Donna's Favorite Things - Holiday 2016 Edition

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Here's a brand spankin' new list of favorite things for 2016. This list is sure to give you ideas  for that hard to shop for person and maybe a few ideas for yourself! :-)

Harris Sisters Favorite Things 2016



Black Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential oil diffusers let you enjoy the benefits of essential oil aromatherapy in any room in your home. This particular one automatically shuts off by itself when it is out of water and also has a light function (we use ours as a nightlight).


Puffin in Bloom Collection

Puffin in Bloom Heidi
Puffin in Bloom Collection

These classic books ranging from Little Women to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland have beautifully illustrated covers, which make them perfect for gift-giving. Originally only available for purchase at Anthropologie, these books with newly illustrated covers in retro floral patterns are now readily available on Amazon. Buy the whole collection or individually - both make lovely gifts.


Nessie Ladle

Harris Sisters Nessie Ladle


This is a fun gift for the practicing chef on your list (and also makes a funny gag-gift or White Elephant exchange gift). Is the famous Loch Ness Monster real? Sure! She's swimming in your pot of soup! 


Harris Sisters Retro Chutes & Ladders

Harris Sisters Retro Candyland

Harris Sisters Retro Clue Game
What is better than a board game for Christmas? A retro version of that game! And if you're having trouble hunting those down, Target has a line of retro board games to help you out. Board games in the line feature a box with classic illustrations from different years. Pictured here are Chutes and Ladders 1978 Edition, Candyland 1967 Edition, and Clue 1986 Edition (which is the same version that I own - only mine is the ORIGINAL 1986 version). 

The full line includes Mastermind, Sorry, Guess Who?, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, Candyland, Battleship, Clue, Scrabble, Rummikub, Skip-Bo, UNO, Rack-O, Monopoly, Payday, Trouble, and Chutes and Ladders.


Harris Sisters Spirograph

Harris Sisters Fisher Price Record Player

Harris Sisters ViewMaster

Another favorite for gift-giving is retro toys, and World Market still has plenty of these in supply. From Fisher Price Record Player to ViewMaster to Spirograph, these gifts cover a wide range of ages and can go to both boys and girls on your list.


Harris Sisters Retro Candy

Harris Sisters Retro Soda

Stuff a stocking with retro candy and soda to bring back some memories of days gone by. Rocket Fizz has locations across the United States and offers up nostalgia in the form of both types of sweets. If you don't have one close to you, look for a local general store such as Mast General Store. Those types of stores will usually sell candy by the pound, and some offer glass bottled sodas as well.

Tech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

With all of the Christmas shopping, it's nice to put a little money back in your pocket. These websites and apps help you do just that! These are easy to use and pay you back for shopping that you're doing anyway.


Harris Sisters Receipt Hog

Receipt Hog is a free app that you download to your iOS or Android phone. Once you create a free account, you can scan any and all new receipts you and anyone in your family brings home. You will either earn coins, spins for Hog Slots (opportunities to win more coins), or sweepstakes entries for each qualifying receipt that you scan. You will collect coins in your account and are able to redeem them for Amazon gift cards, magazine subscriptions, or payout to a PayPal account.

The boys like this particular app because it's easy to just take a picture of the receipts and they like to spin the Hog Slots wheel to see if we won coins. Jaxon, in particular, likes this one because its mascot is a pig and he is fascinated with all things pig-related.

8. Ibotta

Harris Sisters Ibotta
Ibotta is a free app that you download to your iOS or Android phone. Once you create a free account, you unlock rebates on items that you are going to purchase. After you've purchased the products at a partner store, you scan the barcodes of the items you purchased and the receipt. The amount of the rebates you redeem is deposited into your Ibotta account within 48 hours (but my experience is that this happens almost instantly).

The bigger your team, the faster you earn. The more friends on your team, the easier it is to earn your Teamwork bonuses, each and every month.

When you join Ibotta with the referral code above and redeem a rebate, you'll get $10 deposited into your account.

Ibotta earnings can be transferred to a PayPal or Venmo as soon as you’ve earned. Or you can convert your earnings into a gift card.


Harris Sisters SavingStar

SavingStar is a website that offers digital coupons for grocery items. They also offer a free app that you can download to your iOS or Android phone, but the app and the website work the same. Once you create a free account, you link your store loyalty cards and then click on items that you are going to purchase. Once you make the purchase, SavingStar deposits the amount of the coupon into your account. Savings will post within 2-22 days depending on the store.

You can cash out out to a bank account or PayPal account once you save $5. They also offer the option to donate to charity.

This is one of the accounts I've had the longest. My lifetime "earnings" with this account is $220.06.

10. Ebates

Harris Sisters Ebates

I wrote about Ebates all the way back in 2012 when we first started the blog, and let me tell you, I'm still a believer! Ebates is a website that offers cash back for online purchases. They also offer a free app that you can download to your iOS or Android phone, but the app and the website work the same.

Once you open a free account, you go to the Ebates website to find the website you want to purchase from. They have more than 2,000 stores to choose from, so no worries with finding "your usual store."

You click through their link to find extra coupons and deals, and once you're shopping through their link, it records your sale and puts a percentage of the sale back in your account.

Each quarter, they'll send you whatever amount of money is currently in your account. Christmas time is when I rack up the most! 

When you join Ebates with the referral code above and redeem a rebate, you'll get a $10 gift card upon making your first $25 purchase.

I've had this account for a long time, and my lifetime "earnings" with them is $860.10.

Bonus Favorite Thing!

I'm adding this bonus favorite thing because we needed a little help with a hard-to-find Christmas gift this year, and THIS website was the thing that saved our sanity. 


Harris Sisters NowInStock.net


After visiting toy store after toy store and then searching online to find the gift was out of stock at traditional retailers and only being sold by resellers at outrageous prices, we found this gem of a website to send alerts to us of when the product was in stock.

NowInStock is a free web service that tracks the availability of hard-to-find items online and alerts you whenever these items are available for purchase at the retailers they are tracking.

The only caveat is that you have to ACT FAST. For example, we received a text alert last night at 6:40 PM that our item was available, and by the time we went to check the retailer at 6:43 PM, the item was GONE.

(If you're wondering, we were lucky enough to score our item this morning, so I give this service and the elves who run it a ringing endorsement.)

Hope you're Christmas is shaping up nicely!

If you haven't had a chance to check out Deanna's 2016 Favorite Things List, go give that a looksee.

And don't forget to check out my previous years lists too:

Donna's 2014 Favorite Things List

This post contains affiliate links.

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