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Step 1: Ding ding—I have an idea!

Featuring Rachel Nilsson—founder of the incredibly trendy Rags to Raches, a baby clothing company, which was recently featured on Shark Tank.

We all have them. Ideas. Little nagging feelings that maybe, just maybe, we could be on to something.

But how do you know if your business idea is “the one”? How do you know if it’s a boom or a bust?

There’s intuition, there’s know-how, and then there’s sheer pig-headed determination. For an idea to work, you need all three. It’s not a magic formula by any means, but it’s an excellent place to start.

No one knows more about those three things than Rachel. Her brand, which was already blowing up in popularity before Shark Tank, has reached incredible levels of success thanks to their feature and subsequent deal with Robert Herjavec. Her big idea? That moms and dads want stylish baby clothes that are easy to put on and off (see: no snaps). She had an idea, and the feedback was tremendous.


Rachel’s business has been named one of the fastest-growing in Utah (where she lives) and her brand was deemed by The Huffington Post to be one of the “top 15 coolest kid brands in America.

And we so agree.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down (via Skype) with Rachel to find out how she got her million dollar idea.

Looking more like an MTV rock star than baby brand CEO, Rachel has lilac hair and wicked smoked-out eyes. But who looks like the stereotypical CEO these days anyways? Being a successful lady boss is all about being true to yourself, rocking your confidence and owning your awesomeness. (Truth be told, she’s got that rock star quality, sure, but in speaking with her there’s not an ounce of arrogance or an air of superiority.)

The entrepreneur is more than happy to share how she first had the idea for Rags, and what has made it soar.


How did you get the idea for Rags to Raches?

It started originally by selling my kids hand me down clothes online, and that’s where the name came from. But as far as the romper, which I feel is our main focus now, that came about after I had a baby.

I found my husbands t-shirt and I thought, “I’m going to cut into this ‘cause the fabric is so soft,” and I tried making a romper with no snaps. My husband would always put the baby in an outfit with snaps and then just never do them up. So I decided to try to make something with a really stretchy neck that you can just pull on and off, and still have it look cool and stylish. That’s how the romper was born.

Then, I posted it on Instagram where I’d been selling my kid’s clothes, and the reaction was so crazy that I realized I was on to something.

Other moms were in the same boat in terms of being over the snaps.

What motivated you to pursue this idea?

We were literally broke. It’s a great motivator.

I wanted to make us a little extra money while my husband was studying for the bar all summer.

And then, before I started baby clothing, I worked in adult clothing, right after I graduated high school. I created clothes for a retail shop in Utah that had five locations. I was hand sewing those for almost a year, and it became so crazy busy. I got so burnt out and I just ended up walking away from it.

When that happened I realized that the reason people loved what I was making was the fit. They liked the way it fit, and it was really unique. I remember when I walked away I learned that the next time I come on to an idea like that, I need to take action quick. I learned I’m best NOT sewing and being stuck all day behind my sewing machine.

So when Rags happened, I knew I needed to manufacture to be able to scale up from the start. It’s so worth it, even in the beginning when you find it’s not necessary completely. That saved my butt.

Did you have moments of doubt?

Of course! Everybody’s a hater! There’s so much doubt.

When you’re running your own business and when you’re an entrepreneur, you’re constantly on the edge of a cliff. You have to decide, “Do I want to jump off this cliff and make my life a little bit busier and a little bit more stressful and take this huge risk? ‘Cause this could fail tomorrow.”

All the money you’re putting into it, and the time. I mean, I have a family. And I’m constantly doubting whether I should take this to the next level. At this point, I always jump. Because, why not? So far it’s worked out.

I’ve had someone tell me, at the beginning when I was still working out of my garage, that I wasn’t legit because I wasn’t working out of a warehouse. She actually said, “Why are you so deceiving, you’re not a real company! You’re not legit because you’re still doing it out of your house.” It caught me off guard because it was so blatant. And at that point we were still doing really well. We’d been approached by Vogue and we’ve had all these major publications come to us.

I don’t blame the haters.

I’m the kind of person that their doubt fuels me.

