Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but retailers both online and offline are running deals throughout December! Many brands contacted me about reviewing their products for the holiday season, but I only agreed to work with the few who resonated most with me and my family. There are a few other things I purchased myself that I think are worth including here, too, and I’ll make sure you know which is which. Here’s what’s on my holiday gift list this year:
Mantry, “the modern man’s pantry,” is a monthly American food subscription service introduced to me by team member Reggie, who offered to send me a crate to try. Tom loves food and loves to cook, so I was happy to accept the offer. He couldn’t have been happier with the Campfire Cookout box: sausage, bacon – what’s not to love? Other box themes have been seafood, coffee, and craft beer. If you know a man who loves to cook, a Mantry subscription might be a good call. Of course, in the interest of equality, I don’t think you have to be a man to appreciate the monthly food selections.
Isotoner SmarTouch Active Gloves
As someone who is always cold, I was delighted to be contacted by a representative of Isotoner who offered to send me two pairs of gloves from their Isotoner Signature smarTouch Active glove line, one in pink and one in blue, although they come in 17 different colors for both men and women. They arrived in a beautiful box, and I’ve been happily wearing them over the last few weeks of chilly New York weather. The gloves are very warm, and they do allow me to use my smartphone without taking my gloves off. A little heads up though: while it’s easy enough to answer a phone call or open an app while wearing my gloves, finer work is a little more difficult. (Translation: I can’t play games with my gloves on.)
Another brand that contacted me was Prize Candle, and they sent me something rather unique. For $24.99, you get a 9-oz scented soy candle that contains a ring inside. Each ring has a code with it that you type in online to appraise and find out how much it’s worth: from $10 to $5,000. I chose the Apple Pie scented candle, which smelled amazing! The ring it revealed was only worth $10, but it’s still quite pretty. My only issue was that the candle didn’t burn evenly, so there was still wax left on the sides of the jar when the wick burned out. It’s definitely important to keep the wick properly trimmed. The fun thing about Prize Candle as a gift is that it’s two presents in one, and there’s a chance that the ring inside might be worth far more than the price of the candle!
No one offered to send me a Kindle Fire, but I did purchase one myself from Amazon during their Black Friday sale. This is our family’s first tablet, but we already know that TJ loves playing with the one his Grandma Kitty has. He’s going to be so excited when he opens this up on Christmas morning, although maybe a little less so when he realizes it’s for the whole family to share. I’ll be setting up our individual profiles ahead of time so we can all read books, play games, and occasionally do some work (or homework) on it. As a writer and blogger, I had to verify for myself that I could work on Word documents before I made the purchase. My only real issue is that I was disheartened to find there is a $15 upcharge to remove ads from your lock screen. If I’m paying for the device, I shouldn’t have to pay to take ads off of it; I chose not to pay the ransom.
Smithsonian Rock and Gem Dig Set
Another of my Black Friday purchases was a Smithsonian Rock and Gem Dig for TJ. He’s completely obsessed with everything Minecraft, and when I saw this, I thought it would be fun to give him some real-life Minecraft. It’s science and fun all in one!
Unless you know someone who is looking for a stocking stuffer just like this, you may want to give the BerryBreeze Activated Oxygen Refrigerator Deodorizer to yourself as a holiday hosting gift. (That’s a mouthful, right?) It took me a little while to try this out for myself because it takes four D batteries, and some of those I tried to use ended up being dead, so make sure you pick up fresh batteries for your BerryBreeze! We end up throwing out a lot of produce before we can manage to finish eating it, so I was happy to try this out when the brand contacted me. I’m happy to report that my fridge smells better and my fruit is lasting longer, so I would recommend getting one of these before you host your next holiday gathering if you want to keep the leftovers from your fruit and veggie trays fresh until you can polish them off after the party!
Thanks to all of the brands who worked with me to put together this gift guide!