I was never an avid Oprah fan, but every year I looked forward to her holiday episode, “Oprah’s Favorite Things.” If you haven’t seen one of these episodes, they were pretty spectacular. Oprah would present about a dozen or so products that she fell in love with that particular year. She raved about it, would sometimes interviews the inventor or designer, and then with a big fanfare, Oprah employees walked in with that particular gift for everyone in the audience. You couldn’t help but wish you were sitting there!
Even now that her show is over, she is still showcasing her favorite things on Amazon. You can see them all here.
Several years ago, I decided to replicate this concept. It’s so much fun to put together this budget-friendly gift. Throughout the year, I pay attention to anything our family especially enjoys and then put all those items together in a collection of “Our Family’s Favorite Things.” It’s a fun process because it brings back so many great memories of the year gone by. Sometimes these things are favorite foods we’ve discovered, a gift card to a favorite restaurant, photos of some of your family’s favorite memories for the year, a favorite CD or DVD or a product you’ve fallen in love with.
Past boxes from my family have included:
- A box of Kodiak Cakes mix
- Patriots by James Wesley Rawles
- Photos of my kids on their sports teams
- Waterproof matches. Sounds silly, but the kids and I tested them, and they really work! Most people have heard of them but have never actully used them.
- A pillowcase sewn by my daughter. She learned how to sew one year and these were her contribution to the basket.
- Gift cards to a bowling alley (We re-discovered this fun sport just recently.)
- Half-pound of See’s California Brittle
- A copy of The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Our family has loved the entire Percy Jackson series and I ended up reading aloud all 5 books.
- Recipes for two favorite main dishes I discovered this year
- Seasoning mixes
- A favorite nail polish color or,
- A favorite essential oil
- Knork flatware. We’ll never use another brand. I’ve even purchased a set for my daughter when she someday moves out. Get on their mailing list and you’ll receive notices of really good discounts during the year.
- Key West salted caramels made in a tiny candy shop we discovered.
- Daim candy, another sweet indulgence we purchased in Iceland
- Tiny bottles of local wine and liquor from travel destinations
- Boxes of Texas-shaped crackers, now that we live in Texas
- A CD of the songs we fell in love with during the year
Get the idea? This can be a whole family project with each person contributing and there’s no limit when it comes to creativity. The gifts can be handmade or homemade and don’t have to cost a dime, and if you’ll be mailing this across the miles, it’s possible to put everything in a flat-rate envelope. Plus, deciding what to include brings back lots of fond memories.
There’s still time to put this together. It might be the best gift your family has given!