I need to prove to myself and to everybody else that I can do this.

I can’t believe that she said that. It’s how everybody starts! It’s all a façade at the beginning!

I know! I mean, Apple computers started out of their garage. The coolest part about being a business owner is that you realize 90% of people, maybe 100% actually, have no idea what they’re doing!

Everybody’s just doing their best and hopefully it’s panning out and working. And for some people it’s working out better than others. But if you can realize that right off the bat, early on, it’s so much less intimidating. Most everyone else started out not knowing anything.

And when you’re pitching big companies you can walk in and realize that they were all just like you!

I feel like that’s why Shark Tank was really unintimidating. Somehow I had it in my brain that these guys all started somewhere, and that they can at least appreciate hard work. And they commented on that at the end. They asked how I was so laid back. I just imagined them as normal people; they started somewhere just like I did!

Did your experience of being a mother contribute to your drive to make Rags work?

I think the multi-tasking aspect of being a mom is a benefit for any woman that goes into business. Being a mom you’re always cleaning the counter, while on the phone, while you’re feeding your baby with your foot. It’s constant! It’s like that all day long.

And business is the same. You learn how to prioritize and multi-task. I actually think that’s one thing that women have an upper hand in over men. And a lot of that is because you were trained to do that as a mom.

How important is confidence in starting your own company – whatever industry you may be in?

Having confidence is crazy important, but also really hard to have. I look at anybody that says, “I want to start a business” and I always tell them now is the time.

It’s never been this accessible. It’s so easy. I mean, it’s not easy, but it’s so much more accessible than when I was 19 and sewing shirts and banking on someone to walk into a brick and mortar store and choose my shirt out of all the other brands.

But it’s hard to put yourself out there.

When I first started I was on Instagram and all my friends and family followed Rags. I would tell my husband, who was in law school at the time, that it’s so scary because if I fail, everybody sees that. You have to be so sure of yourself. If he failed the bar, nobody sees that. But for me, I felt like I needed to have so much confidence because I was literally putting myself out there for the whole world to see.

Keep your head down and always stay focused. There’s so much that you can get wrapped up with. We are constantly getting emails of people copying us. If you spend your time and energy on stuff like that, rather than focusing on the brand and what’s next, you just really plummet. That’s a huge lesson I’ve learned.

At the time you had the idea, did you ever imagine it was going to be as big as it has gotten?

No, never. I felt like it was 100% a dream. It’s so surreal. It hasn’t gotten old, still. I can’t believe it.

How has life changed since Shark Tank, other than the obvious? I mean, selling out in two minutes? That has to be surreal.

We’ve had a lot more exposure. Somehow I feel like I’m still in the Shark Tank tornado. I mean, I get recognized out in public—it’s on steroids. It’s awesome; it’s fun!

The growth of the company has been really exciting. It’s a confidence boost for me, and for the brand. Now I can approach bigger vendors and have bigger opportunities. Shark Tank is such a huge deal—it holds so much clout.

How has it changed your personal life?

Getting ready for filming Shark Tank—I was so stressed out. I don’t think people understand how crazy that is and how much time and energy goes into the show.

I told my husband I always want to keep perspective on quality of life.

It’s always my priority. So throughout this whole crazy time I’ve tried to keep a relaxed sense about everything. Because getting so wrapped up and stressed out about it does me no good.

And I value the life that I have. If I can keep my priorities straight and keep my kids and my family first, then everything else will fall into place.

I’ve also hired the coolest team. I could never do what I do without the people who work with me. We don’t have a ton, but what we do have is crazy quality people. That has been a huge game changer. I feel like if I didn’t come to work for a month that these guys could keep things going and running. I feel like that’s invaluable.

Remember what your priorities are, and remember what makes you the very most happy. What makes me the happiest is my family, and then my time. My quality of life is so important. I could never put that aside for money. If you keep your view of money in check, you’ll have a good life.

? Words to live by!

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As the saying goes, "failing to prepare is preparing to fail," and that seriously applies to parenting. With no fewer than one dozen items to wrangle before walking out the door on an ordinary errand, mamas have plenty on their mind. That is why one of the very best gifts you can give the mamas in your life this year is to reduce her mental load with some gear she can depend on when she's out and about.

