautiful handmade canvases. From personalized birth canvases to family signs, she has anything and everything you can imagine! Check out this awesome Disney canvas I had made! It matches the colors in my living room and brings another Disney aspect to my home. When you visit DavaahsLOVE, use code THECHOOSYMOMMY for $5 off your order!


shopvacYou have heard about Shop-Vac®, but have you checked out their products lately? I know I hadn’t in a long time and boy am I glad I did! I have an area rug in the play area of my house (see image) and the dogs love to lay on it. Their hair then gets weaved into it and my regular vacuum wasn’t ever getting all of the hair picked up. Leave it to the Shop-Vac® to do the hard work! I tried out the 4 Gallon 4.5 Peak HP All Around Plus Wet/Dry Vacuum on this carpet and after one try, it picked up 80% of the hair. After a second sweep, it was all gone! I was jumping up and down in excitement. Never did I even think that a Shop-Vac® would be my go-to for carpets!

WMF Americas – Silit – Original Kaiser

Need a gift for the meal maker in your life? Everyone loves something new for their WMF Silitkitchen! Think about new pots and pans, a new blender, flatware or bar and wine things! I can highly recommend the Silit Nature Cookware Set as I have personally used it and it is fabulous. It is HEAVY duty, has the control lid with innovative sliding technology which allows for controlled steam release and easy pouring and is a beautiful color. Check them out at wmfamericas.com and use SHOPWMF for 20% off your first order.


eclothI know a gift of something to use for cleaning might not be gift on everyone’s list, but I would LOVE to get the e-cloth in my stocking! The e-cloth uses just WATER to clean! It is awesome because I get headaches with many cleaning product odors. I used the window cleaning e-cloth and as you can see from these pictures, it got the job done with just water! Super easy to use and re-use! Just pop it in the wash when finished so it is ready to use next time. I encourage you to sign up for their newsletter and follow them on social media to stay up-to-date on their newest products and specials!

Choosy Kids

choosy kids bundleYou might know that The Choosy Mommy was born from Choosy Kids! If not, Choosy Kids uses music to help promote three themes with young children: oral health, physical activity and nutrition. The mascot, Choosy, dances along to music to get kids up off the couch and get their hearts beating. If you have a young child in your life, this is the product to give to them! I encourage you to listen to some of their music and hear for yourself how fun it is! Try this offer for a holiday gift: add the Choosy cape and the newest My Wiggle Makes Me Giggle CD into your cart on ChoosyKids.com. Then use code TheChoosyMommy and get it for $20! GREAT deal! And don’t forget to enter my giveaway on Facebook for a chance to win a free CD! Ends 12/14/16, 12:00 PM.


beauticontrolLadies, and guys, love to get bath and body or personal care products for the holidays. Give the gift of great skin to your loved ones for the holidays. BeautiControl’s products actually work (I use them everyday!) For a gift, I might start out small with a travel set, or just introduce your gift getter to BeautiControl with the holiday line of bath and body products. If you have questions, you can contact Sara, your personal BeautiControl consultant, and she will answer all of your questions! Just remember that this is the skincare/bath and body line to buy this holiday season!


thirty-oneI have so many Thirty-One bags and I always want more. It is the gift that carries more gifts! You can use their bags for almost anything, including stockings, and personalize them in your own way. Contact Tiffany, your independent Thirty-One consultant, with any questions you may have.

Pure Romance

pure-romanceThe gift that keeps giving! I won’t go into much detail but know that Pure Romance’s products are awesome! Take a look for yourself or ask Lisa, your Pure Romance consultant, for advice!


jamberryHave a nail fanatic that you need a gift for? Jamberry is the best thing I have found for my nails! They are DIY nail wraps and they last a long time! I used the Disney designs for our last vacation and didn’t have any issues with them tearing, falling off or peeling the whole week of vacation. Many designs to choose from so chat with April, your Jamberry independent consultant/contractor, for help.

Usborne Books & More

usborneAdam’s aunt is only allowed to buy our kids books (his rule…not mine!) So I introduced her to Usborne Books & More this year after receiving the All Better book. These books are actually FUN to read and keep the kids going back to read them/use them all over again. If you have a reader in your family, these are the books to buy! Toni, your independent consultant, would be happy to help you pick out the best book for the age of child you are buying for!

Traveling Vineyard

14580589_10157485614880247_1999343860_nA gift for one and all! Have someone who loves wine on your list but aren’t sure what to buy them? How about a wine club subscription? Check out Traveling Vineyard and see if there is something that interests you. Also be sure to see if there is a consultant in your area because they will come to your home and do a wine tasting for you. Talk to Allison for more details!

