$5 Gift Guide

Gifts for Girls: What We’re Giving Our Daughters this Year

On Sunday night, Bart and I sat down after the girls were in bed and planned out all their gifts for Christmas.

Every year, I’m reminded that if it weren’t for Bart, our girls would probably get one gift and it’d be something terribly practical and boring like a pair of gloves.

He’s definitely the one who makes sure Christmas morning is really magical for them.

I do my part by doing all the wrapping (since I love it and Bart would probably rather eat his arm than wrap a big stack of presents) and I can’t wait to have everything under the tree!

Here’s what we’re giving the girls this year:

gifts for girlsGifts for Girls

For Ella (who is eight and a half) 

  • Cat Slippers. A few months ago, Ani got a pair of unicorn slippers in her Stitch Fix box and the other girls have been DYING for their own pair. I thought this pair was darling and the price was excellent.
  • Heelys shoesThis was one of the things on her Christmas wish list and it felt like a really FUN thing that she’d be super excited about. They’re pretty expensive ($70ish) directly, but you can find them on discount sites too, so I snagged a pair that not only has wheels but light up for less than half that price, so I felt like I was winning as Santa.
  • Clay Charms book. We stopped at Michael’s last week to pick up some items and Ella spent a long time looking through all the Klutz books (can’t blame her – I loved them when I was a kid too!), so Bart and I ordered this one for her.
  • Remote Control Car. Have I mentioned Bart is the fun one? He spent ages looking through all the reviews, finding ones that were reasonably priced and that the girls would love. We were originally looking at this for just Ani, but decided that all the big girls would want one.
  • Pedicure. I really wanted to do an experience gift for the girls and they’ve been asking for literally years to go get a pedicure at a nail salon, so I’m taking all three of the big girls on a special date to do this after Christmas. I’m probably as excited as they’ll be!

For Ani (who just turned six) 

In addition to her remote control car and pedicure date, we’re also giving her:

  • Mini Bake Shop Clay Book
  • June & January Sweatshirt. This on sale for $10 and it’s the perfect layer for recess. Plus, Ella has about four sweatshirts and Ani has only one.
  • Digital CameraElla has had an Instax camera since her 5th birthday and loves it and has carefully hoarded her 10 prints for more than three years (she is SO my child), but we thought Ani would prefer this digital one where she could take as many photos as she wanted. Plus, the price was excellent.

For Star (who is almost four) 

In addition to her remote control car and pedicure, she’s also getting:

  • June & January ballet shirt. This was another sale item and I’ve noticed that Star definitely needed another long-sleeve shirt – I think she only has about two. The problem with living in Arizona is you don’t own anything except tee shirts!
  • Slippers. I picked out these unicorn slippers and I seriously cannot WAIT for her to open them.
  • Teddy Bear. When we saw Santa last weekend, Bart asked Star if she wanted to sit on Santa’s lap or just get a candy cane and skip talking him. She looked very concerned and said, “I have to tell him what I want!” And what she wanted was a Mama Teddy Bear. Bart asked if we should get all the girls a giant teddy bear, but I put my foot down. Who has room for that?

For Tally (who is almost two) 

  • June & January sweatshirtI love the cute star pattern and can’t wait to have her wear this all winter. Nothing better than a snuggly baby.
  • Doll StrollerWe got rid of both of our doll strollers when we moved (they were both pretty battered after years of use), but Tally has been LOVING the one at her cousins’ house, so it seemed time to get her one of her own.
  • Hug Me Little Bunny book. This book actually hasn’t released yet (it comes out in February), but one of the editors at Chronicle sent me a copy and I know Tally will LOSE her mind over this cute puppet book.
  • Water Wow Paint Kits. We got the three big girls these last year and they were SO popular. I think Tally will be just the right age to get a big kick out of these.
  • Colored Bath Dropz. Tally has always loved baths, so I can’t wait to see her face when the bath water changes color.

And of course, what’s Christmas without some stocking stuffers? Here’s what we’re getting for them:

Stocking Stuffer Gifts for Girls

  • Invisible Ink Pens. These invisible ink pens were one of the very most popular items on my $5 gift guide this year and for good reason. You write in the invisible ink and then the cap of the pen is a special light that reveals what’s written. It comes in a pack of ten pens so I’m putting a couple in each of the girls’ stocking.
  • Glitter Play-DohWe have a whole kit of Play-Doh tools but all our play-doh has dried out, so I bought this set for $5 and am dividing them up between the girls’ stockings.
  • Pop Tarts. When we were at the grocery store a few days ago, the girls were all losing their minds in the Pop-Tart aisle, so I bought them each a box of the most outrageous flavors I could find (I just ordered them from Target along with the Bath Dropz and the Glitter Play-Doh).
  • Socks. These are another item we don’t own many of, having just moved from the land of eternal sandal weather, so we ordered this darling set and this one and are splitting them between the big girls.
  • Candy. I’ll leave the picking of this up to Bart who always chooses way more fun things than I would.

