Each year, I share a few of my favorite things as gift ideas. I hope you enjoy this quick round-up. (Note: please excuse typos – I wrote this today on the fly without an editor).

(Note: If you order using any of the Amazon links, I make a small commission, which helps fund this newsletter. It’s a tiny part of our income, but every bit helps keep the lights on).

Journal Notebooks

I buy these in bulk for journaling and project work. I have one for each project I’m working on, and they are all neatly lined up on my desk so I can quickly jot down thoughts, phone numbers, and do free-writing. They are easily fit in my bag when I’m doing field work, keep each project’s notes separate, and they look nice on the shelf when I’m done. I label the spines with a silver Sharpie. Here is a link to Feela notebook 10-pack

Frasier Fir Candles

These are the best Christmas candles in the world. They’re a splurge, but they make the house smell wonderfully of Christmas. I like them because they have a natural scent that doesn’t reek of Pine Sol, ya know? I now often share these as gifts after someone else first gave me one. Link: Thyme Frasier Fir candles

Arc Plasma Rechargeable Candle Lighter

Have you seen these? Electronic candle lighters are rechargeable, so you just click them on and the electric charge lights the wick. So cool! No fiddling with chemicals or matches. Link: Arc plasma electric candle lighter

Canva – free resource for designing Christmas cards (and anything)

This is a free resource that I can’t imagine life without. I now have a paid plan, but had a free one for years. Canva’s beautiful templates and intuitive design tools make it so easy to make flyers, book covers, and more. That’s how I design my personalized Christmas cards each year. I do them as post cards which are less expensive than traditional Christmas cards to print in bulk (I ordere a LOT of these). I had them printed through FedEx printing for same-day turnaround and no shipping costs. Check out Canva here.

Elete Pure Electrolytes

I am biased because this is my family’s business, but I don’t know how I would survive utah’s dry air without this. These electrolyte drops have no sugar or other flavorings, so they go into into water (or any beverage) for max hydration. As long as I keep up on it, I never get leg cramps at night, which used to be a big problem for me. Link: elete Electrolyte Add-in

Red wiggler composting worms

Okay, so I’m a little bit obsessed with this one. Last Christmas, I ordered red wiggler composting worms. I want to do better reusing/repurposing items, and to produce food and energy on our own little plot of lan. (We have a half acre). Our electricity is now solar with a battery, so the computer I’m  typing on runs from the sun. We have a big garden, and we converted most of our grass into wildflowers and clover for our honeybees. We feed table leftovers to the chickens, and now we compost most of our cardboard onsite too. In addition, our red wigglers have become a bit of an obsession for me. It delights me to no end to see the discarded words I write on paper become food for the worms, which they. make into soil. This past year, my excess paper produced enough potting soil for our garden seedlings, which we’ll start in January in the basement. It’s one small thing I can do a world where I waste far too much, and it makes me happy. Link to the farm kit that I have in the basement

You have to buy the worms separately, and I had good luck with this supplier

Lion’s Mane mushroom powder

This is one of those superfoods that is well-researched, low-risk, and I’ve personally noticed a difference in mental clarity since trying it. I have about a half teaspoon every day. It takes a couple of weeks to kick in, and the result is subtle, but I have noticed a marked difference. Link to lion’s mane mushroom powder.

Questions booklets

My Life Story is a book of questions to ask your parents, or to prompt your own story. Cover shown here.

You already know that I love great questions, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t share our own little booklets. We use these in our oral history business, and I make them available at cost on Amazon. They are thoughtful little gifts to go with a Christmas card or as a stocking stuffer. It sends a message that you think someone has a story worth sharing, and that alone is meaningful. Here is a link to our question booklets.

In addition, you can get our interviewing tool kit free here: https://evalogue.life/oral-history1/

MyHeritage DNA kits

Did you know that MyHeritage’s DNA kits are on sale for the lowest price ever for CyberMonday? At just $33, this is a great time to do your DNA or give a kit. As you surely already know, DNA has been a game changer in genealogy, and I’ve enjoyed comparing results with family and learning more. Also, I like MyHeritage as a company. They hire and partner with great people, and they give back to the genealogy community. I like working with them. I think I’m an affiliate, but this is just a regular link – I’m not making anything off this plug. Here is a link to their DNA kits

ConferenceKeeper – free resource for family history events

This is a totally free resource, and it’s one worth signing up to receive the email updates. They aggregate all the genealogy-related classes and conferences. Tami does all this work purely as a volunteer service. This past year she partnered with National Genealogical Society, which took over some of the administrative work so she can keep doing the part she enjoys. I’ve been grateful for the support they have given us by sharing our events. I also watch the calls for presentations to see where I want to speak. If you have thought about doing some genealogy speaking, this is your go-to resource. Here is their home page: https://conferencekeeper.org

Palm-sized solar charger power bank

We own two of these power banks becasue they are small and can power up items like phones several times on one charge. I keep them on the ready for unexpected power outages, but mostly I use them to grab on the go if I don’t know if I’ll have an outlet to charge my phone. They’re great for camping, too. I can’t begin to tell you how often I end up using these. I just ordered three of them as gifts because the Cyber Monday price is the best I have seen. Link to Solar Charger power bank.

Our January Jumpstart writing class

Finally, of course remember that our January Jumpstart class is now on a CyberMonday deal. If you enroll before Thursday at midnight, you’ll save $20 AND get a BOGO gift certificate to invite a friend, along with printed materials mailed anywhere in the world. We make this 4-week live course affordable so anyone can get the inspiration you need to start and finish an ancestor vignette or a story from your own life. This is one of our favorite times of the whole year. 


Happy shopping!

Rhonda Lauritzen is the founder and an author at Evalogue.Life, where we tell personal and family stories that inspire. (Let us help you tell yours!) Rhonda lives to hear and tell about people’s lives.