Online Wish List and Registry
Best Practices

Christmas Wish List 2019

Christmas wish list and gift ideas in 2019 are not measured by the size of the boxes, but by the impact they make on the receiver at the moment of seeing the gift and in the long run.

Traditional commerce is an even exchange - you get one and you lose one, the sum total of the exchange for both size should be near zero. However a gift doubles the joy in the world - you receive a gift and your loved one feels great about giving a gift. The sum total of joy is +2!

Gift giving is also a social lubricant - it allows you to break down barriers of conversation, to get to know what truly matters to your loved ones, so you can reach deeper with your gift and make a difference. Therefore to make your Christmas wish list truly the best it can be in the eyes of loved ones, you need two things:

  1. A desire to show what is deeply meaningful to you, by adding things to your list that matter, so they can come up with unique thoughtful ideas for you. And,
  2. A willingess to receive gifts given with true grattitude and express that grattude from the heart whenever you see or get a chance to communicate or give back to that person.

Notice, this is not about reciprocation of gift value! It is about maximizing the expansion of happiness for both giver and receiver. Replying back with "I wish I had given you something!" or "This is way too generous" is the worst way to reply to someone who is looking to show their appreciation to you. You would be turning a happiness-expanding exchange into a transaction (with out come 0). People will remember most how you made them feel when you opened that gift in front of them, or when you talked to them, or sent a note later. Make your Christmas wish list as thoughtful as possible, digging deep into the things that matter to you - from experiences, to projects, to tools that will help you achieve a dream, to trips you want to do with friends, or causes you want to support. That way, you offer an infinite opportunity for visitors to your list to enrich their own world, and give a dream gift they would fill great about.

Keep your baby registry private on Dream List.
Christmas wish lists are about joy. Manage a Christmas Wish List on DreamList as a couple for kids, or for yourselves. Add adventure coupons for things you want to do together. Let friends and family contribute to your big dreams.

Create your Christmas Wish List.

It's easy to lose sight of the reason behind Christasm gift exchanges. They may feel like a habbit, a competition to show greater love through bigger boxes, at times. Which is why, steering your gift choices towards a strengthening that relationship is always a safe bet. Here are some christmas list tips that come from a relationship-first goal:

Gift Givers

You are not oblidged to purchase or consult anyone's Christmas list. That said, about 9% of gifts given in the US are taken straight back to the store the next day. If you don't want to end up in that staticstic, remember that gifts don't have to be expensive at all, to be loved, if they are thoughtful. A wish list is usually created by a person to save things they hope to get for themselves - it can be a great source of ideas, and a view into what your friends or family members actually need. Things to keep in mind when visiting a Christmas wish list:

  • Consult and ask for wish lists, if you are short on ideas. If someone is hard to shop for, because they don't want stuff, ask them to make a Dream List instead. A Dream List, lets them add not just retail items, but also projects they are working on, trips they want to take, and large purchases they are saving towards. Everyone has dreams, so by asking them for theirs, you can actually make a much more meaningful gift and learn a lot more about what matters to your loved one in the process.
  • Odds are, a wish lister will only use one type of camera, or stroller, etc. If they are wishing for a specific model, don't look for an alternative - get the one they wish for or a completely different type of item.
  • Don't try to exceed your budget, if the wish list doesn't cater to lower-end items. Much more often than not, that is not intentional. People often add things to their wish list they cannot afford to buy immediately due to price. If the other items have been bought out, use the remaining items as a source of ideas, or ask for their DreamList, wich is a lot broader than a retail list that takes time to curate (especially if the receiver is actually less materialistic and doesn't care much for "things").
  • Real estate is expensive, and many struggle to fit large things in their ever shrinking homes. You can save a lot of money and get a lot more heartfelt thanks if you look deeper into the duration of use of gift ideas, instead of size.

Gift Receivers

Whatever the gift, the most important thing you can do is show your deep grattitude for the thought and consideration given by your friends and family. Share a Christmas wish list that actually has things you care about, whether they can be bought from a store, or with time, or with just a show of support, and that would make getting on the same page about gifts a lot easier.

