I started posting holiday gift guides way back in 2014 (!!). They are some of my favorite posts. I get so many great ideas from your comments! And I just really love sharing things we genuinely love (nothing is sponsored).

However, this year, between my very strong desire to simplify the holidays, the supply chain/shipping delays, and the cost of many things skyrocketing, I’ve decided to carry that simplification over to the gift guides.

{I’ve also very intentionally tried to buy less “stuff” this year and try to regain control over the closets and rooms filled to the brim with stuff we already have. Anyone else feeling a nervous twitch coming on at the thought of accumulating more stuff?? Just me?}

Anyway, that’s a long intro to basically just say that instead of doing three gift guides this year like I’ve done in the past (games, kids, everything else), I’m compiling just one gift guide this year. It’s short and sweet! And most importantly: simple! That’s my holiday theme this year for sure.

If you are looking for more gift inspiration, my archives are LOADED with seven years of past gift guides, and I can whole heartedly say, I would still recommend every single thing on them. They are filled with gems! (Both in the gift guide and especially in the comments!)

For now, here are some of my favorite things (always random, I know) that are worthy of a share this year! (As always, nothing is sponsored but there are affiliate links for some things I’ve bought from Amazon.)

Any gift recommendations to share? Comment below! I love getting new ideas from all of you!

1. Domino Maze {aff. link}: we love Thinkfun games, and this Domino Maze {aff. link} is one of our newer favorites (enough that we’ve gifted it to several friends for birthdays this year).

2. Ubongo {aff. link}: a bit like Tetris on a board game, this is one game we pull out all the time because you can play for a short time or a long time…and it’s fun either way! Cam and I play this one together a lot.

3. Trekking the National Parks {aff. link}: this is a personal favorite! Not only do I love visiting National Parks in person, but having all of them on a fun board game with a bit of strategy is like the perfect combination. Love this game!

4. Cover Your Kingdom {aff. link}: it’s no secret we’re huge fans of all the Grandpa Beck games, but Cover Your Kingdom {aff. link} is winning right now. We took it on a family Labor Day trip and played it constantly in the evenings…and haven’t stopped since being home. It’s like Cover Your Assets {aff. link} with a clever twist (and the artwork is phenomenal as always).

5. Goat Lords {aff. link}: this is a new-to-us game, and WE LOVE IT! Continuing with the Cover Your Assets theme, it’s similar to that game (stacking sets) with a few different rules, which makes it interesting and unique enough to keep it around! We are loving quick card games these days, and this one fits the bill.

6. Taco vs. Burrito {aff. link}: my kids think this game is a total hoot. It is the game of choice for my 12- and 14-year old right now. I’m not going to lie, the food combinations in this game make me inwardly gag, but it also definitely brings out my competitive reflex. (Spoiler alert: I never stinking win.)

7. Dicecapades: I found this game at a local game store, and it was definitely worth the risk of buying it without knowing anything about it. All the different shapes of dice (die??) and clever cards make it a game our whole family enjoys playing together.

8. Scattergories Categories {aff. link}: another game store find, this was a sure fire win because we already love classic Scattergories. This twist on the original is very, very fun (best played with tweens and older).

9. Sneaky Snacky Squirrel {aff. link}: this game comes as a very high recommendation from my friend, Deb, who has ten kids and several toddlers still at home. Also, this pancake pileup game {aff. link} is a huge favorite of theirs, too. I was grateful for her recommendations since I don’t have young kids at home! Apparently, they play these nonstop (as a whole family, but especially to include the younger kids).

10. Pura: I finally jumped on the Pura bandwagon this year, and I have zero regrets! I have several of them in my house, and I love the light fragrance they provide without having to burn candles or melt wax. I keep mine on the lowest setting because I’m not a fan of super in-your-face fragrant smells (I get headaches from strong scents), but my house smells amazing, and it makes me happy. The Capri Blue Volcano is my favorite scent, but I’m also loving their cranberry holiday fragrances.

11. Ramp Shot {aff. link}: this outdoor game is like a combination of corn hole and spike ball (both favorites of ours), and my boys and Brian want me to tell you guys how fun it is (it requires a bit more movement than I’m willing to do most evenings, so I sit and watch). Highly recommend! The rules were a bit tricky to figure out at first, but the video online was super helpful, and the boys picked it up quick.

12. Kubb {aff. link}: we have a homemade version of this game, but we’ve gifted this version to several friends (and a parent or two). It is hands down one of our favorite back yard games!

13. Trampoline Basketball Hoop {aff. link}: we gifted this to the kids last Christmas, and to say it has provided hours and hours of outside fun is a bit of an understatement. A year later, and it still is as fun as the day it was installed!

14. DIY Fairy Lantern {aff. link}: this is such a cute, fun little crafting kit. Cam put it together earlier this year, and it still has a place in her room. It’s been a great gift for some of her friends that have had birthdays, too.

15. STEM Solar Robot {aff. link}: we love this kit! You (er, I mean, the kids) can build upwards of 12 different robots that are solar and cell powered. Pretty cool! It’s a bit elementary for older kids, but great for ages 8-11.

16. Wild Republic Sloth Stuffie {aff. link}: we have a thing for stuffed animals around here, and this sloth is an argued-over favorite. That, and this sea turtle {aff. link}. I love the unique animals from this brand. They’re adorable and super soft.

17. LEGO Duplo Farm {aff. link}: another recommendation for younger kids, my friend, Deb, said the LEGO Duplo farm and town kits {aff. link} are the most played with toys in her house (so much so that she finally bought two sets!).

18. Knife Sharpener: this knife sharpener was recommended to me, and I have been so pleased with it! I have struggled to keep my knives really sharp and in good shape, and have tried so many other knife sharpeners. This is the best one I’ve ever used! (And my kids agree – they use it for their pocketknives.)

Speaking of knives, besides my favorite inexpensive bread knife {aff. link} and these mini serrated knives {aff. link} which I use all the time, my go-to high-quality knives are all from New West Knifeworks. I can’t say enough good things about their knives (totally unsponsored). If you’re looking for a knife upgrade, investing in these knives is the way to go. I’ve had mine for years and love them. I have the 8- and 9-inch chef’s knives, the mini santoku, the pairing knife, and the regular santoku.

19. Keurig (for hot chocolate): I bought a Keurig to use for hot chocolate, and even though I wanted it to be a hit, I didn’t realize we would use it as much as we have. My kids make hot chocolate every day, and I LOVE that they can make single serve mugs without getting out all the whisks, measuring cups, spoons, etc, and leaving a huge mess. I am mentally allergic to keeping things out on my counter full-time, but this has earned a spot. We’ve bought hot chocolate pods on Amazon and also from Keurig. Our trick to making the hot chocolate taste good (a common critique of the hot chocolate pods is that they are watery and bland) is to use 6 ounces of water instead of 8 ounces. My kids love it!

20. AirPods Pro cases {aff. link}: a great stocking stuffer idea, several of my kids (after saving up to buy AirPods) have these funny cases (one has a goldfish case, one has a fruit snacks case). Not only do they help keep the AirPods straight, but they’re clever and fun.

21. Aloha Nut Butter: I have tried several different flavors of the OffBeat nut butters, and this aloha nut butter is AMAZING. It’s my favorite by far. Almost every day, I have spoonfuls of it on a banana, and my goodness, it’s terrific.