Although it may be impossible to guarantee completely smooth outings with kids in tow, here are the items we rely on for making getting out of the house less of a chore.

1. Bugaboo Bee 5 stroller

This stroller is a dream come true for any mama on the go. (Meaning: All of us!) Lightweight, compact and easy to maneuver with just one hand, this is made for navigating busy sidewalks with ease—or just fitting in the trunk without a major wrestling match. It's designed for little passengers to love just as much, too, with a bassinet option for newborn riders that can be easily swapped with a comfy, reclining seat that can face forward or backward for bigger kids.


2. Bugaboo wheel board

This wheel board will let big brother or sister easily hitch a ride on the stroller if their little legs aren't quite up for a full walk. We love the smart details that went into the design, including a slightly offset position so Mom or Dad can walk without bumping their legs. And because toddlers have strong opinions of their own, it's brilliant that the wheel board allows them to sit or stand.


3. Nuby Keepeez cup strap

If you know a little one gearing up for the major leagues with a killer throwing arm, this is a must-have so parents aren't buying new sippy cups on a weekly basis. Perfect for tethering to high chairs, strollers, car seats and shopping carts, it allows Mama to feel confident she'll return home with everything she left with in the first place.


4. Bugaboo footmuff

For those mamas who live anywhere where the temps regularly dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, this ultra-soft, comfortable footmuff is a lifesaver. Made with water-repellant microfleece, it keeps little ones dry and cozy—whether there is melting snow, a good drizzle or simply a spilled sippy cup.


5. Bugaboo stroller organizer

Because we know #mombrain is no joke, we are all for products that will help us stay organized—especially when out and about. With multiple zipper pockets, a sleek design and velcro straps that help it easily convert to a handbag when stepping away from the stroller, it helps keep essentials from spare diapers to the car keys within reach.


6. Bugaboo Turtle car seat

It may be called a car seat, but we love that this one is specifically designed to securely click into a stroller frame, too. (Meaning there is no need to wake up a sleeping baby for a car-to-stroller transfer!) More reasons to love it are the lightweight design, UPF 50+ sun protection shade and Merino wool inlay, meaning it's baby and mama friendly.


7. Chicco QuickSeat hook-on chair

This hook-on baby chair will almost certainly earn a spot on your most-used list. Perfect for dining out or simply giving your baby a space to sit, it's portable and beyond easy to install. (Plus, it's a great alternative to those questionably clean high chairs at many restaurants!)


8. Bugaboo stroller cup holder

Chasing after kids when out and about can work up a thirst, just like neighborhood strolls in the chillier months can get, well, chilly. So we love that this cup holder will help mama keep something for herself to drink close at hand. Designed to accommodate bottles of all sizes and easy to click onto any compatible stroller, it's a perfect stocking stuffer.


9. Bugaboo soft wool blanket

Fair warning with this luxe stroller blanket: It's so cozy that you might want to buy another one for yourself! Made with Merino wool that helps it stand up to any elements parents might encounter during an outing, it will help baby stay warm during the winter and cool enough as the temps start to pick up.


10. Munchkin silicone placemats

Made to roll and stow in a diaper bag, these silicone placemats will make dining out a (relatively) less messy experience. With raised edges that will help contain spills and a grippy bottom, they will stay in place on tables so that parents might be able to enjoy their own meals, too.


11. Bugaboo Breezy seat liner

Designed to keep baby warm when it's cool and cool when it's warm, this seat liner will minimize fusses during all seasons—which is one of the very best gifts you can give a mama. Because accidents of all types can happen on the go, we also love that this seat liner is reversible! With a number of colors, it's also a fun way to help a stroller to stand out at the playground.


12. OXO Tot Handy stroller hook

If you ever catch yourself thinking it would be nice to have another hand, these stroller clips are the next-best solution for when you are out and about. Perfect for lugging a bag or anchoring a cup, you'll want a set for every stroller you own.