  • Do allow loved ones to express their creativity in their own way.
  • Don't expect people to read your mind. Use your wish list as a window into your world, priorities, and things you find most meaningful in the short and long term. A Christmas wWish list on DreamList will make that a lot easier.
  • Have fun and show your creativity as well. Add ideas you would love to do with friends such as "Coupon for an adventure together", Trips, or Charity ideas they may want to borrow in the future as well.
  • Giving and receiving are both about the relationship, don't worry about reciprocating precisely or at the same price points. Be creative and surprise with an unexpected gift, or a graceous thank you message. Your reply should be remembered as much as you remember the gift.


Think deep about Christmas gift ideas that will make a difference in the long run for your little one. Can you start a 529 College Savings plan for family to contribute to? Add museum memberships, extracurricular classes, camps, or other educational opportunities? Can friends and famly commit to teach the little one a new craft or a sport? Make your child's wishlist one that allows givers to also create postiive memories with you and your family and you will get a lot less clutter and more wonderful moments for the little ones. DreamList makes that easy. Make a more meaningful family wish list in minutes.

Private Baby Registry

When you make a baby registry, privacy seems like a checklist item to assume as standard.

Yet in the age of search engines many people find out that their online registry ends up as the first result when people search for their name, or their child's name.

This is a big issue when the new mom wants to advance her career or build a business and is looking for funding. The problem is even bigger when the privacy and credit history of the little one also become at risk. A lot of baby registry sites see search engines as an opportunity to drive back traffic to the site years after the registries are complete, which is why they index the pages with search engines by default.

Keep your baby registry private on Dream List.
Online baby registry privacy matters long term. Manage your registry as a couple. Let friends and family contribute to your big dreams. Turn your baby registry into a Christmas wish list and Birthday wish list for the little one when ready. Add items, charities, experiences and dreams from any site.

There were some horror stories out there: 

Dream List was built by a mom, who is an engineer and a founder of a tech company. She couldn't believe what she saw online when we she was pregnant, so she built the online registry and wish list for her family and made it available for all families.

Created to be a new kind of baby registry and wish list site that has multiple layers of privacy, also has custom built social features that bring families closer together with every special occasion.

  1. Your private information will not show up on search engines unless you explicitly want it there.
  2. Multiple people can add items and manage a list. Both you and your spouse, or friends, or team can grow and manage registries and wish lists.
  3. You can link or import any other in-store registry and give family one link to keep track of.
  4. You can add large things you are saving for, such as a 529 college savings plan, or a downpayment on a house, so friends and family can contribute small amounts over time and make meaningful dreams come true instead of wondering what to get.
  5. With all family and friends already added once for a baby registry, a Christmas wish list or a wedding registry your baby registry grows into a year-round online wish list for your family to refer back to on every special occasion. They can see their contributions and impact over time and make bigger dreams come true, even if it takes years of special occasions to get there. You can do the same for them, privately as well.

It's time we, parents, take control to bring our privacy back. DreamList works hard to help families take meaningful dreams closer to reality and to keep families closer together, regardless of distances. Try it!

Make a private baby registry.

How to make an online wishlist that makes thoughtful gifts Easy for friends and family?

The best wish list maker grows with your family. We can move through life too fast some times, not taking the time to surface what truly matters to us and our loved ones.

Giving occasions and family holidays are there to remind us to stop and think, and more importantly, to care, even if we can only reach most of our family online.

Are our elderly relatives taking care of themselves? Are they lonely, or living the dream in retirement? Are we taking a breather to surface our priorities and look above the forest of life's challengers, instead of just chopping forward? Are the kids growing new interests and passions, or just anxieties? Life goes by. Our opportunities to make it count shouldn't. A simple Happy Birthday note on social media is not enough.

We've created DreamList to help people who want to breathe in new memories, who want to fuel love of life within their family and friends, to do more together. We're giving you a wish list that can help you turn dreams into reality, literally.

It starts with now, this moment. Take a breath and think about what you would do if the clock stops ticking and there is nothing stopping you from doing what you actually want to do. A wonderful moment, isn't it? Start writing your thoughts down - in your Dream List, on your notepad, wherever. What do you want more than anything? Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Who do you want to do it with? A small part of that may be things to buy, but most of it may not ever require money. It requires thought and a sense of adventure.

Make a Wish List that matters with friends and family
A weekend on the lake with friends can be a wish list item on DreamList, and so can boating lessons.

