The grandparents are chomping at the bit to shower our daughter with gifts this Christmas. I just found out that my mother-in-law has purchased a motorized jeep for our daughter that will have to be stored at their house. We just don’t have the space to store it and our city street isn’t a great place for such a toy.
It can be tough to keep the influx of new toys to a minimum. To help all of the parents with children, I’d like to revisit last year’s post about gift giving to youngsters.
Consumables: Last year’s Children’s Museum membership was a great gift for my daughter. A zoo membership can also be a great gift and whomever purchases it can have something to do with the little ones while they enjoy the gift together. If you don’t live in an area with a similar attraction, you may want to plan a trip to a destination and present your child with a “ticket” to be redeemed at a later date for the journey.
Sleep over tickets at the grandparents: This is a gift that will surely be enjoyed by the parents and grandparents, as much as the children. It costs nothing and it lets grandparents spend more time with your grandchild (be sure that grandparents are on board with this idea first, of course). Grandparents also can create some tickets for their grandchild to redeem when sleeping over at their house (cookie making, hiking, etc.). The number of tickets you give is entirely up to you. If your parents don’t live close to you, this is obviously not an option unless you purchase plane tickets instead — which isn’t a bad idea, either, as there are some great ticket prices to be found right now.
Lessons: If your child is old enough that they are showing interest in dancing, drawing, or any other activity, consider paying for these lessons as a gift. Do some research for the area in which you live and check into purchasing lessons for the little one.
Already own gifts: Reader C.D. suggests that if your children are already adults, consider giving them something you currently own. Think of it like an early inheritance. Share with your child the story behind the object, why it has been important to you, and why you want them to have it.
And finally, a reminder. This is a perfect time to take stock of all the toys your children have. There is undoubtedly a slew of toys that they no longer play with or have outgrown. Gather them up and donate them to a local homeless or battered women’s shelter (be sure to call first to see if they have a need for lightly used toys). Let your children participate in giving the toys to the charity so that they can see first hand how they’re helping others.
Let us know of even more suggestions in the comments.