This article was sponsored by Bugaboo. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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It's so interesting how the popularity of baby names ebb and flow over time. Think about the most popular names when you were growing up—chances are, you probably don't see too many new babies being given those monikers in 2019. Khaleesi overtook Brittany in terms of popularity, for example.

But if you're noticing that names like Charlotte, Henry and Amelia seem to appear in a lot of your friends' birth announcements, you're onto something: These are three of the most popular names from 2019. has released a list of the top baby names of this year, and you may find a few of them (but not necessarily all of them!) a little surprising. 2018's biggest boy name, Atticus, dropped off the top 10 list. Also missing from this list? Sophia, the beautiful female name that has dominated on a global scale in previous years.


But some names have held their popularity: Liam, Owen, Olivia and Violet are a few of the names that trended both last year and this year.


































The top name for baby boys probably won't come as a surprise to most. It's Liam, which has been a consistent powerhouse for a few years now. It's easy to see why—Liam is one of those names that everyone just loves. With that being said, if you're hoping to avoid giving your child a very common name, you may want to cross this one off the list, along with Oliver and Theodore (these were the top three boys' names). And if you're expecting a girl, forget about Charlotte, Amelia and Violet, which took the three top spots.

"It seems there is definitely a royal influence to baby names this year," says founder and CEO, Jennifer Moss. "Both Liam and Charlotte are linked directly to the British Royal Family. Liam is a shorter version of the name William, like the Duke of Cambridge, and Charlotte is the name of his daughter."

Classic names that have always been incredibly popular are expected to become less common as well. "For 2020 and beyond we see some traditional Biblical names like David, Michael, and Luke dropping off the top 100. This is almost unprecedented," says Moss. "Those are being replaced with more unique Biblical names like Josiah, Gabriel, and Elijah."

Expect lots of nods to nature and flowers to become more popular in common years, with names like Violet, Iris, Juniper, Rose, Daisy and Dahlia gaining speed. Want to see how your child's name stacks up? Check out the full list of 2019's top baby names at


In a culture full of consumerism and competition, it can be difficult to remember to feel grateful and not stressed when preparing the "perfect" holidays for our kids. After all, we create the magic. But how often do we stop to think about what is really good in our lives? Probably not often, mama. Days are spent worrying about what we have to do next, what we haven't done yet, what we did do, but not well—especially during the holidays.

This stress can make us tense and anxious. Our bodies think we are in flight or flight and our nervous system kicks into overdrive, releasing adrenaline and cortisol to ensure we can deal with this stress. Adrenaline increases our heart rate, elevates our blood pressure and boosts our energy and cortisol, the stress hormone, increases blood sugar and enhances our brain's use of all that energy. This response is all well and good if we are really in danger, but too much for too long can weaken our immune system, affect our digestive system and weight, impair our reproductive systems, and may lead to heart problems.


This natural alarm system also communicates with the parts of our brain that control mood and motivation—a sure formula for no fun when combined with the pressure of creating the perfect holidays.

Instead of feeling burdened, what if we choose to be grateful for all we have to do? We get to shop. We get to wrap. We get to decorate.

Psychologists say that we can switch or replace one thought with another. It takes practice—like all good things do—but taking a moment to switch from I have to, to, I get to, can make all the difference.

Research at UCLA's Mindfulness Awareness Research Center found that having an attitude of gratitude can actually alter the molecular structure of our brain, making us healthier and happier. And the effects of practicing gratitude are long-lasting. In a study out of University of California, Berkeley, nearly 300 adults participated in an experiment that involved writing gratitude letters and reported significantly better mental health for up to 12 weeks after the writing exercise ended.

Need more reason to practice a little more gratitude? A study at the University of Southern California found that our brain is full of the love hormone, oxytocin, when we experience gratitude, which may account for those positive effects of being thankful has on our relationships, well-being and mental health. Bonus: The beneficial effects are likely to be amplified with more gratitude, producing a positive feedback loop that serves to create more gratitude.

Bottom line: By switching our perspective from "I have to" to "I get to," we can change our perception and affect positive changes in our lives. What a great thing to model for our littles during the holidays—and always.


