I have two daughters — and a whole lot of other women to buy gifts for, and I wanted to find items to specifically encourage them this year. But when I went searching for girl power-themed gift guides, I was frustrated that none of the existing lists were curated with someone like me in mind. I found a lot of cute chatchkes and dust collectors; I found a lot of pointed, funny, and completely inappropriate items, too. But I didn’t really find a good collection of stuff I’d like to give or receive.
So, in case you are doing some last-minute shopping as well (and in case your shopping list skews as female as mine does, with daughters and friends and teachers and sisters and moms), I’m sharing some of the best, most fun, most empowering, most encouraging items I’ve found for ladies of all ages.
Books for Girls
- The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Younger Girls ($5.51) and The Care and Keeping of You 2: The Body Book for Older Girls ($4.49) — I’m just barely into the tween years with my oldest daughter, but I am pretty sure that teaching our girls about their bodies in a calm, proactive, straightforward way helps them take big steps toward health, safety, and confidence.
- The Big Book of Girl Power (DC Super Heroes) ($7.49) and DC Super Heroes: My First Book of Girl Power ($7.16) are fun primers on super heroes, introducing readers to all the girls and women in the DC universe with superpowers and super skills.
- Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World ($10.19) and Women in Sports: 50 Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win ($11.55) are beautifully illustrated, in addition to telling the stories of incredible women in science and sports.
- For Such a Time as This: Stories of Women in the Bible, Retold for Girls by Angie Smith ($11.41) is a beautiful storybook and devotional for girls. My daughter has loved this one for years!
- Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves ($17.09) — My girls are getting this gorgeous picture book for Christmas this year, and I can’t wait to show it to them!
- She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton ($13.49) makes me cry every time I read it to my girls. My hard-headed, strong-willed, “I did it because I wanted to,” persistent girls who just might change the world themselves.
- Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison ($9.34) — As soon as I saw this new book, I ordered a copy for my girls!
Books for Women
- A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood ($9.99) — I haven’t read the book or watched the Hulu series. I’m behind, and I need to catch up!
- We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ($6.39) is a very short little book that packs a punch. It’s based on Adichie’s TED talk and a great follow-up if you’ve already read Americanah.
- I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai ($9.45) — Think you’re not in a position to make a difference? Let this story inspire you!
- Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars by Nathalia Holt ($11.68) — If you loved Hidden Figures and want to learn more, this book is for you.
- Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes ($7.02), Yes Please by Amy Poehler ($17.09), and Bossypants by Tina Fey ($12.99) are fantastic memoirs from smart, funny (and, yes, famous) women. Their stories are entertaining, sure, but also inspiring.
- Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brene Brown ($16.35) — I haven’t read this one yet, but you can’t go wrong with Brene Brown, who consistently sees into your soul, explains it so you finally understand (and feel understood), and motivates you to be a better version of yourself.
- Fierce Hearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely by Holley Gerth ($12.99) is like getting a pep talk from your best girlfriend, the one who’s a little further along her journey than you are and is looking back to pull you along with her. You can’t read this book without feeling a little more loved, a little more brave, a little more fierce than you were before!
- Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs ($11.99) is a classic for a reason. We can learn from every person in the Bible, not just the well-behaved ones.
For the Woman Who’s in the Kitchen Because She Wants to Be…
- Strong and Fearless flour sack towel ($14.00 at Etsy)
- Amelia Earhart quote flour sack towel ($12.95 at Etsy)
- Superhero apron ($23.99 at Etsy) — This makes me wish I wore aprons!
- J is for Julia (Child) print ($4.00 for 4×6 or $6.00 for 5×7 at Etsy) — She has a whole alphabet of women heroes, and they are adorable. And fierce. But also adorable.
- Share: The Cookbook that Celebrates Our Common Humanity ($28.67) — This cookbook offers beautiful photos and recipes from around the world. The foreword was written by Meryl Streep, and all proceeds from the sale of this book go to Women for Women International.
Fun, Useful Gifts That Mean Something
- Minimalist Posters of Famous Women (from $12.00 at Etsy) — These would give a room a great pop of color — and a reminder of our role models, too.
- City of Women – NYC Map ($21.95) — This poster pays homage to great women who have been a party of New York, from Margaret Mead to Yoko Ono to Greta Garbo to Georgia O’Keefe.
- Nevertheless She Persisted phone case ($15.00 at Piper Cleo) — My friend Anna has this case, and I’ve wanted one since I first saw it months ago. I was so disappointed when I realized my new phone won’t fit in any of the case sizes!
- Feminist with a To-Do List pencils (set of 6 for $10.00 at Etsy)
- Anything from Mercy House — Support women being rescued from poverty and empowered by fair trade practices. I love wearing beautiful, handmade jewelry from women all around the world — and I love giving it as gifts, too!
- Sisterhood candles and soaps (made by refugees, sold by Preemptive Love)
- Emily McDowell mugs ($18.00) — I basically want every single one of these!
- You’re Doing a Freaking Great Job daily calendar ($9.98) — Who doesn’t know a woman who needs to be reminded, daily, that she’s doing a freaking great job? (Who isn’t that woman?!) I sent one of these to a friend this Christmas…and I might just get one for myself, too!
- The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt quote button ($1.95) — I bought a six pack of these a while back and just hand them out whenever I can.
A couple more ideas:
I bought my daughter Goldieblox toys as soon as they came out several years ago. But as I was sifting through several ofther girl-centric gift guides, I found that Goldieblox isn’t the only building-for-girls game around. They HAVE upped their game quite a bit since they first came on the scene, and I have that “craftstruction” box on my wish list for the next gift-giving holiday that comes up. (Easter? Half birthday? We’ll see…) But you can also find great building sets that encourage girls to develop an interest and skills in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) from Roominate and K’Nex Mighty Makers. They look so fun I put them on our wish list, too!
Another easy (but awesome) gift is a subscription to Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. That way, your sister or aunt or friend or niece can binge watch strong, sassy, funny, talented women in shows like Jessica Jones, GLOW, The Crown, Modern Mrs. Maisel, Grace & Frankie, Bomb Girls, The Handmaid’s Tale, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veronica Mars, Veep, Scandal, The Good Wife, Agent Carter, or Jane the Virgin. (Or, for younger viewers, Just Add Magic, The Kicks, or Project MC2!) (Or SO MANY MORE! Too much good TV, too little time!)
Who are you buying for this year? Who needs a little girl power inspiration? We only have a few shopping days left, so get busy!
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