PMB’s Mom Approved Gift Ideas

Christmas Ideas Dad presents grandparent teacher gifts providence what to buy
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This year, Providence Moms Blog is trusting ZenSwank with many of our gifting needs. Gift Boxes curated by ZenSwank are quite unique because they are tailored to each gift recipients interests. Gift boxs can be customized for you personally and are based upon your budget.

Your go-to for gifting, any reason, any season.


Robin’s Picks: 

We love doing calendars (wall or desk calendars, depending) from Shutterfly or Snapfish. They are always a hit with the grandparents!

These cinnamon ornaments are a great keepsake, fun for kids to make and last for years!  We covered ours with glue and let my oldest sprinkle glitter all over.  I used a permanent marker to mark the year on the back.

Soft throws like these have been a big hit with caregivers for us in the past – they usually get pretty cheap around Black Friday!

Teachers and caregivers also seem to like these water bottles. Let’s face it, your kiddo’s teachers probably need to take water breaks more than they do

Finally, I always keep an eye out for Target’s annual gift card sale (usually 10% off!) for caregivers/teachers/pretty much anyone on your list! 

Niki’s Picks: 

For the kids? Zoo passes, museum passes, aquarium passes, etc. Because they do not need more toys. Besides, science says picking experiences is beneficial.

Boooooooooks. Always books 


  • Whiskey or other Spirit of Choice. Maker’s Mark always makes a nice gift.
  • Video games for his current system or Gamestop gift card. If he doesn’t already have one, get a Nintendo Switch. They are great, plus your whole family will love it.
  • Haversack or Backpack from The Hidden Woodsmen


  • Specialty chocolate bars (I’m getting mine from Aura’s Chocolate Bar this year).
  • A bag of Starbucks Holiday Blend Coffee, or a  fancy hot coco mix.
  • An inexpensive, but delicious bottle of wine (Ask your local wine store for suggestions, they will help you out!).
  • Just discovered Dover Nature Coloring Books for the kids. Great quality, educational coloring books for less than $5!

Jessica’s Picks:

“I  got my Mother-in-Law a subscription to Hello Fresh last year and she LOVED IT”

Ashley’s Picks: 


  • Sequin flip anything – pillows, fanny packs, shirts, slap bracelets
  • Kiwi Co boxes – They’re educational subscription boxes. They have a variety of options for kids from 1 to 99. 
  • Tickets to a live show. For the older kids, live shows are a great experience. We live in a great area for live theater that can accommodate a range of budgets. 
  • Sports! If your child loves sports, tickets are a great gift. New England offers so many options for all sports and price ranges.


  • Gift cards for their favorite gaming platform – XBOX, Steam, PS4, Switch 
  • Cologne 
  • For the biggest kid with a sweet tooth – giant bag/box of jelly beans, this is one of my husband’s favorite gifts each year.
  • “Coupon” to redeem for a day trip with some friends to go hiking, to the gun range, to a race track, etc.


  • Grandmothers- homemade gift from the kiddos, grandparents swoon for those. Pottery places are great for these gifts and it will be something they use often.
  • Spa/massage – this is something everyone needs but often forgoes for something more ‘practical’. 
  • Preloaded digital photo frame.
  • Photo book or calendar.
  • An electric blanket that plugs into the car, it exists now and I need one! 


  • Gift card to a store for ME! If you ever give me cash or a Target gift card, I’m going to spend it on bills or the kids. Sorry! 
  • Car detailing – My van is gross, I’m not even going to sugar coat this. A good scrub inside and out would do her good.
  • A giant chunky blanket. 
  • A sturdy reusable/sealable water bottle. #drinkyourdangwater 


  • What’s your specialty? My mom makes a mean banana bread so every year she makes her coworkers mini loaves and they’re a huge hit. Baked goods can be made in advance and frozen so you’re not doing everything all at once. 
  • For those who don’t have the time (or desire) to bake… Cookies in a jar! These are simple to assemble and can be made a bit in advance. Pinterest has tons of options to choose from. A simple tag tied to the mason jar with some festive ribbon and you’re a junior Martha Stewart. 

We interrupt this post for an important PSA. Please do not buy any of the following for other people’s kids… 

Anything that’s alive in any way, shape or form.


(seriously, don’t do it!)

Basically anything with sounds, lights or many pieces.

Chelsey’s Picks: 

“I was recently at a playdate where I saw homemade Play-Doh in a cute jar with muffin tins, silicone muffin liners, and candles. it was antique looking and DARLING. And even better, the woman said she picked a lot of it up at thrift stores.”

Laura’s Picks: 


  • Something that can be used inside the house to get energy out in winter… Trampoline, one of those jumpy cows, bouncy ball with a handle.
  • Passes to one of the fun indoor play places in the area – PlayDate, Kidzone, Kidz Kastle, Bounce U, Monkey Joe’s, Launch. It’s basically a gift for the kids AND the parent.
  • Ditto to KiwiCo!
  • iTunes giftcard to buy movies
  • Art supplies – crayons, markers, glue, and stickers are always running out at my house.
  • Fresh play doh. Because mine is always this funky brown color.


  • Small theme baskets, last year I did Mistletoes and got fuzzy socks, nail polish, and files, and threw some candy in for good measure. There are plenty of ideas for these on Pinterest!
  • Magazine subscription for the classroom
  • Take the class pet for the vacation, or offer to clean out it’s cage a couple of times. 
  • Water bottle/fun cup to keep them hydrated while they run around after your kids. 


  • Gift card for housecleaning or some other service that would free up some of our time (grocery delivery, landscaping, etc)
  • Spa gift card

Tracy’s Picks


For nieces and nephews: Gift Certificates, Friendly’s, Movie Tickets etc. Bonus points if you actually schedule a day and take them – that makes it a present for their parents too!

My son’s aunt and uncle got him a subscription to Highlights last year and it was awesome – it has provided hours of screen free entertainment for him and he is beyond delighted when it comes in the mail with his name on it! Other favorites include Ranger Rick, Sports Illustrated for Kids, and Muse or National Geographic Kids. for the science minded kiddo

It might not thrill the kid, a contribution to their 529 plan is always appreciated. Throw in some sort of terrible $2 doctors office toy and the kid will be none the wiser. Why are they so obsessed with bouncy balls???

For me? Please always just give me a gift certificate for a massage. 

What are your favorite gifts to give or the best gifts you’ve received? Let us know in the comments!