I’d love to hear what you’re getting your children this year – I love seeing people’s actual lists!

And if you’re interested, here’s what we got the girls last year, in 2016 and 2015!

christmas gifts for girls

Photos by Heather Mildenstein

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Deborah December 11, 2018 at 6:46 am

    We give our kids an experience every year, and last year my daughter, who was 10, got a day at the spa. I called all around and ended up taking her to a beauty school. It was soo cheap and sooo much fun! She got her hair, nails, and makeup done for about 30 bucks!

  • Reply Natalie Hepworth December 11, 2018 at 8:05 am

    If you want “fun” candy, Blickenstaffs in the Riverwoods has a bunch of cool old-school stuff. Grocery-store wise, Macey’s has the best selection. I’m kind of a pro.

  • Reply Mary Stueber December 11, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Thank you!!! I wait all season for this post!!! My kids loved Shrinky Dinks last year 😉. Santa is bringing the glitter Play Doh and went old school with Christmas Carol Mad Libs. Both kids asked him for remote control cars (daughter wants lights and music, son wants an off road vehicle). My nine year old son became interested in magic after seeing a magician do tableside tricks at a local restaurant, so I bought him a Melissa and Doug magic set. I finally gave in and purchased a National Geographic slime lab for my six year old daughter (she’s obsessed…). She would die for a pedicure – great idea! Both kids always want Legos, so they are each getting a set. My husband (the crazy one) bought them a large blocking pad – the kind used in football and martial arts. Hopefully it will save my good pillows from being smashed during “training sessions”!

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw December 11, 2018 at 9:09 am

      This is so fun! My girls would be THRILLED to get slime.

  • Reply Michelle December 11, 2018 at 10:13 am

    We have three boys (9, 7, 4) and we’re giving them gifts to share—laser tag, a blow up fort (because I’m tired of constant blanket forts and having to fix them every time they fall, and walkie-talkies. Then he’ll each get a game and a book.

  • Reply Whitney December 11, 2018 at 11:12 am

    I always love seeing your lists! As a family we’re getting an indoor bowling game and probably that fishing game. Max is getting a racetrack slide and Abe is getting a microphone- he wants to make his own podcast after being obsessed with Wow in The World for a year. And some books for each of them. And a backpack “pack pack” for Max and I still need to pick something out for Abe.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw December 11, 2018 at 2:11 pm

      Ani called it a “pack pack” for YEARS and I was so sad when she grew out of that.

  • Reply Sara December 11, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    She will love the Vtech Kidizoom camera! My daughter got one this year for her 3rd birthday and takes it everywhere. It’s so neat seeing what she takes pictures of, we’ve been putting the photos into a Chatbook to print. My older nieces all obsessed over the camera and Grandma ended up getting them one too.

  • Reply Lauren B December 11, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    I love your lists! I always end up adding an idea on to Christmas or at least the next birthday.
    My oldest (5) is getting new boots, a paleontologist Lottie doll (have you seen these? I stumbled across them on Amazon, while searching for her request of “a scientist doll- that’s a GIRL”), a giant stack of colored paper and stickers, Elephant + Piggie books, and a kids bow and arrow set (the “arrow” has a padded foam tip). My one and a half year old is getting a Melissa and Doug latches board, a Hape alphabet puzzle, a Hape toaster for the play kitchen, and of course, books.

  • Reply Sandy December 15, 2018 at 7:15 am

    I am also a very practical gift giver and receiver, so I understand! I’m getting new skillets for Christmas for this exact reason. Our four year old is getting a kid’s science kit, a pack of cars games (Old maid and the like), new Sunday shoes, and a Water Wow book. His stocking will also have scented colored pencils – we love Crayola. My 6 month old? Hair bows, moccasins, teething toy (chosen by brother) and bibs. So exciting. My husband is definitely the fun one. He suggested we get my dad a small drone for Christmas and got several siblings to band together for it. I probably would have chosen socks. 😅

  • Reply Kia December 19, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    Hi Janssen,
    Did the link to the remote control car get changed? It goes to a different page now and I can’t find the original.


  • Leave a Reply