By request, here is the annual Fisher Christmas present gift idea list: 40ish things our family actually bought for each other and actually enjoyed. Our kids are now ages 6, 9, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, and 23, so Christmas morning is not the toy-a-palooza that it once was (although we did break down and buy some of those insane life-sized stuffed unicorns and dragons from Walmart, and I haven’t seen the bedroom floor since).
If you want present lists geared more toward younger kids, you can check out previous years’ lists at the end of the post, and the further back you go, the younger ages the list will be geared toward. (I’m sorry about that sentence. It has been a week.)
Last year, we bought customized masks as stocking stuffers. If you are looking for excellent, well-crafted, comfortable masks with the most interesting fabrics, I heartily recommend browsing around in Door Number 9 or Stitchcraft Yarns.
Okay, here’s the present list! Random as heck, hope you like it.
Not gonna lie, this is a terrible product, in that it works very well, is very loud and bright, and is hard to break. It’s a real, heavy microphone, not a toy, with a speaker built into it, and puts on a little light show when the music plays. Links up to your smartphone. It’s just terribly obnoxious. The kids love it. You can also use it just as a wireless speaker.
Corrie had a mania for “disco parties” for a while, so this was for her, paired with:
Casts multi-colored razzle dazzle moving lights all over the room. It’s a small device but does a serviceable job. The cord is not very long but works fine otherwise.
A pretty, shiny french press, works like it’s supposed to.
I don’t even know. I think they grew these guys in a lab.
We got two of these, one in black and one in blue:
Also comes in pink, red, and other shades.
Gonna be honest, I don’t know anything about guitars, but two of our kids taught themselves how to pick out some songs using this exact set-up, so it definitely comes with everything you need to get started, for a very reasonable price.
For an older kid, who already plays:
This also comes in normal book binding, but the spiral is nice because it opens up flat. If you’re not learning how to play Beatles songs, then what are you even doing with a guitar?
A small-sized rolling pin, makes pretty repeating designs in cookie or pie dough, as shown. Click through for other designs.
Two for one! A thick, somewhat shiny, stretchy material, fully reversible. Cute idea, runs small. Click through for other pattern combinations.
These binoculars are designed specifically for night viewing. 7X magnification, easy to use.
Several of our kids got into knitting over the pandemic, so there were a lot of miscellaneous knitting notions and supplies:
for finishing up the ends, I guess? I don’t know, I don’t knit.
A lovely handmade item, decorative and useful. Keep your yarn from getting tangled while you knit. You can feed more than one strand out at a time.
lots of handy pockets and compartments with a drawstring closure on top and a little hole to feed the yarn through, similar to the yarn bowl above.
For the film buff:
paired with a subscription to The Criterion Channel.
I think this was actually a birthday present: Tweed handmade Irish wool wrap
Amazingly soft, subtle, and adaptable to dress up or down. Lots of colors and varieties at the site, but this one has little bits of different colors in it, so it goes with anything. For Christmas, we paired it with:
Even nicer in person, very generously sized, very bright and cleverly made. A lovely piece that can be worn many ways.
For the DIY guy:
paired with a Michael’s gift card, which you can also buy on Amazon because it’s a weird world.
21 inches. Has a friendly little face, as an axolotl should.
I wonder how many of these we’ve bought over the years? The red ones are the best ones.
If someone in your household wants one of these, you don’t need an explanation. If no one wants one, there can be no explanation.
A little baking set we put together:
These are unusually deep cake pans.
Super thick and protective, very cute. Big enough for an adult to wear. And now for the star attraction:
A huge hit. They will personalize it however you like, and it’s a sturdy, well-made, authentic-looking chef’s hat that stands up nicely on the head. Adorable. Comes with a plain apron.
A very large bird feeder. Easy to fill, easy to hang on a sturdy wire loop.
This is a representative sample. We bought so many of these stupid dolls over the course of the year. It’s fine. BTS is fine. These are detailed little guys who will sit on your shelf and not make any trouble.
Hadestown! Can’t get enough of that tragical stuff!
a sweet little portable instrument for picking out quiet tunes or accompanying singers. Click through for a little video to hear how it sounds.
Closes up and looks like a real book; opens up and lights up. Just a pleasant little lamp. Not super sturdy for little kids, but better made than we were expecting.
For our first kid who moved out. This is a great cookbook to launch you with all kinds of basic recipes, as well as general information about how to select, prep, and store food. Marion Cunningham has a reassuring, no-nonsense style that’s great for young people learning how to cook and bake. Includes recipes I’ve been using for thirty years or more.
A big hit. Put these magical glasses on and wherever you look, light sources turn into heart shapes, so the world is swimming in multicolored hearts. The more lights, the more hearts, hooray! The glasses themselves are quite sturdy, and are large enough for an adult to wear. They look like sunglasses in the picture, but in real life the glass is clear like reading glasses.
As you can see, this is one of those hoodies where you bend your elbows in front of you and, if you move them right, they become the chomping, slavering jaws of a hungry dinosaur! Amazing! Chomp chomp chomp! Thick nylon material, runs rather large.
For that special weirdo.
Just an elegant little dress with realistic birds of various kinds. Thick, soft stretchy knit material, falls gracefully, plenty of fabric in the skirt so it flares prettily when you spin. We bought an adult size small for our nine-year-old and it fit her nicely.
As advertised. Click through for a number of color choices. Thick, warm hat, runs a bit small.
For when they’ve outgrown the little red Swiss Army Knife, above, and are maybe a young woman going to college and you never know who might need stabulatin’. (I jest. These are handy for opening packages and cutting fruit and whatnot, though, and are satisfyingly heavy knives that fold up with a good snap.)
Not a deluxe model, but it plays the requisite tune from “Swan Lake” and the little ballerina spins around. The other thing every little girl should have, besides a Smith and Wesson folding knife.
For that one kid who has, for reasons unknown, latched on to this rather mediocre show and loves it. This is actually a heavy, well-made plushie.
And there it is! Hope you found something that might work for your family that is not a life-sized stuffed unicorn.
Here are my lists from previous years:
The 2019 list (25 presents)
One awkward final note: I used make a little commission every time someone bought something using my links, and boy, would I clean up! Heating oil all winter long, let me tell you! Tragically, I fell out of Amazon’s good graces, and don’t earn commissions anymore. So if you do happen to go through this list and think, “Dang, Simcha really saved my bacon this year with that idea about the kalimba!” you could always drop a tip in . . . honest to goodness, I thought I had a tip jar on this site. Well, my PayPal address is email@example.com, my Venmo is @Simcha-Fisher, and it’s gauche as heck, but I’m definitely accepting tips, if the spirit moves you. And of course if you want to become a regular patron of the site, that’s excellent.