I wrote a little last week about our plans for Christmas gifts this year. I wanted to share some unique gift ideas that might help friends and family get off the toy aisles this holiday season.
In the past my kids have really enjoyed:
*Cash. I know cash and gift cards aren't always a popular choice but my kids are at the age that they really enjoy cash. They don't get money on a regular basis and so a little money they can spend on their own makes them feel very grown up and responsible. Cash also offers some exciting teaching moments. We're able to discuss giving, saving, and deal hunting with them when they have their own money. While we ultimately let them make the decision about what to use their money for it is great to have those teachable moments.
*Gift cards. This deserves a special recognition because there are so many choices. My kids LOVE gift cards to their favorite eateries. They know they will get to go and enjoy their favorite meals as a special treat when they have a gift card. They also enjoy gift cards to favorite stores because it is like having cash. Think outside the box- favorite restaurants, book stores, clothing stores, online retailers, cards to buy digital content like music and apps. The choices are plentiful and many can be ordered online and save you some time standing in line! Also look for special deals this time of year. Many places offer bonuses when you buy gift cards in multiples.
*Household items. My daughter got a sewing machine last year. Both kids have received new bedding, lamps, etc over the years. Kids who enjoy cooking will enjoy kitchen items, aprons, etc. Boys (and girls) may like their own tools.
*Sporting Goods. Even though their sports season may not be happening in December they will still enjoy sports related gear. Last year Speedy received a pitchback net for baseball and he's gotten lots of use out of it.
*Tickets to special events. A concert, play, museum entry, etc go a long way for the older elementary set. It doesn't have to be something huge either. Movie passes are a special treat for kids like ours that don't go to the theater often.
*Paying for a sport, camp, or class. Apple was gifted a semester of choir one holiday. She was thrilled! This year she has a special camp picked out and it's pricey. I know she'd be thrilled to receive that as a gift.
*DVDs. We don't have cable and dvds are exciting business in the Carter house.
*Books. No need to explain this one. Just make sure they are age and reading level appropriate.
*Special interest items. Craft gear, science tools, etc. These are biggies especially for home school families. My kids often ask for high end items like microscopes and telescopes. They haven't received them yet but that hasn't lessened their interest.
*Clothing. While socks and undies may not elicit a smile, older kids often have their eye on a special brand or type of clothing that they'd like to have. Apple still loves extravagant dresses. Speedy enjoys the special brands of sporty clothing. Both kids dig new shoes and boots. Don't forget items like accessories- hats, belts, jewelry, etc.
If you are buying for kids this year, think outside the toy aisle. Consider other possibilities. Not only will you bypass the craziest section of the store, you can find some terrific deals and make a short person super happy!
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