20 More Useful Christmas Gifts

Last year I wrote a list of useful gifts for families, and I decided to try to carry on the tradition. Because aren't we all a little tired of throwing away gifts every year? This year's list has something to throw away too, but that's what you're supposed to do with trash bags! (Goodness, I am laughing right now. That's funny.)

I've been wracking my brain for the past few days coming up with this year's list of useful gifts and I think I've got some good ones! All are different from last year's, so if you want to check out that list, click here.

    1. Mason Jars. Makes great glasses, can be used to hold just about anything, and of course, canning. (If you want to be fancy, get the colored glass ones...or you could be even fancier and get those fancy Weck jars that are so beautiful. You could start their collection of Weck jars and then be set for the next 4 or 5 Christmases.)
    2. Unusual, and you may get a few strange looks but...toilet paper. Now here's the deal, if you're going to give this to a family, give them a huge box of individually wrapped toilet paper rolls. I can get a box of 96 rolls for $35 from a local place. Kids today may think this is weird at first, but when I was growing up, my grandparents would bring us a box of tp when they came to visit. It was awesome. TP makes great fort builders, weapons of mass destruction, snowballs for southern kids, etc. We had so much fun, and then afterward, Mom and Dad didn't have to worry about buying TP for a long time. I know my kids still think this is awesome. Wouldn't yours?
    3. Trash bags. I know, I know. But does anyone really like buying trash bags? And those boxes aren't cheap either. Here's 200 bags for around $25, now that would be a nice gift!
    4. You could also gift a family a compost trash can. Or even set up a compost bin for under the sink, including the worms. If they're into that sort of thing. I really want to see someone open a can of worms. I may get my sister some.
    5. Cleaning supplies! For my cleaning recipes (shouldn't call them that, they are too easy) you just need some Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap and a spray bottle. (That one is pretty, so it makes cleaning easier. I believe. Well, don't quote me on that.)
    6. Last year, I crocheted a dish rag and tied it around a bottle of dish soap as a gift. Simple and sweet. It's a nice little hostess gift too.
    7. Glassware or Pyrex dishes especially ones with lids. 
    8. Oh, I almost forgot about this little life saver! My aunt got this for me last year, and it fits the Kitchen Aid bowl. It makes my life so much easier! I know, it shouldn't be that big of a deal to either move things into another bowl for storage or use some plastic wrap to cover the bowl. BUT this silicone lid thingy just plops right on top of the mixer bowl and it's covered. I love it for my sourdough bread. I love it for so many things. Another idea along the same lines is making a beeswax cloth for bowl coverings. I haven't tried that yet, but I love the idea. 
    9. Speaking of bread baking....Parchment paper! Tin foil would be nice too. You could get really creative with both of those. Parchment paper comes in some cute(ish) boxes sometimes, or you could pair it with baking supplies like a...
    10. Dough cutter. Love that thing for everything from bread, to pizza, to scraping up the gunk on the kitchen counter that just won't let go. (Was that too honest?)
    11. Also, if you know the gifted is a baker, why not some nice flour? Organic bread flour for the bread baker, or organic all-purpose for the cookie baker. Spelt, whole wheat, there's lots of options. 
    12. Kids cups/water bottles. My Mom found this kind that is glass but with a wrap that keeps it from breaking. Because who wants their kids drinking out of plastic? Not me! But who also doesn't want their kids spilling their drinks everywhere? Or breaking all of the glasses in the house?
    13. Pet and/or animal food. My sister did this last year, it was so nice! You know, right after Christmas money can be tight, and not having to worry about chicken feed in January was such a blessing.
    14. Real Salt. There's a salt mine in Utah run by a family, and they sell this salt that everyone says is amazing. I really want some, but it's not in my grocery budget. But it's not a bad price for a gift! There's also other salts like Himalayan which is pink. That'd be fun to open up too.
    15. And any other nice spices would work too! Or potted plants of herbs to put in a kitchen window.
    16. Books, books, books. I'm enjoying Natural Goat Care for my homestead reading right now, I'm asking for Nourishing Traditions for my kitchen this year (I hope Jeremy is reading this), Christmas books are always fun to receive, or a nice family read aloud like The Jesus Storybook Bible or The Biggest Story
    17. Grocery store gift cards! That's a great idea. We've received quite a few restaurant gift cards too, and those are always nice to use. 
    18. Garden tools for the gardener. Gideon got a hand auger last year that has been such a helpful tool for our homestead. Hoes, rakes, shovels, trowels all would be so nice though. I just wouldn't get the kids' tool sets. Those aren't really hardy enough to help, or at least the ones I've seen aren't.
    19. Give a meal! If you've ever received a meal after having a baby, you know how nice it is. If you need to wrap up something for them to open, prepare a freezer meal. You could put it in a cooler chest if you couldn't get it to a freezer right away. Or, bring the full meal to them one evening with a Christmas card. 
    20. And finally...sheets! I love a nice set of sheets. If you don't know the color, give white. It's always a good idea to have extra sheets, especially for those of us still in the throes of potty training. (Ugh.)

You know, the great thing about giving useful gifts is that you can get the nicer end stuff, like the salt I suggested, that you might wouldn't pay for yourself, but doesn't hurt the bank so terribly as a gift.

I hope you enjoyed this list and it helped spark a few more ideas!

What else would you add? Share in the comments!


  1. Hi Jennifer! I am visiting as the neighbor next door for the linkup yesterday. This is a GREAT idea list! We just returned from our son's home. He has been unemployed for nine months and doing a variety of things to try to make ends meet and as my husband and I have been considering what to do for them for Christmas, your list opened up a world of options that would be ideal for them this year. Not sure my son's children would see tp as much fun since they are 21 and 17, but even so...... Thanks for these!
    Blessings on your day!

    1. We've been there, and maybe that's why I make these lists. My Mom gave us laundry detergent that year, a big tub of it that lasted all year, and every time I washed clothes I was so very thankful. I pray your son is as blessed as we were when we were unemployed!


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