GUEST BLOG POST: Giving Gifts from the Heart by Kelli Kotowski

The holiday season is in full swing! Family, friends, traditions, food, memories, love, and gifts are all around us! Christmas trees are up, peppermint is in the air, and there is the hustle and bustle of shoppers.

If you are still looking to find that perfect gift for someone, or if you just are looking to add some new family hand-made traditions and more, here is a list of my 10 favorites:

The Memory Jar- Use any container, preferably with a lid, and decorate the outside with ribbons, markers, paint, gem stones, etc. The goal is to make it unique, yet fitting to the recipient. Fill the jar with memories and mementos. This can be ticket stubs, photographs, cards, wrappers, etc. Also, be sure to write out memories you share with the recipient on small pieces of paper or post-its to add to the jar.

Mommy/Daddy & Me Book- Purchase a nice notebook or journal. I always prefer unlined pages, but lined pages will work well too. Make the notebook special. If this is a gift to mom or dad from the child, have the child help. Be sure to include “Mommy/Daddy & Me” on the cover. Write a letter on the first page to your child, explaining how this notebook is a way for you and your little one to write letters (or draw pictures) to each other. Leave the notebook on their pillow or in their backpack to read on their way to school, and wait for a response!

Christmas Eve Gift- Every Christmas Eve, let your children open one gift. This gift should include, new pajamas and a new book to read before bed. You can also include a holiday movie for the family to watch together and of course… popcorn!

Hot Chocolate Bar- During your holiday breakfast or brunch, add a hot chocolate bar. Include smashed candy canes, chocolate chips, whipped cream, marshmallows, caramel, and peanut butter to place on top. Have candy canes and vanilla sticks to use as stirrers. If you would like to create an adult version, include rum, Bailey’s and whiskey.

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer- Purchase these cookies from You will not only buy a delicious treat for someone special, but also help the fight against pediatric cancer.

Twiz’ the Season- Find a pretty jar. Fill the jar with Twizzlers, and create a cute tag saying “Twiz’ the Season! Happy Holidays!”

Bubble Gum Jar- Fill a jar with holiday colored gumballs. Attach a note that states, “Blowing Holiday Kisses and Wishes Your Way this Season!”

Mistle Toes- Create a pedicure basket. Include a bottle of nail polish, a nail file, foot scrub, nail polish remover, and a cute pair of socks or sandals! Attach a tag that says, “Mistle Toes!”

A Gift for Yourself- Purchase a blank journal. Starting on January 1, 2013, write a quote and one thing you are grateful for on each page.  Starting January 2014, use it as your daily journal. You are going to love reading each quote and what you were grateful for a year earlier!

Give Back- Since Santa will be bringing new toys to your children, have your kids help you pick out three old toys (that are still in great condition) to donate to those less fortunate. Not only will you be teaching your children how to give back, you will make someone else’s holiday brighter, and get a little cleaning done!


Gifts from the heart and new traditions are a great way to celebrate the holidays! Anyone who receives one of these gifts will truly be touched and feel love.  Wishing all the best to you and your family this season!


After graduating from Michigan State University, Kelli Kotowski moved to New York City to begin a corporate career.  She didn’t have a job, but knew that with her experience and love of children, she could find a wonderful family to babysit for while pursuing her dream career.  She found a fabulous family in the West Village.  After watching the kids overtime, she became more like a big sister, not just the babysitter, and decided the corporate route was no longer her calling. Instead, she wanted to help families and children find sitters to build a long lasting relationship with—a sitter who could become more like a mentor and big brother/sister.  As a result, Posh Sitting was born!