6 Meaningful Christmas Gifts for 2019

girl offering a wrapped gift

You know the drill. Your kiddo sees a toy. They want to have it. They need to have it. You secretly oblige in anticipation of Christmas. Morning comes. They tear through the wrapping paper so that shards of confetti fills the room. As paper flies everywhere, you see the smile on their faces. It’s exactly what they hoped for (insert excited shrieks)! And then weeks pass, maybe even just days, and that new toy they had to have is of no interest to them at all. Rather than storing unwanted toys in the closet this year, give the children on your list meaningful memories instead. Here are six connection-based gift ideas for ages two and up that we love for the holidays and all year long.

Big Life Journal (Ages 7+)

Big Life Journal for Kids helps children develop strong growth mindset skills through inspiring stories, colorful illustrations and engaging guided activities. Children discover how to believe in themselves and face challenges with confidence. They learn that mistakes are opportunities to grow and that they can achieve anything when they're persistent!

Big Life Journal

Why we love it: If you are a parent, grandparent, sibling, relative or friend, you can participate by being a child's  Journal Buddy. Spend quality time sharing, growing and connecting. Some of our inside favs include a gratitude scavenger hunt and the “Follow Your Heart” poem. And they have a special teen edition too!  

Silly Street Board Game (Age 4+)

Silly Street makes character builder games and toys that support cognitive learning and life skills. Silly Street Board Game helps to build qualities of confidence, creativity, empathy, adaptability, and grit.

Silly Street Board Game

Why we love it: This fun family game is pure silliness, just as the name implies. We love creating the board (yes, it’s a fun puzzle). Each card instructs you and your co-players to do fun, goofy tasks. This game gets the family thinking and moving. Be prepared for a good belly laugh!  

GoZen! (Age 5 to 15)

Feeling good is a skill! GoZen! uses animated videos to teach skills of resilience and well-being. Imaginative games, workbooks, cartoons, and quizzes help enrich this unique experience.  Why we love it: This innovative and interactive tool helps break down life’s big skills into bite-sized pieces for kids. It talks about sometimes complex things like feelings, stress and more in ways children understand! The animated characters help children learn to better understand what is going on inside of them using all of their senses and can be used with or without an adult.

Barefoot Books Mind and Body Set (Ages 4+)

This gift set includes two empowering practices that can be shared with children and adults alike. Yoga Pretzels includes 50 yoga activities and Mindful Kids includes 50 mindfulness practices that encourage kindness, focus and calming skills. These fun, powerful tools help build strength from the inside out to support all-around wellness.

Barefoot Books: Yoga Pretzels and Mindful KIds

Why we love it: Yoga pretzels is a great way to get moving (and laughing) with your favorite kiddo. The partner poses and movements are a fun way to build connection as well as inner strength and confidence.  We love Mindful Kids for its whimsical illustrations and easy to follow practices for cultivating focus, love, and stillness --- helpful for silencing the mind before bedtime. Some of our inside favorites are Sharp Eyes, Mountain Rising and Open Ears.  

Kids Cook Real Food (Age 2 - 13+)

This family-friendly cooking opportunity is a multimedia online course designed to help adults (yes you mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, etc) teach children how to cook. The courses are set up for a span of ages, from tots to teens, by offering beginner, intermediate and advanced level meals.

mom teaching her daughter to cook

Why we love it: This is such an amazing opportunity to spend time with your child and co-create meals from the heart. The recipes use real food from scratch, without the processed stuff. The Recipe Book is packed with recipes the whole family can enjoy. Food allergy? No problem. The course provides many substitutions for special diets. The focus of the course is less about the recipes and more about spending time together to learn, create and connect.

Generation Mindful’s Time-In-Toolkit and SnuggleBuddies

Ok, since connection is our jam, we would be a bit remiss if we didn't mention two favorites from our own community -- the Time-In-Toolkit and SnuggleBuddies. The Time-In-ToolKit is a step-by-step guide for nurturing social and emotional skills in children through mindfulness, child-led play, and positive discipline. This ToolKit includes PeaceMakers mindfulness cards and other playful activities that make learning about emotions fun, moving families and classrooms away from time-outs to Time-Ins! Generation Mindful Time-In-Toolkit The SunggleBuddies plush toy collection helps children name and share their feelings in daily playful ways, decreasing meltdowns and helping children feel safe. There are 7 different animals to choose from. Each plush comes with four mood emojis in a back pocket and a laminated feelings poster, calendar/journal. Generation Mindful SnuggleBuddies Why we love it The Toolkit’s superpower is in its Calming Corner, a space you create with your child (you too grandparents)! Together, you have the opportunity to design the space, choose calming tools and toys and further connection through naming and taming big emotions. Bonus, siblings love it too. We love the SnuggleBuddies because they are cuddly, relatable and engaging. The emojis make it easy for even young kids to share what they are feeling inside. The SnuggleBuddies are also great for military families and/or any family who has members living in different households/countries etc. PRO TIP: Grab a SnuggleBuddies and facetime your loved ones! This plush will get your child thinking and talking about their day. ----------------

Generation Mindful creates tools, toys, and programs that nurturing emotional intelligence playfully. Join 100,000 members and receive joy in your inbox each week including four free gifts when you join.

