Gifts. Presents. Goodies. Loot.
Sadly, these can all be called by another word:
I have very generous family. I’m blessed, I know. But with 3 kids, they are a bit overly generous. Especially in the gift department.
I’m not saying DH and I are innocent. We love us some sales/clearance/deals. But we’re pretty good at keeping it to what our kids want, not just buying for the sake of a deal.
Anyway, I started thinking about ‘clutter free gifts’ for families to give to kids. Gifts that I wouldn’t necessarily think to/be able to purchase myself. Some can even be a “family gift”. Here’s what I have, please add to it in the comment section below! (I’m saving my favorite idea for last, one that ties it all together, so keep reading for that!)
*Note – some do include something to “open”, since that’s the #1 complaint I get when I suggest any of these ideas!
The Gift of Experience
– tickets to a sports game (or a few scattered throughout the season) – add a shirt/baseball cap/magnet of the team
– tickets to the philharmonic/music group (yes, even – especially? – for kids!) – pair with a CD of them, or a pretty dress/fun tie to wear
– tickets/season pass for a museum – science, kids, art – most of these will have shirts/magnets/water bottles
– cooking lessons – ask around; I found a supermarket in town that does cooking lessons! Pair with an apron or some cooking ingredients.
– craft lessons – craft stores are offering 1 time classes for kids. Add in some appropriate craft supplies.
– music/dance lessons – a bit more long term, but if Junior’s been wanting to learn piano or Susie’s dying to try tap dancing, take advantage!
– magazine subscriptions! OK, maybe not an ‘experience’ per say, but check out Amazon for some neat kids magazines!
The Gift of Giving
– new books for the child to donate to the library
– new DVDs to donate to a local children’s hospital
– their favorite cereal/soup for them to donate to the food pantry
– kitty litter/blankets/pet toys to donate to the animal shelter
If you absolutely positively MUST provide “openable” gifts, here are some ideas of things to suggest:
– if your kids are already taking lessons, how some help with the extras? Get some tights or tutus for dancers, leotards for gymnasts, soccer socks for the athletes, the next book for music lessons.
– craft kits – a kit that allows the kiddo to create something is wonderful!They can learn to knit a scarf, paint some sun-catchers, make their soap.
– craft supplies – good sturdy paper, nice watercolors, fresh crayons, new paintbrushes…
– puzzles!! Add in one of those roll up mats, too.
OK, now here’s my favorite part that I’m going to hopefully try this year:
The Gift Of Your TIME
These are some pretty decent ideas to start, but what’s really missing is YOU (or the giver). So here’s what I propose: Have the giver include a calendar with the gift. In it, have January and February marked with dates with YOU. Put in that hockey game or concert. Add an afternoon doing a craft kit. Call ahead and schedule a time to drop things off at the shelter. Add in a “You Pick Dinner” day and a “Game Night”. And most important, around mid February add “Plan out March and April”.
Because really, they can have all the games, crafts, toys, music, and experiences in the world… but you know that spending 1 hour playing Sorry, or reading their magazine, or cooking dinner, or knitting that scarf will stay with them the longest.
So, what about you? What suggestions do YOU have?