Add those dreams to your Dream List, and invite friends and family you care to be with to do the same. You would be amazed how much passion, and inspiration, and mutual joy this moment can bring. Especially when you've been too busy to follow up with eachother, or to share what trully matters to you, instead of discussing the troubles of the day. The troubles will always be there. The needs will always be there as well - you can add this you are saving for or gifts you would like from any store. But passion is contageous and addictive. The intimacy of helping friends achieve their dreams, even when you are far away, pays back in dividents

Hereafter, on every special occasion, scratch that, on every special moment, your friends will want to go back to the spark you triggered. They will look into the thoughts and ideas you inspired them with, so they can join you in daydreaming, or add your adventure plans to their own, or so they can contribute a little to your dreams financially instead of buying you another sweater next Christmas.

Because, the best wish list matters. Your Dream List matters. See theirs, and you will know. When you start managing Dream Lists together for wedding registries, Christmas lists, or baby showers, or your next big adventure together, you will wonder how you ever lived without one.

We are here to pull back the chaos, and do more together. Start your Dream List, and bring friends - they'll love it.

Diana Zink

Founder of

Birthday and Christmas Gift Ideas for 1, 2, 3, and 4 year old girls and boys

Childhood is magical, and so are the eyes of toddlers and their parents when the gifts received on Birthdays, Christmas and other holidays make a difference in the long run.

The best gifts for 1, 2, 3, and 4 year old girls and boys are an opportunity to both educate and spark new interests for life. From Montesourri-approved toys and books to sports, animals and building sets, to adventures you can do with toddlers, this Christmas wish list guide is based on feedback from parents and educators. We update it frequently with new products and advice (send us your tips to As is typical for all DreamList guides, we focus on the WHYs and WHY NOTs as much as the WHAT of gift ideas. With toddlers, that means starting with the Parents's wish list, here is why:

Ask the parents for the child's wish list.

Parents of little ones often dread giving occasions, because most lead to floods of overstimulating toys that make the homes of young families smaller and less managable. The wrong "stuff" gets played with far less than the ammount of space and time it takes. If they have a DreamList, that means they may also have savings plans such as a 529 plan or family adventures planned ahead for their little one, so make sure to ask for the family dream list.

Clothes and Shoes

Babies tend to get a lot more outfit gifts than toddlers, because they are easiery to dress. Literally. Toddlers have opinions about everything they can touch, eat and wear (sometimes about their parent's clothes and food choices as well). Toddlers also grow fast and at varied heights. Don't buy clothes, unless you can to get measurements and ask for favorite character/topic preferences. Parents report spending many mornings re-dressing toddlers who ask wake up with specific fashion choices in mind (regardless of gender). Getting sizes ahead is also tricky, because your 4T tshirt gift may finally fit in winter, and be outgrown by summer. Putting a jacket on that covers a toddler's with a favorite t-shirt is akin to dressing an octopus (the octopus often wins). Toddler shoes are also tricky, not only because of fit, but also because of walking/running needs and preferences (from arch support, to flashing lights). Parents who set up a Christmas wish list or a Birthday wish list on DreamList, can keep important metrics at the top of their list, and the site can suggest updates to prevent stale wish lists. More importantly, since both parents can add to and manage the child's wish list together, you are only half as likely to get old information.

Books and Toys

Toddlers can be very action oriented: excellent runners, avid listeners to things that sound interesting, and painters of all things that can be drawed on (and some that shouldn't). The hard stuff is teaching a 2-3 year old girl or boy how to focus on something non-screen-related and apply their minds without distraction for an extended period of time. Here are some toy combinations that work well for that:

What happens when you tell relatives your toddler likes trucks.
Make a wish list, because this happens when the only thing you tell relatives is that your toddler likes trucks.