Which Is Better: Smoking Or Vaping?

Crazed Marijuana Vaping (e-Cigarette) Trend The vaping craze took the world by storm and caused a lot of fuss! It is one of the hippest trends and many people have started to use e-cigarettes instead of the traditional tobacco ones. The same thing goes with cannabis usage, as many users have walked away from traditionally [...]

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The Advantage of a Cuddle Buddy

Have you ever felt that feeling of cloistered peace within a night’s rest, listening to the drifting wind or the soothing rain? That warm sensation that you are watched over, safe and not alone? Perhaps the comforting cuddling of another, despite the struggles and turmoils of the day by day. This elusive ideal sensation of peacetime, of relaxation. It should belong to all, as it astronomically improves one’s well being, and attitude towards life. But what is one to do in the cold, when there is no other to aid in this feeling?

Perhaps it may be received as juvenile, rejected, or unsettling, but the positive results are positively undeniable. The solution is to cuddle inanimate, comfortable objects in the absence of another. Sometimes, it is even more advantageous to cuddle inanimate objects in the presence of another partner. Why is this the case? There are two answers to this question, however. The secular advantage, in the chemical balance of the body, or perhaps the more personal perspective from that of one’s own actions.

Examining the secular advantage to inanimate cuddling is the simple act of endorphin stimulation. The comforting touch of another, be it inanimate or otherwise, is of a healing process that aids in the reinforcement of safe feelings. This act of routine or occasional relaxation provides a necessary reprieve from the day to day stresses of the singular individual. Although it may seem tacky, it allows one to revisit the instinctive comforts of youth and safety, and allows for a better sense of security overall. The continuous, unchecked anxiety of the individual unconcerned for their own wellbeing can be detrimental to daily life, so it is imperative to keep the anxiety in check and take care of it.

Turn your favorite buddy into one of our most loved products in a matter of minutes.

When looking from the personal experience perspective, the advantage of such cuddling and relief, be it an object or person, is not totally obvious. Some find it warm, unsettling, or perhaps lack the experience of such practice. But it cannot be denied the relief when, faced with monstrous and overwhelming obstacles, that one simple hug from the correct individual may grant one the strength to persevere and continue to provide their best in the trials ahead. That correct hug, that promise of safety, can be provided by something like a doll or teddy as well if preferred. 

There is nothing shameful or condemnable about self-help. It is the responsibility of yourself to tend to yourself and enjoy life’s wonders and enchanting moments, even in spite of the seemingly inescapable lows of life. No matter the person, the tools, or the object, it is important to care for your wellbeing, in any way possible. What have you to lose?

Better communication applies to self talk, too

Here is one exercise to begin developing positive self-talk:

Write down some of the negative messages inside your mind.  Be specific, whenever possible, and include anyone you remember who contributed to that message.
Next, to those negative messages write down a positive truth in your life.  Don’t give up if you don’t find them quickly.  For every negative message there is positive,  keep looking until you find them.

For example, you might write, when you make a mistake, you think, “I can’t do anything right.” Right beside that negative statement, your positive message could be, “I accept my mistake and am becoming a better person.”

Positive self-talk is not self-deception, positive self-talk is about the truth, in situations and in yourself.  When negative events or mistakes happen, positive self-talk seeks to bring the positive out of the negative to help you do better, go further, or just keep moving forward.

Better communication applies to self talk, too

Here is one exercise to begin developing positive self-talk:

Write down some of the negative messages inside your mind.  Be specific, whenever possible, and include anyone you remember who contributed to that message.
Next, to those negative messages write down a positive truth in your life.  Don’t give up if you don’t find them quickly.  For every negative message there is positive,  keep looking until you find them.

For example, you might write, when you make a mistake, you think, “I can’t do anything right.” Right beside that negative statement, your positive message could be, “I accept my mistake and am becoming a better person.”

Positive self-talk is not self-deception, positive self-talk is about the truth, in situations and in yourself.  When negative events or mistakes happen, positive self-talk seeks to bring the positive out of the negative to help you do better, go further, or just keep moving forward.