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November 20, 2017

Gift Ideas for the Homesteading Family

I can't believe how fast this year has gone by. My grandma said time goes faster the older you get. I think yesterday it was July.

But it isn't July, it's time for the holidays already. And while I love giving gifts and the opportunity to bless someone I love with something they can use, sometimes it's hard to come up with ideas. I don't want to give them something that will sit in a corner and gather dust. My mission isn't to make someone feel guilty or to cause them more stress with a gift that isn't their cup of tea.

Practical gifts are a good bet though. If you know your friend or relative well, you know their hobbies and their interests and their livelihood. Imagine "the gift-ee" (the person for whom you are buying a gift) going through a typical day. What would make their life easier? More comfortable? More fun?

Since you're reading this post, I'm guessing that your gift-ees are interested in simple living, gardening, and/or raising animals such as chickens and goats. Working with their hands, whether it's quilting or building things. Cooking from scratch. Investing time in their family relationships and living a simpler, healthier life.

So this year I've rounded up a list of gift ideas for the homesteading family. (You can find my previous gift ideas for the homesteading woman here, here and here.)

This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here. 

For children:

How about starting a family game night tradition? Life on the Farm was created by a Minnesota farm family. This "fast moo-ving" game about dairy farming should appeal to children and grandparents alike, according to the reviews. If your family prefers puzzles to board games, take a look at this Down on the Farm 100-piece puzzle, or this set of four wooden farm animal puzzles for younger children.

I love gifts that entertain and educate at the same time. Years ago we bought a butterfly habitat kit for our children and our whole family loved watching the painted lady caterpillars transform into butterflies. A couple of summers ago I found some monarch caterpillars on milkweed in the pasture and our granddaughter and I raised them to butterflies. That's a total of three generations of excitement and awe. You can order a butterfly kit here with a certificate for the caterpillars to be sent later, when it's warmer. There's even a refill kit with more caterpillars if you want to do it again. (You will!)


Chances are, the books you read as a child helped to shape the adult you are now. Money and time are never wasted on quality books. I recommend the Little House series - or the first book in the series, Little House in the Big Woods, or perhaps Farmer Boy, all by Laura Ingalls Wilder - as well as Hatchet by Gary Paulsen and My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. My children and I loved them all; they are still on our bookshelves.

Kitchen stuff:

A wooden cutting board. This one is stronger than plastic or bamboo boards, and has a lifetime replacement warranty. Wooden boards are so much better for your knives than plastic boards. Worried about germs? Here's how to clean and care for your wooden cutting board, from You might include a bottle of cutting board oil too.

If you're looking for a gift that will do double duty (or even more than double duty), how about a new stock pot. They can handle anything from jelly making to turning a turkey carcass into stock and making cheese or yogurt. With the addition of a round cake rack inside, you can even use them to can fruits, jellies and jams. (The racks come in several different sizes; choose one that will fit the stock pot you choose.)

Cast iron cookware is an excellent gift for homesteading families. I asked my readers which piece they would recommend to someone new to cast iron cooking; they suggested either a large skillet (this one by Lodge is 14.5") or a Dutch oven. The Dutch oven can be used to make bread, while you can make cake, cornbread, fried chicken and more in a large skillet. A cast iron cookbook such as Cast Iron Cooking for Dummies (I've found the "Dummies" books to be very helpful on many topics) or The Cast Iron Cookbook would be a helpful companion gift.

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The Great Outdoors:

My hubby's suggestions for this list are a new tape measure, pocket knife, or multitool. He likes to keep these in several different places so there will always be one at hand when he needs it. A flint and steel or fire starter would be handy to keep in a jacket pocket too.

We've lost a few fencing pliers and wire cutters by setting them down while working. It would be nice to have a spare pair. Bright handles would be a plus! Loppers are handy to have around to trim tree branches and prune the fruit trees. We finally bought a pair a few years ago and wish we'd done so much sooner.

A pair of hand pruners is handy for the gardener; I have a second pair that I use to trim goat hooves because they are easier on my hands than those sold as hoof trimmers.

Bird feeders are fun for the whole family. Feeders not only help the birds through the cold winter, but are also entertaining and educational. Whether you choose a finch feeder, hanging feeder, one that goes on a pole (we love ours!), or even a hummingbird feeder to use next spring, you might be launching your gift recipient on a whole new hobby: bird watching.

If you're looking for more ideas that are practical and helpful, take a look at my Homestead Resources page where I share all the equipment we use right here on Oak Hill Homestead.

A bit of pampering:

A hard-working homesteader might enjoy a gift certificate for a pedicure. (Let's face it, a manicure is a waste of money in our line of work.) Homemade foot balm is a pampering yet practical gift as well. You can read about how I make foot balm here.

A balaclava or ski mask to wear outdoors when doing winter chores might be welcome; I love the one a friend gave me.

A mug and some fancy hot chocolate will be a welcome warm-up after those cold morning chores are finished. This variety pack is my favorite but this candy cane flavor is tasty too. Or make your own cocoa mix and gift it in a cute jar.

Fun ideas:

If your favorite homesteading family keeps chickens, they might enjoy some fun chicken gifts. I've curated (doesn't that sound fancy?) a collection of cute and practical (mostly) items you might enjoy:

2018 Chickens Calendar       "Life is better with chickens"

Coffee mug                          "Fresh Eggs" sign

Learn something new:

My friend Michelle at SoulyRested has written a lovely book entitled Sweet Maple. This is your go-to resource for all things maple sugar: how to find and tap trees, how to turn the sap into the most delicious natural sweetener, and a chapter of recipes you can whip up in your very own kitchen using purchased maple syrup if you haven't made your own yet. (Michelle puts maple syrup in her coffee instead of refined sugar!) Along the way you'll see how Michelle and her family have simplified their lives and what they've learned along the way.

Don't despair if you don't have maple trees; did you know that there are twenty-two varieties of trees you can tap to make your own syrup? Michelle's book will be available on Cyber Monday, and in the meantime you can download several freebies. Gift the book to your favorite homesteader, or buy one for yourself and use the recipes inside to bake something maple-y to give as gifts.

What's on your wish list this year? Be sure to leave a comment below.

You might also enjoy:
Gifts from Your Hands
Gifts from the Homestead
Gifts from the Garden

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My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
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  1. What wonderful gift ideas you've rounded up Kathi!! (As always.) I ADORE my cast iron--such a perfect gift. My Dutch Oven is truly perfect for baking Maple Sourdough Artisan Bread (the recipe, is--of course--in Sweet Maple :-) ). And thanks so much for recommending Sweet Maple; I truly hope it brings all-natural yumminess to many homes this year!

    1. I hope it's helpful, Michelle! Oh, how we love just-baked bread in this house. :-)

  2. Great ideas! Books and games are always at the top of our lists!

  3. Lots of great ideas here...thx for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Patti - I hope you could find something helpful in the list!


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