Christmas Gifts for the Entire Family

Guest Blog post by Val Plagge of Corn, Bean, Pigs and Kids

One of the items on my Holiday Check List for this week is to complete my Christmas gift lists.  This includes not only finalizing my family’s wish list, but also deciding what gifts we will be giving others.  I know I always appreciate some extra ideas to help with Christmas gifts so I figured I’d share some ideas from my family.

Christmas Gifts

The Rural Outdoors Dad 

smokerElectric Smoker:  If you don’t have an electric smoker you need to get this on your list this year!  This is the perfect gift for the guy in your life (that you also can use!)  You can use your smoker all year long and have a lot of fun experimenting with different types of meats, rubs, marinades, etc.  Most sporting good stores have sections dedicated to smokers and outdoor cooking.

work glovesYellow Work Gloves:  What guy that works outside doesn’t need some new work gloves?  For My Farmer his go-to pair of work gloves are the classic yellow work gloves.  These are very affordable and you can buy them in large packages, so you always have a pair available!  An added plus for those that wash clothes in your home, they can be easily thrown in the wash with your other chore clothes.  These would also make a great stocking stuffer!

ammo boxAmmunition Box:  If you have a hunter or a trap shooter on your list like my husband, then they need an ammo box.  Ammo boxes come in a variety of sizes and help your gunman’s (or gunwoman’s) ammunition stay organized, dry and safe.  Many boxes are stackable as well so you can sort your ammunition into different boxes for your different firearms.

The Mom Who Likes To Keep Busy

family funMagazine Subscription:  I will be the first to admit that I stay pretty busy – but what Mom doesn’t!  I know this upcoming year I’m going to appreciate when I get a magazine in the mail to just sit and relax with.  So whether you’re into cooking, home decor or would just like some more ideas of things to do with your kids, there is a magazine for you.  This year I’m asking for a subscription to Family Fun.  They always have a lot of great ideas!

baking matKitchen Gadgets and Tools:  One thing I have on my wish list every year are at least a couple different new kitchen gadgets and tools.  Sometimes they are brand new items I’ve always wanted but have never purchased for myself, while others are replacements for ones that I’ve had since college…  I love to cook and bake and this year I’m hoping someone gives me some new silicone baking mats, pot handle grips, a bouncy whisk and a pie bird.

rosetta stoneLearn A New Language Program:  Maybe for some of you it is too early to start thinking about New Year’s Goals, but for me, I know I’d really like to learn how to speak Spanish.  So on my list this year I’m hoping someone will help me with that goal by giving me a Spanish language learning program.

The Imaginative Hands-On 3 Year Old Boy 

Nerf-2-Piece-Walkie-Talkie-Set--pTRU1-11310830dtWalkie Talkies:  On our farm we use two-way radios and our son loves using them, so we’re going to give him his own pair this Christmas.  What a fun toy for boys and girls to use with their siblings and friends!  I remember having some when I was a kid and my sisters and I loved playing with them.

building setBuilding Toys:  Whether it is Legos, Lincoln Logs or simply blocks of different sizes and shapes, kids love building things.  This year while making wish lists we saw some really neat building sets that use bolts and screws, to magnetic colored shapes, to gears.  There are so many fun sets available that will help your preschooler use their imagination.

hot wheelsHot Wheels Car Maker Playset:  My son loves anything with wheels and he loves to make crafts.  So why not combine those loves and get him a Hot Wheels Car Maker!  He gets to pick out the car type, color and decals.  This should be a lot of fun to make and play with!

The Happy Go Lucky 18 Month Old Girl

foodMelissa and Doug Learning Sets:  Who doesn’t Love Melissa and Doug products?  One thing I’ve looked into for MP this Christmas is some of their learning sets.  They have learning sets from food, to occupations.  Most of these sets are wooden, and some are available in felt too.  There are so many neat ideas they have – the hard part will be choosing exactly which one to buy!

cdBooks and CDs – We personally give our kids one piece of clothing, one toy and one book (3 gifts to represent the 3 gifts Jesus received) for Christmas gifts.  Reading is so important to us so we are always looking for new books for our kids.  We also like to get our kids a new CD in their stocking every year too.  This year our library has gotten us hooked on Laurie Berkner!  If you have any preschoolers and under on your shopping list this year you’ll have to check out her catchy songs like “We are the Dinosaurs”, “These are my Glasses” and “I Know a Chicken”.

helper“Little Helper” tools – My daughter loves to imitate her big brother, her dad and me, so why not get her some “pint-size” tools to help her do so.  You can find fun kids sized brooms, vacuums, aprons, tool sets, etc. to help your little one help you – whatever the task may be!

What are some ideas on your wish list?  What gifts are you excited to give this year?

During this busy time of the year, we’re either looking for a quick snack to tide us over until we have time for a real meal or we’re looking to treat ourselves to a something a little sweet or salty. Enjoy the best of both with this quick, easy Sweet & Salty Snack Mix.

Sweet & Salty Corn Chips



  • 1 - 10oz bag Corn Chips
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter



  1. Lay corn chips out on a baking sheet covered with wax paper.
  2. Then bring sugar and corn syrup to boil.
  3. Take off heat and stir in peanut butter.
  4. Immediately drizzle over corn chips.
  5. Let cool before putting into Tupperware containers or Ziploc snack sacks.


from the kitchen of: Val Plagge from the blog, Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids