You're so excited about welcoming a new little girl into the world! There are so many happy feelings passing through your mind, looking forward to meeting her, congratulating the parents, and - wait a minute, you'll need a present!
You can't just show up empty-handed, that wouldn't be good. So what should you bring? Well I've put together a select of beautiful baby girl gift baskets to get the ball rolling! Hopefully these ideas will spark some inspiration inside of you to give a gift that everyone will love!
Image by Edgar Barany on Flickr
Growing up in a family of four sisters, you could say I'm most familiar with what is given to baby girls, what's useful for them and then of course what's not necessary.
Image by adwriter on Flickr
Plus, who can deny that little girls are oh-so-cute (okay, babies in general, I know!) So in short, this lens is simply a handful of ideas that you can take or leave! Either way, you are sure to get some good ideas out of it!
I am a big fan of sending the new parents a personalized baby basket filled with cute little items that they will need.
Typically these include a mixture of customized blankets, bibs, burp cloths, bottles, toys or teddy bears, books, and more precious baby items.
I just love these personalized items because it's usually one of the first things that baby gets with her name on it. They'll cherish it forever and it's always just a sweet notion.
Do you have a creative idea for what to include in your gift basket? That's perfect! A personal touch like that is what makes a gift special. Shop around and find some items that will be meaningful to the new parents, and they're sure to enjoy your thoughtfulness along with the gift itself.
Sort of piggy-backing on the personalized baskets, my next item on the list is personalized baby clothes or baby bibs. How cute would it be for the little baby girl to be wearing around her very own name on her onesie or bib, or even on a little hat? I just love it!
There are all kinds of ways to initial baby goods, and there are plenty of clothing options to choose from! Even if you're not sure what they're going to name their little one, you could always go with "Baby Anderson" or something cute that involves their family name.
If you know Mom or Dad's preference on certain types of clothing, then keep that in mind. Some parents only like to use zippered clothing, others only like buttons or snaps. Keep this in mind and maybe do a combination of each. As always, be sure to include your gift receipts just in case.
Diaper bags are kind of becoming a thing of the past. No dad wants to be seen carrying around a pink flowery bag and moms have come to realize it's not always practical to carry around a purse plus a large diaper bag packed with items that baby could possibly need.
That's where these personalized bags come into play. Not only are they personalized with any name or initials, but they come in 9 different colors that neither Mom or Dad will mind.
There are tons of options out there now days too, so don't be afraid to look around and shop a bit to find the perfect fit. The parents will appreciate it, and it'll be their go-to item that they use for years!
If you've read some of my other lenses, you may have read that I'm all for being eco-friendly, and going with organic foods and goods. So when it comes to baby items, why not extend this theory and go with organic baby gifts?
Plus, babies typically have very sensitive skin so it's nice to have options of organic materials and items that won't cause irritation or rashes.
What I've pictured here is an organic diaper cake. It includes items such as organic lotions and washes, biodegradable diapers, baby soap, bath salts, relaxing room spray and more. All made from natural ingredients!
Of course, you can include whatever types of items you want into your diaper cake. That's the joy of a DIY gift, you get to go with whatever you want!
Naturally the mom and dad will be getting all kinds of gifts from family and friends. This usually ranges anywhere from teddy bears to cash gifts. So if you want to go with a more unique route, why not help the child start saving these monetary gifts from day one?
There are neat personalized piggy banks that will do just that. Put their name on the little pig and let the savings fun begin! It's sure to be the highlight of their room for years to come.
I still have my childhood piggy bank and believe it or not, it's still in one piece! Someday, I'll put it in my child's nursery and pass it along. These types of gifts have such a great sentiment to them.
If the mom and/or baby love the color pink then there's no question, you'll need to invest in some pink gifts for the two of them. There are plenty of options out there, so how will you know which one is the one for you?
Image by ionascloset on Flickr
Do your research. Is the nursery going to be pink? Then find a piece of furniture or decor for the nursery that will match perfectly. Not sure about the nursery? Then you could always go the route of the pink frilly tutu, or some beautiful pink headbands. Even an adorable and fluffy pink blanket will be welcomed when it comes to baby.
Just because it's a girl doesn't mean that you have to deck the halls in pink. There are plenty of other options such as yellow, purple, green, orange, and more. Be bold, explore your options!
You don't need to use a basket when creating one of these gifts. If you get creative, there are plenty of other ways to make your gift work.
Image by abbybatchelder on Flickr
Visit a thrift store and find an old popcorn tin. Wash it out with soap and hot water, then allow to dry. Spray paint with pink, yellow, white, and/or sparkles, then use to hold all your baby goodies.
Another route you could go is to use a little beverage tub. These are great for the moms to reuse in the baby's room to store diapers, toys, or just odds and ends.
Being from the US - my attention on New Year's Eve is on New York City. The crowds, the ball dropping, the performances... But there is so much more going on around the world.
Enjoy my tidbits on New Year's Eve celebrations and spotlights on what others are doing for New Years around the world.
