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Oregon Family Magazine

2023 Holiday Gift Guide

12/07/2023 ● By Sandy Kauten

Cozy Gifts That Bring Holiday Joy

Everything about the AUBABY BLANKET is comfort and coziness. Our two-year-old reviewer immediately curled the blanket in the crook of her neck, proclaiming, “soft!” then proceeded
to wrap her baby doll with it. Quite an endorsement. AuBaby makes its blankets with zero chemicals, plant-based dyes and renewable fibers. The blankets are soft and durable.

The BUMPAS WEIGHTED PLUSHIE innovates by merging a weighted blanket’s comfort into plushie form, providing three pounds of distributed weight for deep pressure stimulation. Proven to enhance security, reduce stress, aid sleep, and induce calmness, its weighted arms offer realistic hugs. Even though our plushie is ostensibly for our tween (who loves it), I find myself hugging our Bumpas, “Zeek,” while I watch TV or work at my desk. This gift has appeal beyond the young ones in your life.

Merge health education with adorable plushies and meet NERD BUGS! These cuddly organs, like hearts and intestines, might seem unusual, but they’re delightfully entertaining. Our reviewers giggled, examined each bug, and playfully tested sizes compared to their own bodies. And they quickly become lap companions during the afternoon video game sesh, eliciting laughter while subtly educating kids about anatomy in a fun, engaging way.

Science, technology, engineering, art and math are all represented with the THEODORA GIRLS line of dolls. Five plush dolls each have a story to tell. Tyriqa is a problem-solving technologist. Although my two-year-old niece, Nico, can’t say “technologist,” she was instantly smitten
with Tyriqa. Her mom feels good knowing Nico’s toys are inclusive, welcoming and empowering.

At first, I didn’t fully understand the YOTO PLAYER, but I’m all about tech promoting less screen time, so we gave it a try. Compact, adorable, and its card library with diverse audio content - stories, music, books - feels boundless. My tween adores its ‘sleepy stories’ for bedtime and
indulges in audiobooks and curated music. Rechargeable, portable, and screen-free,
the Yoto is a stellar option for tween listening.

A cozy R. RIVETER SWEATSHIRT is the best, and a positive message even better. I love R. Riveter’s mission and products (check out the crossbody in our Mom’s guide). All from
American-made, mission-driven makers, this sweatshirt is super soft and comes in unisex youth sizes. We’re excited about the future that the kids in our lives will bring.

Creative Toys that Spark Joy

The BABABOO TREE HOUSE PLAY WORLD is bustling! With 31 pieces for endless fun, explorers thrive here, fostering creativity, concentration, and spatial understanding. Beautiful, high quality
wooden toys cultivate imaginative play and enhance hand-eye coordination. The BaBaBoo world kept our reviewers totally engaged, building new stories and adventures for the adorable characters in this set.

The OTAMATONE is pure, quirky musical joy! Your kids likely know precisely what this is, thanks to TikTok. My reviewers were stoked and imagined their next viral video sensation. The touch-sensitive neck and simple interface make producing tunes a ton of fun.

Who knew crochet was big with tweens and teens? With vibrant yarn and easyto-follow instructions, our reviewer was excited to get started with the WOOBLES CROCHET KIT. Perfect for beginners, the adorable amigurumi designs make crocheting addictive (and easy!). Each
project has been started for you, which is usually the trickiest part. It’s more than a hobby; it’s a soothing, satisfying escape that sparks imagination and offers charming handmade companions.

If you have LEGO or other block fans in your hours, PIXBRIX is a great option for any pixel artist.
My tween builder tried both the Dinosaur kits and the 1,500-piece assortment. A slight
adjustment time with a new style of “brick,” but he got the hang of it quickly. Plus, with online templates, there’s endless inspiration. Build and dismantle effortlessly by hand or with the Pix Brix tool (sold separately).

I love the whole concept of SproutWorld’s patented plantable SPROUT PENCILS. While ordinary pencils might be a “meh” gift, these plantable pencils are extra special. Each one contains a
seed capsule. When you’re done using it as a pencil, plant the stubs to grow flowers, herbs, or even trees! You can also personalize your chosen seed and design. The Sprout Pencils come in
regular, colored and make-up liner styles.

SCENTCO SCENTED PENS AND PENCILS make homework so much more fun! Made from
recycled newspapers, the Holiday Smencils 5-Pack offers five gourmet-scented pencils. Packaged in recyclable tubes with cute character caps, these No.2 graphite pencils feature scents like Candy Cane and Gingerbread. For more sparkle, the Holiday Glitter Smelly Gellies 5-Pack includes scented gel crayons with cheerful fragrances like Winterberry. Also, explore the Candy
Cane Gel Smens 4-Pack for scented clickable pens.