As part of my training to become a Montessori teacher, there was a big emphasis on building relationships with the children. When a child walked into the classroom, we would get down on their level, shake their hand and make eye contact (if they were open to this) and say something like, "I'm so happy you're here today."

This is because Montessori focuses on the whole child, including their physical and emotional well being, and also because it is much easier for a child to succeed academically if they feel comfortable and connected in the classroom.

So amidst the busyness of life, how can we make sure we're showing our kids enough affection? How can we make sure they feel our love when we're racing around being mamas?

Try these phrases and adjust them to fit your own style and family so your precious little one doesn't get lost in the shuffle:

1. "I'm happy to see you."

When I became a mom, I said this every morning in the classroom and made it a part of my morning greeting to my children each day. It can be hard not to start the day on a grumpy note when young children wake up (SO) early, but it's important to let them know that we're happy to be here with them, taking care of them, each and every day.


2. "Let's snuggle."

Maybe you set the alarm just five minutes earlier every day and build in a little snuggle time when you wake your child up for school. Or maybe that sounds horrible and you opt for a Saturday morning weekly family snuggle party instead.

Whatever works best for your family, find a way to include regular opportunities to relax and snuggle together even as your child gets older. Some children need more physical affection than others, so make sure to follow your child's lead.

3. "I love that you are so generous."

One part of my Montessori training that really stuck with me is acknowledging "qualities of greatness." This is a strategy that can be particularly effective with a child who seeks negative attention. Catch them when they are doing something right, no matter how small it is, and make a big deal about it.

Does your child always take toys from their younger sibling, but then you catch them in the act of sharing a favorite book? Let them know that you see it. Say something like "I love seeing you be so generous with your sister! You are a really giving person."

This lets our children know that we see them as good people, and it also helps shape their perception of themselves.

You can extrapolate a quality of greatness from almost anything.

Your child put their own shoes on? "I love that you're so independent!"

They picked up their Legos without you asking? "You sure are conscientious!"

Find a way to give them a meaningful compliment and it will stick with them.

4. "Do you want to know one of my favorite things about you?"

Especially if you have more than one child, it's important to let them know that you love them for who they are, uniquely. The more specific the compliment you offer them, the more it will mean to them.

"You're a good boy" doesn't really mean much but "I love that you take good care of your things" is specific enough to matter.

5. "Come sit with me."

Sometimes affection looks like a big bear hug and kind words and sometimes it's simply a quiet moment together. Especially for young children, it's not always clear what their love language is, but quality time together is always important to our children.

It's easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself and think "quality time" has to be a special one on one date to an unforgettable place, but it can be as simple as a few cozy minutes together on the couch.

6. "Is there anything you want to chat about?"

I often ask my 3-year-old this at bedtime (well really after bedtime, when he's called me back into his room for "one last song"). He usually doesn't come up with anything in particular at this point, but it's important to me that he knows I'm there to listen.

I imagine that one day he'll surprise me with an answer that gives me a little window into his heart, but even if he doesn't, what matters is that he knows he can talk to me and that I always have time for him.

7. "You give the best hugs."

One day when I was in my Montessori classroom, a little 3-year-old girl walked up to me and randomly gave me a hug. As she walked away I heard her to say to herself, "I give the best hugs," and it brought the biggest smile to my face.

I am sure her parents tell her this all the time. There is a big difference between "Do you need a hug?" (which is also a great thing to say) and "You give the best hugs!"

Let your child know that you're hugging them not just because they want to be close to you, but because you want to be close to them, and value and treasure their affection.

8. "Did you get my note?"

I'm not entirely sure why, but one of my earliest and most clear memories from my young childhood is of receiving notes in my lunchbox at daycare from my mom. I couldn't even read yet, but it meant the world to me to have a little note from my mom in the middle of the day.

It doesn't need to be every day, but writing little love notes to your child lets them know you're thinking about them.

9. "What would you like to do together?"

Try letting your child lead the way in choosing what to do with your quality time on occasion. Even if it's only for 30 minutes, they will get the idea that you want to spend time with them doing what they want to do. Showing interest in your child's hobbies, even if you have little interest in them yourself, pays off over time because you learn so much about what your child is thinking and feeling through watching them play.