Damsel in Defense

damsel-in-defenseI really hope my mom or husband sees this part because I really want one of the Damsel in Defense Concealed Kari Purses! Yup…you better believe that I protect myself and my family when we are out and about. And you can too with all of these products from Damsel in Defense. Great stocking stuffers to protect everyone! Chat with Sammi to learn more about these products from Damsel in Defense!


12241179_1013708445339434_6601206136447577037_n-1My bathroom might look like a party is going on in it, but the cool colors from the toilet are because of the Illumibowl. This is a great gift for the kid who has everything! I can almost BET they don’t have this! Just put the batteries in, suction it to the toilet, and watch the light show! Illumibowl, featured on Shark Tank, is another stocking stuffer and a great price!

Pressure Cooker

I raved about my pressure cooker on a previous blog post. Now is the time to check the comments and see if you know someone who said they want one. Pressure cookers are becoming the must have kitchen item because dinner can be done in less than 30 minutes. Check out my pressure cooker and see what you think!

Bow Ties

I know this may sound funny, but if you are really out of ideas for a guy, get him some bow ties. If he is already a bow tie guy, you will add to his collection. If he is not, then it will be a new thing in his wardrobe! They are trendy right now and my daughter LOVES having her dad wear them.

Diamonds in Ice

diamond in iceIf only I were talking about jewelry (also a good gift!) I am talking about Diamonds in Ice, the photo company! Capture your special moments in ice. There are a large selection of sizes to choose from. Be aware of the image size that you need to have before you purchase. And a tip: make sure you have enough light in your image. Diamonds in Ice is sure to be a gift that stays displayed all year long.

Three Little Flowers

Three Little Flowers Etsy shopplate and bowl has personalized items for everyone! My kids especially love their personalized bowls, plates and arts & crafts mats. Cam got a matching set for his birthday this year! You can never have too many of these things! Use code CHOOSYMOMMYCHEERS for 5% off any size purchase. Expires 12/31/2016.


jellybeanstNow this is an awesome gift! You can get your kid’s “not so professional art” (see Cam and Capri’s to the left) turned into actual professional art! With studios in many states, Jellybeanstreet offers you up the chance for your kid to be an artist. My kids and nephews thought it was a lot of fun to do the art and the end piece is awesome. I am not ashamed to hang it on my wall! Click here to check out the final “professional” art (and you can even buy it if you want! Most of the proceeds support March of Dimes!) If Jellybeanstreet isn’t in your area, don’t worry! You can buy many different pieces of art on their website and like Cam and Capri’s art, the proceeds go to the artist’s or buyer’s charity of choice.

KidKraft Teepee Tent

Another gift for kids that they will love. Not everyone has a teepee tent in their house, but the kids on your list will when you buy them one! It makes for a great “kid’s only” area or a nice place to play, read, sleep, whatever kids do! Mine is currently in my living room and we get compliments on it all of the time. Plus my kids play in it all day!

The Choosy Mommy came to life as I began writing for the Choosy Kids (www.choosykids.com) blog from the mom perspective. We also have bloggers who are teachers, nutritionist, pediatricians, dental experts, etc. and I share my two cents on food choices, physical activity, and daily health routines plus so much more! I have a ton to share but didn’t want to take over the Choosy Kids blog so I decided it was best to grow The Choosy Mommy brand.

92 thoughts on “3 Tips for Smart Holiday Shopping + The Choosy Mommy’s Holiday Gift Guide

  1. Kate

    Great ideas. My little guy would definitely love the play tent!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      It is a HUGE hit in our house! It does take up some major space…but it is also awesome to hide the mess 🙂

  2. Wow this post is amazing! i love those graphics that you used;)

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Thanks! They were super easy and user-friendly to make! Doesn’t it make looking at the gifts more fun?

  3. SO many awesome ideas here and I love the interactive gift guide!!! I am obsessed with ebates and ibotta! 😉

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      THANKS! I thought they were really cool too! And yes…ebates and ibotta are AWESOME!

  4. Ebates is terrific! I do happen to want a pressure cooker so I’ll have to hint around and show this post to a few people!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Seriously, the pressure cooker is my FAV kitchen tool and I am not a kitchen person 😛 Dinner done in less than 30 minutes?! Unheard of without a pressure cooker!