PLAYMOBIL is always a hit! This season, familiar friends like Mickey Mouse and Winne the Pooh ignite creativity in young builders. Add unicorns, rainbows, and a castle; you’ve got imaginative designs that captivate kids and encourage fine motor skills. Our preschool reviewers (ages 2 and
4) were completely enthralled with the new sets and played for a long time in their own worlds.. Playmobil’s new “My Figure” sets bring even more creative characters to the stories kids create. Elephant’s Trunk or

The WOODLAND CREATURE CREATION KIT lets your budding engineer transform natural elements into whimsical wooden creatures by foraging wood and leaves using the provided hand drill and connectors. My tween could easily follow the booklet’s instructions for five
enchanting animal designs but also created new creatures of his own. Ideal for kids who
love hiking or camping trips.

Games and Adventures

My teen loves history, and we love family games. Simply Fun’s TIME JUMPERS game lets you dive into the 20th century’s milestones. Compete against fellow time travelers in a race to earn the highest score, blending learning with excitement. This game offers an engaging way to explore significant events and achievements with a gift that educates and entertains. 

With a tween and teen who love games, we had a blast playing ACROSS THE BOARD together. As you line up horses, roll dice, and strategize, the excitement builds in a bid to claim victory. The beautiful game board feels timeless, crafted with a stunning maple veneer board and metal
eyelets that safeguard the game for years of lasting entertainment. Environmentally
friendly finishing adds a thoughtful touch.

It’s a jungle adventure with EXIT: THE GAME - JUNGLE OF RIDDLES from KOSMOS. Appropriate for kids ages six and up, a cooperative game lets you explore riddles and unravel mysteries together. The game includes puzzles on 36 large-format cards, and each round delivers a unique experience. EXIT games are a global hit, and this one is a perfect start for young players.

There’s something meditative for my teenager about shooting a basketball. The DECO HOME ARCADE BASKETBALL GAME feels like a real arcade-quality game he can play in the garage. The game is crafted with sturdy 1.25-inch steel tubes and is durable and easily foldable for
storage. Your kid can shoot solo, or it has eight game modes for up to four players to
compete. Includes 5 balls, air pump, and a court-like ball return cloth.

Axe throwing is exciting, but really not a kid-friendly game - until now! This INFLATABLE AXE-THROWING AND BALL-TOSS TARGET GAME has all the fun of axe throwing with none of the
danger. The durable inflatable board offers dual-sided excitement – one side flaunts a bulls-eye target for inflatable axes, while the other has classic scoring rings. Pre-weighted axes mimic real throws. Was a huge hit with my reviewers from ages 4 - 17.

Every good gift guide should have a Shark Tank product! Introducing ZIPSTRING.  ZipString delivers mesmerizing tricks right out of the box, perfectly balancing gravity, lift, and drag. The lightweight, fuzzy string flies at impressive speeds up to 35 mph and follows your every movement. With various string sizes, mastering tricks becomes an exciting journey.

Culinary Kits to Inspire Young Chefs

My tween and I were excited to try the LORANN OILS GUMMY BEAR AND GUMMY WORM KIT and easily created adorable gummy bears and wriggly worms using the included molds and vibrant colors. With gummy candy mixes, flavor extracts, and liquid gel colors, the kit makes
candy-making a delightful adventure. The non-stick, foodgrade molds are safe, allowing parents and kids to craft tasty treats together while exploring creativity in the kitchen.
Baking together is a great way to learn culinary skills and the origins of foods and the treats we enjoy. The BĀKIT BOX’S GINGERSNAP COOKIES BAKING KIT takes you on a global adventure to Western Europe – where you not only get to bake gingersnap cookies, but also learn the origins of this holiday favorite. The kit includes pre-measured ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and engaging activities. Can be purchased individually or in a subscription.

Embark on a culinary journey with the I’M THE CHEF, TOO kit—creating erupting volcano cakes while secretly exploring science, technology, and more. This hands-on adventure introduces volcanology, geology, and chemistry. Pre-measured ingredients and an activity guide make four delicious cakes a learning experience. Get individual kits or subscribe for monthly treat-making fun, blending education and excitement for budding chefs.

The COOKIE CUPS’ WINTER WONDERLAND COOKIE BAKING KIT is a delightful baking experience for kids three and up. Yes, it’s that simple! Craft two dozen sugar cookies from
scratch and get creative with three toppings and two frosting options. This 16-piece kit includes kid-safe baking supplies, premeasured ingredients, and easy-to-follow recipes. It also has a
food-grade silicone baking mat, apron and rolling pin.


Our holiday gift guide is crafted just for moms! We’ve got a mix of stunning jewelry, beautiful
handbags, mood-setting candles, snuggly blankets, skincare goodies, and gear for an active lifestyle (even gear for pickleball!). Whether mom is into sparkles or self-care, or into staying active, this guide has everything to make her holidays amazing.

Cozy Mom, Happy Mom

There’s something extra special about giving mom a cozy gift. I mean, a snug blanket, a yummy candle, and voila! Self-Care Saturday is sorted! For a snug ambiance, indulge in 700 RIVERS’ VANILLA CHAI GLOW AND GROW CANDLE, wrapping you in notes of cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon. Plus, its plantable dust cover grows wildflowers, supporting girls’ education in
Bangladesh with 5% of proceeds.