Flickr Photo Credit: jazzlog
Auld Lane Syne
*What does it mean? Old times that are fondly remembered.
*Where did it come from? It was played by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians as a New Year's Eve song for the first time on December 31, 1929
Baby New Year
*Why? Using a baby to symbol new beginnings is seen in ancient Egypt, Greece, and in the Roman Empire. The modern custom of using a baby to symbolize the New Year came to North America from the Germans who used the symbol since the 14th century.
*Who Started That? The tradition of making New Year's resolutions dates back to the early Babylonians.
*How Did That Start? The first Tournament of Roses was staged in 1890 by members of Pasadena's Valley Hunt Club, former residents of the East and Midwest eager to showcase their new home's mild winter weather and the ripening of the orange crops.
The residents on the central Pacific Ocean island of Kiritimati (Christmas Island), the eastern-most island in the island nation of Kiribati claim to be the first to usher in the New Year. The first major city to celebrate is Sydney, Australia.
Photo courtesy of wikipedia
At 9pm Sydney starts their Family Fireworks event. Following that is the Harbour of Light Parade. 55 vessels make their way around the Sydney Harbour - all lit up to create an amazing light show.
At midnight Sydney bursts the night sky open with a kaleidoscopic of color and shapes. This spectacular show takes place in the world's best open theater - fireworks firing from six barges on Sydney Harbour, seven skyscraper rooftops and across the iconic arch of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Imagine celebrating the New Year in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Starting at around 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve, people start to flock to the famous street - The Champs-Elysees - bringing along bottles of "sparkling white wine" (champagne) and toasting flutes. From many places on the Champs-Elysees, you can get a good view of the Eiffel Tower, which explodes into a sparkling dance of light at the stroke of midnight.
Photo courtesy of wikipedia
The Sacre Coeur Cathedral plaza in Montmartre is another favorite place to bid farewell to the current year. From here you can spy spectacular views of the entire Paris skyline, so you're sure to see any fireworks being launched around Paris.
Want to ring in the New Year Paris Style? Add some Eiffel Tower favors to your event. From bottle openers to candles, it's just the right touch of flair your party needs! Find the favors above and more at Wedding Favors Unlimited.
Picture Courtesy of MailOnline
On New Year's Eve in Moscow people gather in Red Square to await the tolling of the Saviour clock tower, then they crack open bottles of champagne and toast their neighbors. People also dress as 'Grandfather Frost' (the Russian equivalent of Father Christmas) and his female counterpart 'The Snow Maiden', then go about bearing good wishes.
Many Russians also celebrate the Orthodox New Year or Old New Year on the night of the 13th January.
I enjoyed learning about other New Year's Eve celebrations around the world - I hope you did to! There are so many unique ways to celebrate and so many amazing firework displays!
Kids love to get involved in making crafts during the holidays. They get swept up in the joy and excitement of the season and want to be able to make cheap holiday gifts they can give out.
Providing craft materials to eager kids and guiding them through the process is not only a fun way to spend time with them, but it's also a great way to develop in them a desire to give from the heart.
Image courtesy of Peter Kaminski on Flickr.
Is there anything more enchanting at the holidays than a decorated gingerbread house with Christmas candy? These houses, which originated in Germany, have now become a staple of Christmas in America.
Image by coolmikeol on Flickr
While baking your own gingerbread house may seem daunting, it's really not that hard. But if you prefer, you can buy kits at craft stores that include everything you need to make a completed house-including the baked holiday cookies. These kits are fun because you don't have to run to the store for things you might have forgotten. The walls come together straight and kids can practically do them all by themselves, although you will want to supervise.
Consider hosting a gingerbread house-making party in your neighborhood. Have everyone bring their own kit and let the kids get together and create some holiday magic. Plan to take your children to a local gingerbread house show or festival if there is one nearby. It will inspire them for next year.
The craft stores are now stocking wonderful felt ornaments that kids will find easy to make. Many require no sewing at all (and those that require sewing are simple for an adult). Try making a whole Nativity set out of felt or a set of ornaments in a theme from a felt kit. These are great for around your home, or for giving as neat holiday gifts.
Image by wingingit on Flickr
Many come with sequins and beads that kids can use to embellish their creations. You'll find you will take these ornaments out every year, so mark the date in indelible ink on the backs.
As your kids head off to their own families someday, you can give them a box of ornaments they made as a way to start their own family Christmas holiday decor.
Again, visit a favorite craft store and you will find an array of balsa wood ornaments that kids can paint. These are fun because they have simple lines and include everything you need. You can have them painted, dried, and on the tree in one afternoon. Kids like to see a project that they can complete from start to finish in a short amount of time. And you'll have a beautiful collection of their hand-done artwork to showcase year after year.
Image by woodleywonderworks on Flickr
The selection in craft stores has really gotten good. You can now find just about every shape and theme of wooden ornaments you can imagine. Why not do a whole circus menagerie or a scene from The Nutcracker? It's so easy and will look like you spent a long time planning it all out.