  1. Animals - cow, elephant, sheep, lion, bear, dog, bunny, you name it. Toddlers learn animal sounds early, and become close friends with the animals. Getting toy versions of animals (ideally larger than an inch or two, and made of rubber or other non-breakable materials) gives toddlers hours of repeatable fun. It also gives toddlers someone to build things for, whether the building is a home for the animal to live in, or a playground. That brings us to:
  2. Expandable toddler-safe building sets. From Lego Duplos, to magnatiles, to wooden train tracks. Check with parents and the family's wish list to see what sets are collected (or ideally not even started yet), and add litte bits to those sets. These sets pack small into boxes and can be combined over time to create more elaborate sets. Toy animals in our house have lived in Duplo houses, ridden on wooden train tracks that go through magnetic tile tunnes, and all sparked out of the imagination of a two year old boy.
  3. Books that include impersonations of animal sounds, actions by big machines and trains, and strong memorable characters are a hit with toddlers. The Little Blue Truck series, Anything Elmo, Mickey Mouse, Moana, Frozen, or other toys, is always a hit. A richer list with links is coming very soon. Books that tie the animals or buildings from the previous two categories are a downright slam-dunk (Good Night Gorilla; Giraffes Cant Dance; Pout Pout Fish; )
Toddler Birthday and Christmas Gift Ideas
The best gifts for toddlers spark creativity and focus.

Funds and Long-Term Savings for Kids

Many families are blessed with a lot of love from extended family, but still face uncertainties in their future. On DreamList, parents can share what major initiatives they are saving for for the little ones, so friends and family can put their gift to contribute a small piece towards something bigger. Something the kids can appreciate when they are a little older. From 529 plans, to savings for a first computer, or a first trip to Disney. Ask the parents for their Dream List to get the list if things they find most meaningful for their little ones.

Adventures for Young Families

A favorite gift that keeps on giving back. Make a coupon for a trip to the Zoo, a hike, a trip, or a movie night under the stars for the little one, or just gift one virtually on DreamList, and take the first opportunity to fulfill that promise when you get together with the Family.

Adventures as Birthday and Christmas Gifts for kids
Zoo and Museum memberships make fantastic gifts for kids and parents alike.

Make a wishlist or registry that evolves into a Christmas list or a Birthday registry to make dreams come true long term.

What is a wish list if not an opportunity to fulfill dreams. Make your dream list on DreamList and take advantage of everything a dedicated online family wish list can do. One link, shared on one special occasion can bond your family deeper, no matter where they live. You can link or import any current or future store registries to one place, so you never lose track or get a repeat gift again. Christmas Gift ideas or more meaningful gifts for those hard to shop for (such as a contribution to their side project, or an antique book they've been looking for for a long time) come together a lot easier when you know what matters to them. Invite those who matter to you to DreamList and ask them to create a list, so you never have to wonder about what is the best gift for them on any occasion.

Know someone who deserves
a dream list?

Best wish list and registry perks on DreamList.
  • Make a joint wish list as a couple
  • Manage wish lists with multiple people or a team
  • Don't get three mixers - Link all your lists and registries
  • Add to big dreams for little ones with every occasion
  • Private registries and wish lists (not indexed on search engines by default)
  • Direct goodwill to dream lists of people you care about
  • Dislike stuff? Add anything that matters to you, and friends can contribute!

What is a Dream List?

We are parents building the best possible online wish list worthy of the trust of millions of families.

DreamList is a new kind of wish list and registry that is private, easy, and truly universal. We are not owned by a retailer, so you can add the lowest price items from anywhere (and link your other wish lists and registries to one page). It lets you manage wish lists together with your spouse or friends for a kid's birthday, christmas and other holidays, a baby registry, a housewarming, an anniversary, etc (very very handy for parents). More importantly, you can add large items and dreams you are saving towards such as a big trip to Disney, or 529 plans, so on special occasions family can contribute small amounts to help little ones get there sooner.

In your lists on DreamList you can to save items from any store, as well as big dreams, savings goals, and activities you want to do with friends and family. It's at least as easy as Pinterest, because Grandparents love this site! Learn More

Easier. More Personal. Private. Year round!

Achieve Dreams Together

We are in Open Beta (send us your thoughts!)

DreamList is the first free, privacy-first, ads-free online wishlist and registry designed for families by families.

Unlike a regular registry, your dream lists can link to any retailer, wishlist, registry, experience, activity, or a larger pursuit, so loved ones know what is meaningful to you and can bring it closer to reality with every special occasion. Manage dream lists in private or as a team. Share one link with family, that they can refer back to for every special occasion, for life!

Foundations, charitable organizations, schools, and disaster recovery teams also use DreamList to direct goodwill to hundreds of families at scale since Hurricane Harvey, also for free.

We are successful only when you are, and that makes all the difference!
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