  5. I still need one of those pressure cookers! And I’m not too familiar with Pure Romance but I do have a friend that is a consultant I think. Great guide!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      I can’t believe you don’t have one yet, Sue!! You’ll love it! Def. healthy cooking! And you should get familiar with Pure Romance…lots of good things 😉

  6. I also shop year round for gifts. I also shop online, but most of the gifts, I buy from the store. Thank you for sharing these tips.

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      That is cool that you shop year round too! And you’re so welcome!

  7. I love using Ebates, it’s a win win for me and the person I’m buying a gift for 🙂 Great ideas and tents are always a hit with little ones!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Ebates is the BEST!!

  8. Christmas shopping online is life changing – not only can you do it in your pjs (a prerequisite for most of my activities tbh), but you can get it all done in one day, rather than picking up bits and pieces over a few weeks.

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Haha I totally agree…as I sit here, still in my PJs hahaha!

  9. Alyssa

    Thank you for these tips! Surprisingly, I am not familiar with ebates OR ibotta! Can’t wait to check them out.

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      WHAT?! Alyssa, if there’s one thing you need to do today, it is to click on those links and sign up! Seriously, you just SAVE money…everywhere! I use ibotta at the grocery store all of the time and ebates every time I shop online!

  10. Shopping online is at the top of my list this year. I work retail, so the less time I have to spend at the mall, they better off I’ll be. Definitely going to look into some of your suggestions.

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      I feel for you, Jennifer! But I bet you have a really good knowledge of what the best deal is! Let me know if you do find something you really like!

  11. Amen to all! I also shop year round to find the best deals.

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Where is your fav place to shop to find the best deals?

  12. The WMF Americas look amazing and like something I totally need in my life!
    And I am so happy you shared Usborne Books and More! I don’t want to get toys for my neices and nephews and books seems like a much better idea, so I am always searching for good places to buy!!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      I just could not believe the quality of the WMF pots! And the lids are reallllly cool since they slide open for draining. PLEASE check out the Usborne Books. I plan on wrapping some more up for under the tree!

  13. Since having my second child, I do as much Christmas shopping online as I can. It’s easier than having to take them to the store (and of course, I can’t buy for them if they are with me!), and I like shopping my PJs!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      You and me both, sister! Kids are impossible in the store, and plus, how are you supposed to keep things a secret when they are with you? I don’t know how my mother did it.

  14. I cant believe how quickly the holidays are approaching! eek! Great tips – especially the shopping online and local. All about it!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Like SO FAST! I think every year it rolls around faster!

  15. Fun items and wonderfully fun gizmos! I would love a pressure cooker. I’m going to have to convince my husband that it is a good thing!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Like I told another friend…give me his info…I’ll make sure it is under your tree 😛

  16. I love that online shopping is an option these days. So much less hassle and everything is cheaper than in the stores. I use the Coupon Mate Google extension to show coupon codes.

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      I mean, how did our parents and grandparents even manage to shop with little kids?!?! And tell me more about this Coupon Mate…never heard of it!

  17. I have heard so many great things about pressure cookers and instant pots – and I cook so many dry beans it would probably help if I had one for myself!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      YES!! I can’t rave enough about mine! Mine even has a specific beans button!!!!

  18. Great tips for staying on track during holiday shopping. I do most of mine online too but sometimes stray from the budget! oops!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      OOOOOPS! Better be a gooood present/must have deal for me to stray from the budget!

  19. Reesa

    Great ideas for holiday gifts! I agree with you, bowties are a great gift for any guy! I also love using ebates!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      And bowties can be so fun too!

  20. Dana Vento

    Such a brilliant tips for smart shopping nd gift ideas! I love the idea of EBates!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Do you use Ebates? If not, click on my link (affiliate) and give it a go!!

  21. Such good tips and gift ideas! I am seriously obsessed with Ebates and cannot believe that more people don’t use it! I

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      I know!! I thought everyone used it. I am so glad that I mentioned it in this post so everyone can learn about it!

  22. These are great tips! I definitely agree with shopping online and keeping it small shops! That way everyone get’s great gifts and you’re helping someone support their dream!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      So true! And small shops will help you out in the long run too, especially if something reallllly isn’t in your budget, they may make you a deal!

  23. Brittany

    I love this! I’m trying to start holiday shopping early this year so I can grab things as they’re on sale. It saves us so much!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      It really does! And if gives you time to compare prices too!

  24. I love reading mommy blogs I am not a mom yet but you moms always find the best deals. I use Groupon a lot for good deals but I have heard a lot about ebates and ibotta I will have to check them out too!!