10. "I love you no matter what."

It's easy to show your child that you love them when they're being fun and adorable, but it's a bit harder when they're getting in trouble at school or yelling at you. Even, and especially, amidst the tantrums and notes from the teacher, make sure to let them know that your love for them is unconditional.

At the end of the day, you have to find a way to show your love that feels natural to you. Experiment with different types of affection and you will be able to tell what resonates the most with your child.

Maybe you're a snuggler and they're not, maybe you're not big on compliments but they crave your words of affirmation. That's okay. Just becoming a little more aware of how you show your affection will help you make sure your child is really feeling the love you send them each day.

Learn + Play

We can't lie to you—the idea of matching family holiday pajamas gets us all sorts of giddy inside. They're the perfect early holiday present for kids to wear on Christmas morning and the best excuse to wear loungewear all day long.

So snuggle up next to the fire 🔥, grab some hot chocolate ☕, and get ready to rock these comfy, cozy matching PJs this holiday season. Shop our favorite looks below!

1. Hearth & Hand with Magnolia

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Matching family PJs designed by one of our fave design couple powerhouses Chip & Joanna Gaines? Yes, please. Even the family dog can get in on the fun. Starting at $9.99.


2. Hanna Andersson Deer Collection

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Iconic brand Hanna Andersson pretty much wrote the book on matching family PJs, and we could not love them more. There are so many Insta-worthy styles to choose from, you're going to have trouble choosing just one. Plus, they're on sale right now! Prices start at $28 for kids.


3. Feliz Navidad Collection

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However you say Merry Christmas, celebrate in style with this gorgeous green set. Prices start at $8.39.


4. Sleepyheads Holiday

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Made for lounging, Sleepyheads' pajamas have the cutest polar bear designs. These would make the most adorable Christmas morning pictures! Infant pajamas start at $16.99.


5. Hanukkah

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You don't need to celebrate Christmas to get in on the matching family pajama game! We love these coordinating Hanukkah PJs to kick off the Festival of Lights. And, yes, there's a matching piece for your pup! Pieces for your little ones start at $10.49.


6. Wondershop Winter Wonderland

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Nothing adds to the magic of the holidays like mama and a little winter wonderland. How gorgeous are these colors? Prices start at $8.39.


7. Harry Potter

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Add a little extra magic to the holidays with this Harry Potter set. Mischief managed by mama, of course. Prices start at just $9.09.


8. PajamaGram Snowfall Plaid Set

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These comfy plaid snowflake-filled PJs will keep everyone nice and warm this season. The snowflake theme isn't holiday specific and can be worn all winter long! Prices start at $29.99


9. Plaid Collection

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The perfect pair for your holiday Instagram photo. Prices starting at $8.39.


10. Gray Striped Collection

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If you're not into the holiday colors, or want sets that work outside of the season, we love this minimalist gray striped set. Perfect for cozy days all year long. Prices start at $8.39, mama.


11. Jammies for Your Families

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How fun are these festive fairisle prints? There's something everyone in your family will love. Prices start at $19.99.


12. Hanna Andersson Stripes Collection

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For a classic look, these stripes would be adorable on any family. And, we can't resist that elf hat for your littlest family members. Prices start at $20.

13. Burt's Bees Baby Family Jammies

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Made of 100% organic cotton, you won't believe how soft these jammies are. Plus, they're breathable so if you're the type of overheat at night, these are a great option. Prices start at $16.95.


14. SleepytimePjs Fleece Deer Plaid

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You can never go wrong with buffalo plaid and this set doesn't disappoint. The baseball tees offer a more modern look and the deer head is such an adorable touch. Prices start at $6.99.


15. Frozen Pajamas Collection

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If you prefer to have a little Disney on your Christmas morning, we love the classic look of these pajamas. The cold won't bother anyone in this set. Prices start at $9.09.


16. Red Buffalo Check Collection

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There's nothing more classic than buffalo check during the holidays. This one even has nightgowns available! Prices start at $8.39.


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