2017 Holiday Gift Guide

This post contains affiliate links.

December already feels like it is racing by.  I’ve been avoiding doing any holiday shopping in my attempt to have a more intentional holiday season. (Read more about that here.) It’s been working, a little too well, because I realized that I’d better start purchasing the things on my kids’ intentional wish list or they won’t arrive in time for Christmas! ????

In the process, I started thinking about a few of my favorite things from 2017 and decided to put it together in a Gift Guide. This list is very practical. If you are going to bring more stuff in your home this holiday, it might as well be USEFUL stuff. ????

I noticed a theme as I was putting this list together.  They are all little things that added up to big differences in my daily life. The right products can save you time and frustration.

Happy Shopping!


Bobino Phone Holder Charging Shelf


With this handy gadget you will always have a place to charge your cell phone without it getting lost underneath a pile of papers. It also takes care of long dangling cords, which is helpful around little ones.

Extra Long Charging Cables (3 pack of 3ft, 6ft, & 10ft)


If you read in bed on your phone like me, then you know how annoying it is when your phone cord won’t quite reach. Purchasing an extra long charging cord seemed like a little thing, but it’s one of those little things that makes a big difference.


Gifts for Kids

Kids Cook Read Food

Price varies depending on course

Do you let your kids use sharp knives? Give yourself and your kids the gift of independence and self-sufficiency in the kitchen by signing them up for this “Kids Cook Read Food” course.  We’ve done this knife skills course with our kids and Katie does an amazing job of guiding kids through the process. Her course is for all ages. This is a gift that will keep on giving (like when you want to sleep in on Saturday morning and your kids can make their own breakfast).

LED Headlamp Flashlight


A very dear friend of ours gave these to my boys when they were little, paired with a good book (our current favorite for teens is The Inquisitor’s Tale). They have used them every night since! If you have avid readers like I do, these headlamps are fantastic for reading in bed after the lights are turned off. One of the best gifts we’ve ever received.


 School Memory Box


How can I do a gift list without mentioning my personal favorite product?! School Memory Boxes will set kids and parents up with a system for dealing with all those school papers that come home each day. They are the perfect gift for yourself, your kids, an expecting mom, your sister-in-law, or daughter-in-law. They come personalized and assembled and will be a gift that keeps a mom organized throughout the school year. Your child will thank you for this one day!

Three Bin Storage Cubby


You may need some more toy storage after Santa comes! These are my favorite kind of toy organizers. Kids can see what’s inside each compartment (as opposed to tall cloth bins that cover up the contents) and easily reach in to retrieve or put away toys. The top flat surface is also great for big plastic toys and trucks. If it’s in your budget, buy the Pottery Barn Kids, Land of Nod, or The Container Storeversions, but if not, these are a great economical option. (One note of warning…if you put them side by side, they aren’t flush like the PB Kids version. There is a little gap in between.)


Revlon Salon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer

$49.99 (on sale right now)

I am SO not a beauty blogger, but I had been hearing about this dryer from multiple sources. People swear by this thing. I bought it for myself and the hype is true! It cuts my blowing time by half. Don’t be fooled by the word “volumizer” in the title.  It manages to get my super curly hair straight in no time at all, but I’ve also heard it’s great for straight hair and does add volume when you need it. Just get the blow drier already!

Rubber Hot Water Bottle with Big Heart Red Knit Cover


I know this is super random to have on a gift guide, BUT my husband purchased this old-school hot water bottle last year and we ALL love it! When the kids complain about a tummy ache, it’s the perfect cure. I love the variety of covers on Amazon, and it really is so warm and soothing. You just have to trust me on this one. Buy it now so you have it in your medicine cabinet for the next time someone isn’t feeling well.

Home Improvement

Hang & Level Picture Hanging Tool


I have a confession. I spent years using thumb tacks to hang pictures. I would eye-ball it and make a million holes in the wall until I found the right spot to hang my picture. Drove my husband nuts. A friend told us about this tool and it’s been nothing short of life changing. It includes a level and now I only make ONE hole in the wall. It’s a great gift for moms, dads, and grandparents. 

Open-It 5-in-1 Package Opener


If you buy nothing else on this list, buy this. We use this tool every single day to open packages. It can open those tricky plastic packages for kids toys, has a retractable exacto knife to open boxes, and includes a screwdriver as well. Best. tool. ever.

Toydriver Battery Operated Screwdriver Tool


This could come in handy on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It has an extra small screwdriver attachment so that it works on all those toy battery compartments.

Duck Brand Adhesive Remover with Scraper Cap


Another helpful item for dealing with annoying price stickers that you can’t get off.  It includes an adhesive remover plus a scraper on the cap. One of those little things that can improve your life and save you frustration.

Now, I’d love to hear a few of your favorite things! Send me an email at systemsbysusie@gmail.com with your top picks.

Happy Holidays!


This post may include affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy (link later) for more information.



Each of my career choices-wedding coordinator, event planner, and teacher — gave me the creative freedom to organize everyone and everything. I have always thrived on to-do lists, planners, and systems! Now, I lead a team of organizers to help me on my mission. Read more…

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