    Thanks for sharing your holiday gift guide!!

    Leslie xoxo

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Hehe! Well thanks for shopping by to check out these goodies! You MUST get on board with ebates and ibotta!! Money saving apps are my fav!

  25. So many amazing gift ideas! And a few for me too! Maybe a pressure cooker? And Diamonds on Ice!
    Thank you!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Seriously, the pressure cooker is a MUST! Dinner done in less than 30 minutes most meals!! You can’t even get take out/delivery that fast! And isn’t Diamonds in Ice really cool?! Watch for a giveaway from them on The Choosy Mommy’s Facebook page!

  26. I love this!!! Holiday shopping early is KEY. I already have 80% of my christmas shopping done. BUT. I am waiting until Black Friday and Cyber Monday to get the rest done. 🙂

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Me too! Although I don’t hit up the stores on Black Friday. I do online Black Friday shopping and of course, Cyber Monday!

  27. I will only shop online. I have the kids do Amazon wishlists and I email them out to the family so they can get what they know the kids want.

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      That is a really good idea! I’ll have to remember that when my kids are a bit older.

  28. Jacqui

    Lots of great products. I know lot of people say not to give people appliances but I really do want a shop vac.

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Well those people must not be my mother because she gives me a new appliance every year 🙂 I think if you WANT a Shop Vac, put it on your list, tell someone that you know is buying you a gift or just hint around everyone. And then send them back here to the blog to make sure you get the one you want!

  29. I really love shopping for gifts in-store, but the convenience and deals you can find online also make it a better option. Sometimes I will go to the store to see the items i like and then order them online.

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      YES! And there are great apps out there that allow you to scan the bar codes when you are in the store and find a better deal online!

  30. Nikki

    This is such a helpful tips and ideas! Group Guide is what I like. Smart tips!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Thank you!! Anything to help!

  31. Kelly Reci

    I’m not ready yet for Holiday shopping, these are such a smart tips. So glad that you shared it. Worth sharing this.

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Haha, I hear ya! That is why I shop year-round so it doesn’t feel like “holiday” shopping.

  32. DogVills

    You can find great deals in gift store than others. I really love this!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Oh for sure. You can def. find great deals but I am an at home, shop in my PJs kind of gal 🙂

  33. victoria

    I am into giving gifts and shopping! This is a one great idea for me! Thanks for thisss 🙂

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      I love giving gifts too! Isn’t that the point of that part of the holiday? It is better to give than receive? 🙂

  34. Christina Aliperti

    These are great ideas. I always get in that rut where I just don’t know what to get the people on my list.

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      And that is why I created this guide…to help you find unique gifts!

  35. I really need to try Ebates. I shop onlIne all the time and might as well earn cash back.

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      You DEF need to try Ebates!

  36. Tami

    Oh, I always look for a discount code when shopping online. Sometimes it’s a deal breaker if I can’t find a code for the shopping site I’m on.

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Same with me! Especially free shipping!

  37. I agree with you about shopping small and online. It’s probably my favorite way to shop during the holidays.

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Mine too!

  38. Megan mccoig

    I need to start using ebates. I’d never heard of it until now and I’m glad you’ve shared it. Will save me a lot this year I hope.

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      YES!! I can’t believe you haven’t use it yet! Def. use it!

  39. ITs definitely holiday shopping season! I am sticking to my guides and will not overspend this year!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Good for you! And good luck! Hope you find some great deals.

  40. Elizabeth O.

    You’re right, it’s good to shop at small stores and online stores because they have lower prices and offer better deals! I also make sure to wait for discounts and sales!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Yea I watch for sales too! I keep a list and the prices I have seen things at.

  41. RonLeyba

    Thanks for putting up this tips and smart shopping guide. Truly helpful and could help us save some cash.

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Who doesn’t love to save money?!

  42. I hate to say this because I feel like a bad MOM but I want to NOT give gifts this year! My kiddo gets special toys and treats often so why on Christmas too?! 😉 I would love to give him things that he needs!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      I 100% agree! I am trying to ask family to give us gift cards for things we can GO do rather than toys.

  43. Great gift ideas! I love the pressure cooker! I always buy holiday gifts on last minutes..

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      Do you go straight to Amazon and use your Prime account for your last minute online buys or are you in the stores on Christmas eve?

  44. Great gifting ideas, your list covers so many people on my list!

    • Christine - The Choosy Mommy

      So glad to hear this! I hope that you were able to find a unique gift on my list! Let me know if you purchased something 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *