Yeah it's late...we're too busy to shop early.
By Hollis 12/23/21
Blaine and I founded Hullabaloo after spending years sending great books back and forth to each other's kids. During that time we realized that we ultimately really wanted to elevate the act of giving a book through the mail and HBC was born. Well flash forward 2-3 years and we've officially shot ourselves in the feet because we both have so many books in our homes that gifting them to each other is just downright silly. So now our own kids get special books based on their latest interests and we really have to think outside the book box when gifting each other. I thought it'd be fun to fill you in on the fun stuff we're gifting this Christmas. (Yes, there are still books on this list because we LOVE them and honestly have very, very good taste when it comes to picking page turners. #workperks) Also, if COVID is ruining your holiday like it is ours, you probably have a good month to snatch up anything you might've missed and give it to folks when you see them again...eventually. Or, if you're like me, you'll stumble upon this list a year from now and maybe some of it will still be around!
What I'm Giving Blaine's Family
Blaine has 100 children. Ok, she has 4 (that's the lot of them in the holiday bedazzled car above) but ask her at any given time and she'll tell you it feels like there are 100 people in her house. I like to give them a Whole Family Gift that usually involves some sort of group experience. Last year, they'd been doing a lot of work on their backyard so I gave them this creative s'mores kit and a version of these personalized roasting sticks for their new fire pit. This year, I'm going for a cute photo op and the prayer that something on at least one body in that house is warm and relaxed. It's a long shot but the thought of 12 feet padding around in these cute family slippers really makes me smile. I have no idea what she's given us but it's always great and it's always abundant. (Our mutual love language is Gifts and never is that more apparent than at Christmastime.)
What We're Giving Our Kids
This is not a comprehensive list but there is some overlap of the good stuff so we had to share.
-We love giving our kids art supplies and craft kits. With another round of school closures and quarantines being tossed around by the powers that be here in NYC, we'll be grateful for the extra stuff to do. B's youngest was given this clay modeling set and all the siblings then asked for one for Christmas. She loves that it comes with an app with kid friendly directions. It's great for busy parents that love letting their kids be creative without having to be 100% hands on. Without knowing B's plans, I sent the Target version of this gift to the grandparent's list and my son has one under the tree.
-We also both bought this kid's artist's easel. Blaine's oldest is very talented and my youngest can color for hours so we both felt like this one was a good investment. I like that there's a whole tray underneath for holding paints and supplies because I'm dying to take my dining table back from the mountain of art and lidless markers.
-Blaine has three girls and I have one and, being southern, we both keep a pretty strict No Bow No Go policy in our houses. While we were doing our pop-ups in Texas, we met Emily of The Bow Next Door and her stuff is STUNNING. So stylish, with interesting fabrics and classic details. B's daughter recently decided she was only wearing headbands so B stuck one of the Harper Headbands on her and everyone was happy.
-My 5 year-old son is an AVID builder so he's getting this Ultimate Fort Builder kit and maybe it'll be amazing and also maybe I'm doomed to build forts every day for the rest of my life. TBD. He's also obsessed with Lego so I got him this cool Klutz Gear Bots pack that allows him to use existing lego pieces to make moveable robots.
-I have some super chatty kids so when I spotted this and this in an upstate boutique over Thanksgiving, I couldn't resist. My kids won't get it but they make me (and hopefully their teachers) cackle. I've also stuffed a couple pairs of our favorite Primary leggings and sweats in their stockings for cute and easy outfits
What We're Giving Our Husbands
Why are men so hard to shop for? I spend the entire year listening for hints so that his birthday and Christmas don't just completely stump me. Unlike me and my gift giving love language, my husband is more of an Acts of Service kind of guy. So I' always trying to balance my THIS IS HOW I LOVE YOU instinct with his hum-buggy gifts-are-frivolous feelings. Basically, he gets a lot of socks and underwear and work shirts and then I try to surprise him with considerate but useful gifts that show I've been paying attention. Blaine's husband is a big bourbon fan so he's getting this tasty cocktail mixer and the new Bose noise canceling headphones because their house is loud. See above about the 100 children.
Other Fun Stuff We're Gifting This Holiday
After some recent life upheaval, my mom has decided to move from Texas to the northeast coast to be closer to me and my kids. Of all the ways this change is going to affect her, the thing stressing her out the most is the cold. I've been looking for warm and cozy ways for her to feel stylish but stay toasty. I found a pretty fabulous sweater coat (not that one, mom) that she's either going to love or hate. Cliffhanger! After putting them on my list, my mother in law asked for these earrings. I love how simple yet sweetly interesting they are. Blaine's giving her faraway parents the Facebook Portal (or you can be like me and just convince them to move closer!). My Sis-in-law in pregnant so in addition to a bunch of toddler activities for big bro, I thought the baby boy needed a couple new things. We all know that the second kid always gets stuck in hand-me-down-town and they deserve fresh stuff too. Lastly, I'm cracking up over the gift I'm giving my dad and stepmom. He's just undergone quadruple bypass surgery (it's the most wonderful tiiiiiiiime...) and everyone needs a laugh over there. They lost their sweet (giant) dog this year so I'm hoping this is a big hit. My stepmom is a former art dealer so it'll probably end up in the basement but if it gets a singular giggle upon opening, I'll call it a win.
Yes, We Also Give Books
A big plus to owning a bookstore is that we get to see some good stuff before everyone else. We love gifting brand new books that our reps are excited about. Some of these aren't on the site (yet!) so I'm linking directly to the publisher for those because sending you to another store seems like bad business. Keep a lookout for some new additions in the coming months, we love a spring refresh around here. For adults, we're loving this pink beauty for the fabulous hostess. I'm giving this great read to my foodie and hospitality-based husband in the hopes that we get to travel again someday. This new book looks SO GOOD that I might just have to preorder and give it to myself for Christmas. For the kiddos, we are VERY excited about the new dinosaur installment to our beloved Gilded Wonders collection. These books are as interesting as they are beautiful. The snack-sized text paired with gorgeous illustrations keep kids as young as 4 years old, as well as their parents, entertained and learning. My 2 year-old daughter is getting the adorable Alphabet Street. It's a big foldout book that turns into a play scene when set upright and I think the interactive nature and bright colors will keep her engaged. Lastly, we're adding this musical stunner to our shelf because its companion, The Nutcracker, is a big hit in our house.
There it is! A big sampling of what you'll find under our trees this year. As a kid who definitely peeled back the tape and looked at all of her presents well before Christmas, I LOVE a good sneak peek. Happy gifting everyone!