2023 Sunny & Bright Holiday Gift Guide

Friends, hello and happy holidays!

I’ve purposely scheduled myself to be home in Colorado through the end of the year because it’s been such a year full of travel. Definitely missing the sandy shores (and cursing at the cold temperatures), but I’m excited for a cozy Christmas at home this year. We’re beginning to put our decorations out to make the house look and smell festive. Some day, I would love to have a Mele Kalikimaka and decorate a palm tree for the holidays!

I put a holiday gift guide together for the beach, travel and wellness lover(s) in your life. I had so much fun putting together a collection of my personal favorite items. They are all items that I’ve tried and loved, or have personally had my eye on. I broke the collection up into categories to make your holiday shopping easy breezy. Don’t forget the stocking stuffers!

Enjoy your holiday shopping and have a beautiful, peaceful season!

Sometimes I use affiliate/sponsored links with my recommendations. I only recommend products that I personally use and genuinely believe in. If you click on the link and end up making a purchase, it might earn me a small commission at absolutely no extra cost to you. This helps with the cost of keeping The Kai Life alive! Your trust in me means the world. Thank you so much for your love and support.

For The Beach Lover

  1. Sandcloud Towels (USE CODE THEKAILIFE TO SAVE 15%) : The staple item in my suitcase each time I travel to the beach! These towels repel sand and dry so fast. I use mine as a yoga mat when I don’t want to travel with one. 10% profits go towards marine conservation #SaveTheFishies.
  2. JBL Bluetooth Speaker : This is one of our favorite beach accessories, it hooks right onto your chair or umbrella!
  3. Aloha Beach Bag : This bag comes with me on each beach trip! I normally use it instead of a purse while I’m traveling. It repels water at the beach and easily packs in my suitcase.
  4. Beach Canopy Sun Shade Tent : We’ve put this through a ton of travel and many beaches. It packs easily into our checked bag and is simple to put up!
  5. Beach Rinse (USE CODE JENNY10 TO SAVE 10%) : A staple product in my bathroom, whether I’m at the beach or home in Colorado. The all natural, good for you Beach Rinse delivers silky beachy curls and is also one of my favorite body exfoliators.
  6. Beach Chairs : We have yet to find a travel beach chair that to fly with, but these are a favorite when we’re driving.
  7. Shell Collecting Bag : These are probably intended for the littles, but I personally use these mesh bags to collect shells and for separating items in the beach bag.
  8. Beach Please Bag : This cute bag says it all. Perfect for easy beach days or strolling along the boardwalk. This bag would also double as a gift bag for the beach lover in your life!
  9. Beach Hat : Who said sun protection can’t look adorable? I pair this neutral hat with any colors, and it’s super cute dressed up as well.
  10. Beach Games : We love Toss & Catch games at the beach, and this one is so cute with it’s fruity neon colors.
  11. Lotus & Luna Pants (USE CODE THEKAILIFE TO SAVE 30%) : I don’t travel to the beach without these pants! I equally love the wide-leg and harem styles. They’re so lightweight and comfy, adorable to dress up or down, and double as yoga pants.
  12. Marathon Turtle Hospital Adoption : Kai and I adopted a turtle this year, and it was a wonderful experience (his name is Bender and he’s so cute!). Although you obviously don’t actually take home a sea turtle, the adoption fee helps with food and supplies for the rescued turtles. You’ll receive updates on their journey, a certificate, picture and magnet of your adopted friend that you’re helping out! It’s a really sweet way to make a difference and help and incredible cause.

Stocking Stuffers For The Beach Lover

  1. Rechargeable Mini Fan : Don’t get caught in the heat without this little guy! It’s small and lightweight and recharges easily.
  2. Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen : My favorite facial sunscreen. It’s great on sensitive skin, wears wonderfully over makeup and doesn’t irritate your eyes if you sweat or take a dip in the pool.
  3. Good Vibes Only Sunbum Sunscreen : Our family’s favorite sunscreen brand, we’ve used it for years. Kai has put it to the test through sweaty skateboarding sessions and long days at the beach. It makes your skin so soft, smells like paradise and offers excellent protection. Their spf lip protection is a product we never forget for long beach days!
  4. Waterproof Phone Pouch : Waterproof phone cases like these made me nervous for years, but I finally tried this brand and love them. I pack my phone in this even if I’m not taking it in the water, to keep the sand out.

For The Wanderluster (Travel Lover)

  1. Luggage Set : This luggage is the cutest and works so great. Who wouldn’t want to see new luggage under the tree?!
  2. Packing Cubes : If you haven’t tried compression packing cubes yet, you’re missing out and will never go back! They help you pack so much more and stay organized while traveling.
  3. Aloha Bags : I originally used these as packing cubes, but now use them for wet items like swimsuits and liquids. I also love to throw one into my beach bag to keep items separated and dry.
  4. Apple Airtags : We have one in each suitcase and appreciate being able to track where our bags are at as we travel!
  5. Apple Airpods Pro : I can’t imagine traveling without them – for listening to music and watching movies on the plane, talking on my phone hands free, and noise cancellation.
  6. Neck Support Travel Pillow : Not sure about you, but the traditional travel pillows are too bulky for my neck, and are tough to travel with! I love this foldable neck support travel pillow for comfort on the plane.

