I don't know about you, but I used to spend hours looking at and making circles in the JCPenney Christmas catalog that would arrive in our mailbox. LOVED IT! My oldest has inherited my love of catalogs and has some of his best moments with his pen and Oriental Trading Company.
But, in our house, we strive to keep toy gluttony to the minimum, so Christmas wish lists have never even been written. I know, I know, lynch me now. Be prewarned that my kids also know there is no Santa, so if yours are listening for reindeer hooves, you might keep them away from mine. :)
As an alternative to the toy laden aisles of retailers everywhere, we've brainstormed for some gift suggestions to offer our families and for us to give to our loved ones. I'll make a deal with you.....I share mine with you and you share your ideas with the rest of us. I think it's safe to say, we're ALL looking for something creative!
- Lessons! Last year our boys were gifted gymnastics lessons for the spring. It didn't fit in our budget, but we thought they would like it, so we asked for it. Turns out the kids loved it, learned alot and the givers got a kick out of coming to a class to see their gift in action! What does your kid like to do?
- Letter of the Month Club--our families are far away and the kids get so excited to get mail from their grandparents. So, I've suggested that they be given a certificate for the Letter of the Month Club and that a small gift cards, stickers, packs of gum, coloring pages, etc. be stashed in each letter from the grandparents.
- Money for Book Orders. Our oldest is in school and gets the Scholastic Book Order Form each month. I've already mentioned his love of catalogs, so you can imagine the glee. So, I thought he'd love to receive a stack of envelopes labeled for each month remaining in the school year with a small amount to buy a book ($5 or so).
- If your families are close, ask for a calendar with an experience for each month. Simple things to build memories....visit to the snow cone stand, afternoon picnic, trip to the donut shop, sleepover, cookie baking, garden planting...this could be a fun gift from grandparents or aunts and uncles!
- Outside toys. Balls to bounce, bikes to ride, sprinkler for the summer, sled for the winter (not in texas of course), sandbox with digging tools, etc.
- Disposable camera with money to develop the pictures. The best scenario for this would also be the gift giver helping the child learn to take pictures of a variety of things other than a roll of half of everyone's heads.
- A game. An actual board game, remember those? I asked for Perfection and Sequence for Kids
- Magazine subscription--Animal Baby, My Big Backyard, Highlights, etc.
- Nuts. Yes, nuts. My mom always included red pistachios in our stocking. I'm not sure where she got them because I've looked for the past few years and have yet to see them. I'm sure the red dye was toxic and is not made anymore.....explains alot. So, now I give my kids pistachios too and they love them!
- A bottle of soda. Some of you know we're water nazis, so for them to have their very own soda, was a big deal last year. In fact, short stuff's was in most of his pictures. Cracker Barrel has all kinds of fun flavors you can buy by the bottle.
- Socks. They're like spoons in our house.....never around. So, pick up some fun socks and throw them in the mix.
- Bath Stuff. All the discount stores have lots of choices, but I was in Bath and Body Works the other day and they had some YUMMY smelling kid stuff too.
- Chapstick/Lip Gloss. Every year my mom would include a Bonnie Bell Chapstick Candy Cane and I LOVED IT. To this day, I'm a Bonnie Bell girl.
- A CD or DVD--does your kid listen to music going to bed or is there a series they can't see on TV?
- A book, coloring book, activity book for school
- Personalized something....pencils, cup, anything else small to be personalized
- Does your child collect something....action figure, littlest pet shop, hot wheels, etc.
Okay, remember our deal. I share my ideas with you and you share your ideas with us. That means comment and tell us what you've done, heard about, plan to do, or dreamed up! Can't wait to get some super gift giving ideas from you!