Kristen Swain Photography



new england families, COUPLEs, and landscapes

15 Holiday Gift Ideas to Impress Everyone on Your List


December 7, 2022


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If you’re tired of trying to outdo yourself in the gift department every year, this one is for you! I’m giving you some excellent and easy holiday gift ideas for Mom, nature lovers, the kids, astrology lovers, and anyone who dreams of magical summer days on Nantucket. Hopefully, this list will take the stress out of your last-minute holiday shopping. Well. . . some of it, at least.

Touching Gifts for Moms:

Jewelry from Juniper & June. If I’m wearing earrings, 99% of the time they are Juniper & June pieces. Kelley, AKA the owner, designer, and my lovely sister-in-law, designs enchanting jewelry that radiates beauty, whimsy, and sophistication. My personal favorites are the April Drops, Spike Studs, and the Starburst Studs. Oh, and I might (definitely, 100%) have the Plaza Studs, Sail Drops, and KB Hoops on my wishlist. The mom in your life (whether that’s your own mother or your wife, daughter, sister, or best friend with the hardest job of all — raising kids — in addition to everything else she has on her plate) deserves the best, and this is it.

A Photo Album. Moms love family photos; it’s a universal truth. This year, if you want to bring on the happy tears, think about what moments she cherishes most and piece them together into a photo album.

If you’ve done a family session with me (or if you haven’t, ahem, what are you waiting for?) reach out and I’ll see what photos the mom you’re shopping for has marked as her favorites. I can help you design a gorgeous album that tells the story of her family at this special – and fleeting – moment in time.

A KSP Mini Session Event. If you’re ready to really outdo yourself, gift Mom a Kristen Swain Photography mini-session event. Every mom loves a good mini-session (what’s better than getting 20 great photos while only asking for 15 minutes of the kids’ attention?!). And I offer something even better: I’ll come to your location of choice for several hours to hold a series of mini-sessions for you AND your closest friends and family. It’s the perfect way to get all of your favorite people together  – kids included – while you’re already dressed up for photos and looking your best. Email me for pricing and additional info!

Rare Gifts for Nature Lovers:

A stay at The Lodge at Spruce Peak  (Stowe, VT). Gifting a getaway to the nature lover in your life is a great idea. Stowe will always have my heart thanks to its friendly people, amazing food, breathtaking views, stunning surroundings, and, of course, the best skiing on the east coast. The Lodge at Spruce Peak is my go-to place to stay. It’s dog-friendly and surrounded by slopes and hiking trails. Everything you need is right there: restaurants, coffee shops, a provisions store, spa, heated pool, and even an ice rink. I recommend at least a two-night stay to take it all in; it’s a heavenly escape from reality that’ll leave you feeling refreshed and one with nature.

Kristen Swain Photography Prints. I’ve never met a nature nerd who doesn’t crave photography prints. Nature prints, especially, bring a sense of adventure to any living space, making them thoughtful holiday gifts that keep on giving. Check out my Conservation Series for earthy, neutral tones, or my Sankaty Series for some vibrant, classic Nantucket shots. If you can’t decide, opt for a gift card! The prints in my shop are fully customizable and I donate a portion of all sales to the Nantucket Conservation Foundation so they can keep protecting the island’s precious wildlife.

A Conservation Donation. Make a donation in a selfless nature lover’s name to a conservation organization! It could be somewhere local, like the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, the Arnold Arboretum, or the Massachusetts Horticultural Society (which runs the Gardens at Elm Bank in Wellesley). The possibilities are endless! I think this is such a meaningful gift for a loved one.

Perfect Gifts for Kids (Mom will love these, too!):

Pajamas from Joy Street Kids. Joy Street Kids has an ever-growing selection of themed pajama sets for kids and babies. The adorable designs doodled by the talented Eliza Ferrel are thoughtful, personal, and tastefully understated. There are pajamas for ten cities from Boston to LA, plus a bunch of other designs for whatever those crazy kiddos are into. These are what your movie nights are missing!

Name Bracelets from Names for Good. The beaded bracelets by Names for Good are handmade with a lot of love, and they make the perfect personalized holiday gifts for kids. You can get a matching bracelet for mom, while you’re at it. They also sell a DIY bracelet-making kit for the hands-on little ones!

Clothes from Oat Children. Oat Children crafts soft, earthy, and practical clothes made to survive the rough-and-tumbly lifestyle of a happy kid. Their designs are minimal and timeless for sustainable wardrobes that mix and match effortlessly. And their designs are absolutely perfect for a photo shoot. What should the kids wear? Problem solved. (They even have some cozy options for Mom!)

Unique Gifts for Astrology Lovers:

The Chani App or a 2023 Guidebook Bundle. You can get your astrology-minded friend a year-long subscription to Chani’s app for $107.99 or $11.99 per month, and it offers so much more than daily horoscopes. Chani provides in-depth chart analysis and personalized readings, opening up countless doors and making sense of our connectedness with the universe. I’m a subscriber and look forward to Chani’s personalized readings every week, as well as my daily horoscope and the incredibly useful and detailed information about all of my chart placements. This is a great holiday gift idea for anyone on your list who is curious about astrology.

This Astrology Planner by Magic of I is available at The Verdant Maiden (one of my favorite shops on Nantucket). You’ll be doing any astrology lover a favor by getting them this planner. It’s such a handy gift that they are sure to use every day! I’ve been using mine for two years and just recently picked up my 2023 edition.

A Reading with a Professional Astrologer. Even if you think it’s a bit “out-there,” I can promise you that any astrology lover will be thrilled about this gift. If you’re from Massachusetts and want to shop local on this one, I’ve had two fantastic readings with Laura Campagna, and I can’t recommend her enough. I love her holistic, intuitive approach to astrology. Laura was even featured in an issue of the Boston Globe!

A gorgeous photograph of Sankaty Head Light

Inspiring Gifts for the Nantucket Obsessed:

A Framed Nantucket Print. Nantucket lovers know a thing or two about natural beauty. It’s a healthy obsession… I think. So if someone on your gift list has a love for this special place, give them a beautiful Nantucket print to showcase in their home. My print shop features some stunning scenes of Nantucket landmarks and conservation properties. I’m also happy to advise you on what type of frame might pair best with each piece and the space it’ll hang in. Don’t be afraid to reach out – I could talk about photography prints all day long.

A Gift Card to The Nautilus. It’s one of my favorite restaurants on Nantucket! I’ve had countless meals to remember here, and I’ll keep going back as long as I live because their flavors are unparalleled. Make it a special holiday gift for your Nantucket foodie!

Anything from Jen Strandberg’s Etsy shop. How will you choose? Her handmade ornaments are absolutely gorgeous; but before you click “check out,” be sure to take a look at Jen’s Nantucket-themed stationery, notepads, coffee mugs, watercolor prints, and more! I have one of her coffee mugs and it always puts a smile on my face — it’s a colorful daily reminder of those breezy summer days on the island.

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