Stocking Stuffers For The Wanderluster

  1. Airtag Jelly Keychains : These are the cutest for attaching your airtag to your bags.
  2. Slim Portable Charger : My husband laughed when I bought this and said it wouldn’t charge my phone enough, but now begs me to use it every time we travel! The charge lasts all day and I love how slim and lightweight it is.
  3. Liquid IV Hydration Packs : These are a great, natural electrolyte boost for when you’re traveling. I’ve been using them for years.
  4. Sea Sickness Wristbands : Haha I bought these for my first puddle jumper flight in Belize and felt great! I’ve had these on Walt and Kai who have both gotten sea sick in the past, and they didn’t have any issues. The design initially sold me, so cute!

Experiences To Last A Lifetime

If you’re like us and you love to give the gift of an experience, below are two of our favorite trips we took this year ::

1. Chaa Creek : Our family traveled to the jungles of Belize – Chaa Creek – earlier this year and it was one of our favorite trips to date. Each gorgeous villa is thoughtfully designed and spacious for your family. The 400+ acre rainforest grounds take you to another world. The activities offered on and off property are truly second to none.

Beyond taking the trip of your lifetime, you’ll be thrilled about the social impact that your stay makes – read about Chaa Creek’s community and eco initiatives that your stay would support here!

2. Azure Del Mar : Another family favorite, my husband and I took a romantic couple’s trip to this Maya Beach Resort this past summer. This boutique resort offers 6 thatch hut beachfront villas. It’s quiet and serene, offering the sweetest place to relax in the outskirts of Placencia. Add this beachfront resort to your bucket list and be lulled to sleep by the sound of the waves.

Azure Del Mar is offering guests 10% off bookings through December 31st!

For The Sister In Her Self Care Season

  1. Bathtub Caddy Tray : There’s nothing like a relaxing bath. This bamboo caddy is the perfect size for a cup of tea and book or ipad to watch the latest Virgin River episode.
  2. Ice Facial Roller : Have you tried one yet? It feels SO good and works great to keep morning puffiness down. This is a staple morning routine tool.
  3. Facial Steamer : This is one of those more luxurious non-essentials that would be so appreciated. Steaming your face has so many benefits, and it’s lovely to do it at home.
  4. Bamboo Socks : If I’m not barefoot at the beach, these are most likely on my feet! I first found these in Hawaii and was so excited to find the same brand online. They are the COMFIEST socks and I appreciate the non-slip grips on the bottom. These are one-size fits all – I’m a size 7 and they run large on me, but in the comfiest way!
  5. Chunky Weighted Blanket : Weighted blankets are an incredible comforting tool. This chunky blanket comes in various weights.
  6. Drunk Elephant Wild Night Kit : I recently began using Drunk Elephant products and am obsessed. My skin feels so clean and moisturized. This night kit is hands down my favorite.
  7. A Year Of Self Motivation For Women : My sweet friend Ashton August wrote this book (her other book Learn, Grow, Shift is absolutely incredible too) and it’s beautiful. It’s fun to follow this daily for the year.
  8. Maude Bathtime Bundle : Maude’s salts and wash are the perfect duo for bathtime self care. These two are infused with all of the good stuff (vitamins and minerals) and are pH balanced.
  9. Faux Fur Memory Foam Slippers : This cute style is all the rage this year, and these slippers are the cutest way to keep your toes cozy this season.
  10. Insight Timer App : I use Insight Timer for meditation. There is a free version of this app that gives you some great tools like meditation timers and simple guided meditations, but if you have a friend who is really looking to get into meditation (or already is!), the subscription has a deep amount of knowledge to learn and tools.
  11. Glass & Wood Essential Oil Diffuser : Diffusers are the gift that keep on giving. There are so many benefits to diffusing pure essential oils, throughout the year. The classic look of this glass and wood essential oil diffuser is gorgeous, and the design makes it really easy to clean.

Stocking Stuffers For The Sister In Her Self Care Season

  1. The Good Patch Relax Patches : These patches are infused with plant based ingredients to help keep you relaxed on the go.
  2. Jade Facial Roller and Rose Quartz Gua Sha Facial Tool : Have you tried Gua Sha yet? It’s a wonderful traditional practice (practiced in Thailand for thousands of years) that helps to release fascia, depuff, lift and release tension in your face. It’s the ultimate self care tool!

For The Friend Who Finds Winter Tough

  1. Sun Lamp : Sun lamps are a great tool if you struggle in the long winter days. I was surprised at how much of an impact they make!
  2. Heated Blanket : I always have a heated blanket on my bed and couch in the colder months. It’s so warm and cozy on a chilly evening!
  3. Hatch Sunrise Alarm Clock : I use mine all times of the year for conscious mornings, but it’s especially nice in the winter. Wake more naturally to soothing sounds and a mock sunrise.
  4. Wintering : A wonderful perspective on stepping back and caring for yourself during tougher times.