Whatever you decide to make with children, don't feel you have to run around grabbing all the materials and building something from scratch. It doesn't make it any more fun for the kids, and it's really not necessary.
Craft kits are perfect for busy families and they simplify the craft-making process. And with the hundreds of kits to choose from, you never have to make the same thing twice. Look online or at dollar stores for great deals on these.
Image from Amazon.com
The holidays hit and suddenly thoughts turn to finances. Will you have enough this year to get everyone something nice? The panic starts to set in as you wearily trudge through the malls searching for anything in your price range.
It doesn't have to be this way. You can purchase or make inexpensive Christmas gifts that your recipients will love. You'll feel better knowing you didn't blow your budget and January isn't going to come along with shocking credit card bills.
Start by making a list of everyone you want to give Christmas gifts to. You may decide to get your children what they want from the toy store but then make everyone else's gift.
Once you have your list ready, start thinking of ideas for gifts that will match everyone's personality. If you're stumped, you can always go back when an idea hits you. This list will also keep track of everyone you have to buy for, so you can make sure you don't spend too much on one person and not have enough to buy gifts for everyone else on your list.
Photographs make wonderful holiday gifts for everyone on the list. Digital cameras have made it easy for everyone to take a decent photo. And you don't have to spend money on film or developing. You can do everything right from your home computer.
Plan to take photos that could work for Aunt Rose as well as a friend from work. Your children and pets can always make for great subjects. But you can also take architectural photos of your neighborhood or flowers or anything that catches your eye. Be creative and step outside of your comfort zone.
Upload your photos and see which ones would look great in picture frame favors. Select the same one for everyone or several different ones. Then, print them on the best quality setting onto photo paper.
Photo paper has come way down in price, so you can make a nice bundle of presents for very little cash outlay. Only after you have printed your photos should you begin shopping for frames. You can take the photos with you to the store to see which frames they look best in.
If you give baby picture frames, they shouldn't be too large, as a recipient might not have room to display it. Smaller desk sized photos are nice choices as everyone has a mantle or coffee table or desk they can display one more photo on.
Choose a frame that you think would go with the recipient's decor, not necessarily what you would choose for your own home. If your friend has an ultra-modern home, don't show up with an ornate Victorian frame. She won't want to display it because it will clash with her decor. Instead, choose a plain black frame that will go with everything.
For friends, you can give a photo of a place you went together or one of the two of you together. Relatives love to see how the kids have grown every year.
Try to arrange to get everyone in the photo by having a neighbor take a family shot for you. You can send it off in a nice frame to relatives you won't be seeing over the holidays. The flat dimension of a frame makes it ideal to mail cheaply.
Get your mind in gear for other presents you can make with photos. Have t-shirts made for the kids with the dog on the front or have ceramic mugs with funny pictures of you and your friends made for the book club.
Children get so excited about Christmas that they're just about ready to burst with joy. Sometimes you need to channel that enthusiasm into something useful so that you all make it through the weeks leading up to Christmas with your sanity intact.
Why not get the kids involved in counting down the days until Christmas? That way they'll be in the know as to just when Santa is coming (and they can stop asking you ten times a day!).
One fun way to involve the kids is to make an advent calendar. These are calendars with doors for each day until Christmas. Little holiday cookies are waiting behind each one.
You can purchase these from stores or online. Choose one that has fun things behind the door that bear each date. Some come with toy trains or vintage animals. Others come with tiny Christmas trees or ornaments. Still others have candy behind each door. This is by far the most popular for children whose anticipation level is already set on frenzy. They have something to enjoy while waiting for December 25th. Remind children that they are not allowed to peek and see what's behind the dates that haven't arrived yet.
Another way you can encourage children to participate in a Christmas day countdown is for all of you to do 25 good deeds for someone else. You can make a calendar with December 1st through 25th on it. Each day every member of the family does something special for someone else.
It could be that dad warms mom's car up in the morning before she leaves for work. Or it could be that your youngest fed the dog. Any deed either inside the home or out can count. Everyone writes their good turn on the calendar for everyone to see. You can also plan weekend deeds as a family such as working at a soup kitchen for the afternoon or visiting a nursing home to sing carols.
The personal involvement your children have in spreading the cheer will keep them diverted from agonizing over how many days they still have to wait for their presents. You may even find that they want to help others more than open a mound of their own presents. Doing good is contagious.
Your children will be as excited for the holidays as your home environment allows. You might try to keep the excitement going by baking a different batch of cookie each day and giving them out to police and rescue workers.
Or you can put a new ornament on the tree each day. You can give each other hand made holiday gifts each day or notes to say how special you are to each other.
Image by craftvisit collective on Flickr
Get everyone involved, even the older children who pretend they're too cool to care. They really do still want to be included even if they act nonchalant.
Your Christmas advent season will be filled with laughter, joy and maybe even cookies if you plan to celebrate each of the days until Christmas. Get out there as a family and do special things for others or just for fun. Your children will have delightful memories of the holidays and may even continue the new traditions with their own families one day.