Low loft quilts from SAFFRON MARIGOLD, known as JAIPURI RAZAIS are like a cloud made of soft cotton voile and surgical cotton batting. These heirloom-quality quilts feature intricate Moroccan-inspired prints, giving you two unique looks in one reversible piece. Experience the allure of Morocco with the Mosaique Bleue collection, a tribute to rich cultural craftsmanship.

Finally, embrace the nostalgia of the classic camp stripe with CHAPPYWRAP BLANKETS, woven with a plush cotton blend and high-performance fibers for lifelong coziness. Made in the company’s factories in Germany and Poland, each blanket is crafted for a lifetime of
Saturday (or Sunday… ) naps.

Gifts That Glow

Taking great care of your skin isn’t an indulgence; it’s essential to feeling beautiful. We found several great ideas for beauty and skincare gifts for moms. Treat her to self-care bliss with TADDO’S TALLOW curated starter sets, pampering her skin all with the same dreamy scent. Their Whipped Face and Body Butter and Lotion Stick offer hydration without the mess, while their Natural Deodorant keeps her fresh, and the Lip Balm and Bath Bomb bring spa-like vibes to her doorstep. Choose scents like Lavender, Sweet Orange, or Sandalwood for that personalized

For a “no makeup” look, INNER BEAUTY’S CLEAN BEAUTY ESSENTIALS collection has her covered. She’ll effortlessly get that fresh, natural vibe with Skin Tint Foundation, Skin Care Concealer, Sugar Coated Mascara, Stay Calm Lip Balm, and Shine Infusion Lip Oil.

If she craves ageless radiance, EARTH & HALO’s Blue Crystalline serum and Apple of My Eye eye and lip cream are the superheroes. Crafted from organic extracts and innovative technology, it’s a cruelty-free and environmentally conscious anti-aging powerhouse—a top-tier serum for her
skincare regimen.

The BISOU SKIN’S NAKED SHEET MASK is an easy glow-up for Mom. It’s loaded with antioxidants and hydrators, giving her skin a radiant boost. Made with marine-derived ingredients like Bio-Fermented Sea Kelp, it’s vegan, fragrance-free, and packed in recyclable materials for an eco-conscious approach to skincare.

Gear to Energize Mom’s Adventures

For active moms, we’ve got some great ideas for courts, mat, and feeling good. These gifts don’t just keep up with her active lifestyle; they take it to the next level! Pickleball is all the rage; even if you’re just starting out, great gear can make all the difference! LUXE PICKLEBALL PADDLES aren’t just about performance—they’re stylish too, with carbon fiber and a textured surface for
ultimate control and spin.

For a unique twist, the GIBOARD is a modern balance trainer that’s as functional as it is eye-catching. Strengthening the core, improving coordination, and enhancing creativity, it’s
perfect for gym, home, or office. And mom can share it with the family! Visit the
GiBoard website for great ideas for exercises and tricks to try.

Keep her pickleball gear organized with DOUBLETAKE’S MELBIE PICKLEBALL BAG—designed by players, it’s functional and durable, standing out with high-quality materials and specialized pockets. The Melbie bag is perfect for smaller frames, offering versatility as a backpack or tote.

Finally, we all need a little flair with our adventures. DAISY DUNES HAPPY HATS brightens her style with embroidered statements like “Soul Full of Sunshine” and “Protect Your Peace.” It’s a great day when your style can make a positive statement. Plus, we can all use a little more sunshine in an Oregon winter.

Fashionable & Purposeful Accessories

This holiday, we’ve found the perfect accessories to gift the amazing moms in your life—pieces that add a dash of sparkle and a ton of style. Treat her to these accessories that merge fashion with purpose.

From METALICIOUS,discover gorgeous hammered silver hoops perfect for everyday wear. Handcrafted with so much love and care,using ethically sourced materials. Each piece feels like
a unique expression of personal style.

For the on-the-go mom, R. RIVETER’S HOPPER CROSSBODY BAG, crafted by military spouses, is ideal—trendforward, lightweight, and versatile.

SEABAGS’ MARINER STRIPE CROSSBODY BAG, made from recycled sailcloth, offers hands-free convenience with a touch of gold metallic leather for a sunny vibe.

FAIR ANITA offers more than just jewelry; it’s a chance to support incredible women while embracing trendsetting designs like the Cenote Pools Painted Drop Earrings.

And MONYA JEWELRY’S GENEVIEVE’S INITIAL NECKLACE blends classic and modern styles

Complete her ensemble with WILL LEATHER GOODS’ ROME TOTE from the Italian Leather Collection, adding luxury to her everyday look. This gorgeous bag is crafted from Italian ranch leather in Prato, Italy. You can find this at the Will Leather Goods store at the 5th Street Market.