Stocking Stuffers For The Friend Who Finds Winter Tough

  1. Yellow Color Therapy Mood Glasses : Yellow light is said to increase energy and boost your mood. These are a fun and stylish way to help combat the winter blues.
  2. Holographic Stickers : Stick these babies all over your windows for rainbows! They’re such a simple and fun way to add rainbows to the winter.

For The Girlfriend In Her Wellness Era

  1. Vitamix Blender : My most used kitchen appliance, I love my vitamix! I use mine to make daily smoothies and juices, dressings, vegan cheeses and milks and more. This actually comes with a great cookbook.
  2. Infusion Water Bottle : You didn’t think I’d release a gift guide without a hydration tool did you?! I’ve been obsessed with infusing waters this year and love this bottle to take it on the go.
  3. Infusion Pitcher : Kai and I love to infuse a pitcher for a few days worth of spa water. It’s also SO pretty – this makes any table look fancier for guests.
  4. Underdesk Treadmill : This is the perfect gift for a home office upgrade! Light walking throughout the day is an uplift to any routine.
  5. Bala Bangle Wrist Weights : I use these on my wrists and ankles during pilates or even on the Peloton. I even travel with mine! They’re a great way to incorporate strength training.
  6. Juicer : It’s such a treat to make fresh organic juice, and there are so many health benefits. This juicer is easy to clean. Use these bottles to prep for the whole week.
  7. Plant Over Processed Cookbook : Andrea Hannemann is one of my favorite vegan cooks (plus she’s adorable, follow her at @earthyandy). This book is full of genius recipes that even my non-vegan husband loves (don’t sleep on the nacho cheese!).

Stocking Stuffers For The Girlfriend In Her Wellness Era

  1. Cocofloss : Kai and I got into using this brand this year and we have fallen in love with flossing! We actually didn’t think that this floss would be that different, but it works so much better. We started a nightly ritual flossing together and it’s been so fun.
  2. Work Wellness Deck : Card decks are so underrated – they’re such a great way to reset during a busy day. This work wellness deck gives a quick refresh whenever you need.
  3. Silk Sleep Mask : A sleep mask is a great way to cue your body that it’s time for some zzz’s and get that beauty sleep! This one is so comfortable!

For The Plant Mama

  1. Living Wild Book : Hilton Carteris the plant MASTER for in-home foliage inspiration!
  2. Disco Ball Planter : If I could have one of these in each room, I would. This disco ball planter can be hung or placed on a table with the stand it comes with. So cute, and it totally makes rainbows in the right light!
  3. Unicorn Planter : Unicorn + Planter – enough said!
  4. Houseplants For Beginners Book : This book is wonderful for someone getting started on their houseplant journey.
  5. Stainless Steel Watering Can : An aesthetic watering can with a long spout for plant care.
  6. Disco Ball Diffuser : It’s so cute! I keep one near a collection of tropical plants for added humidity.
  7. Glass Plant Mister : I use my mister constantly, and find that it makes all the difference (especially on my tropical plants). I love this vibrant color during the holiday season.
  8. Iridescent Rainbow Watering Spikes : How gorgeous are these? These work great when I’m traveling to help regulate watering my plants, and are also so pretty in the house!

Stocking Stuffers For The Plant Mama

  1. Funny Plant Markers : I have a pack of these that I found in Newport, Rhode Island and I think they’re hilarious. Such a cute way to mark your plants!
  2. Sprout Bookmarks : These are the cutest, most unique bookmarks!
  3. Monsterra Leaf Magnets : These tropical leaf magnets bring the jungle home!

For The Bestie Behind The Lens

  1. Sony A7III : I just switched to this camera this year and am so glad I did. Even for the novice photographer, the A7III is an incredible tool in your craft, and is easy to use.
  2. Camera Bag : My favorite camera backpack. The compartments are thoughtful, and I find that I have room for everything I need. I typically put this in my carry on while traveling to keep it safe with me on the plane.
  3. Camera Strap : It’s so fun to personalize your camera – I love this customized one (so many designs to choose from and you can add her initials) and this cute pom pom style strap.
  4. Gimbal Stabilizer : Such an excellent gift for someone just getting into photography! The gimbal allows you to be on the move with your camera, yet keep it steady. This one is easy to use and is durable.
  5. Heavy Duty Tripod : This tripod is versatile and resilient. It works for both my camera and my phone.
  6. Selfie Stick Tripod : This has attended each trip with me this year and it’s going strong! It allows you to mount your phone landscape or portrait, and packs easily. It even comes with a remote for shots far away.
  7. Photography Book : I’ve found this book to be a great overview for a new and even seasoned photographer.

Stocking Stuffers For The Bestie Behind The Lens

  1. Sony Tough Series SD Card : The SD card can be the most vulnerable element in photography. I love the Sony Tough series (along with good backup systems) for assurance that my work is being protected.
  2. SD card reader : To transfer photos from camera to laptop on the go.
  3. DSLR Cheat Sheet : This is such a cute little guide to throw in your camera bag! So many amazing tips & references about lighting, settings, etc.

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