In our seventh installment of Unclutterer’s 2009 Holiday Gift Giving Guide we’re discussing gifts for children.
I’m coming to find that creating a Guide for kids is more difficult than expected. The things we want for our son now are very different than the things he’ll want when he can pen his own letter to Santa Claus. My husband and I want practical things for him that will help us cover the expenses of raising a child — diapers, a new crib, and baby gates. By the time he’s in elementary school, however, I’m sure that he’ll want toys, gadgets, and even more toys! I can’t even fathom what will be on his list when he’s in high school.
So, instead of breaking it down by age, I’m just going to give an over-arching theme and one or two examples that might work with the category. Parents with jr. high and high school children should feel more than welcome to add ideas to the comments section as I feel that I’m not doing this age group much justice in my themes.
- Experiences. We’ve written about these types of gifts in the past, but they’re certainly worth mentioning again. Zoo memberships, movie passes, event tickets, etc., are great gifts for the giver and receiver to both enjoy. If Aunt Jane buys a pool pass for little Billy, then the two of them can swim together on summer afternoons — or go to the zoo together or see movies or whatever the experience.
- Gifts with storage solutions. I’ve become a big fan of gifts that come with storage or gifts that are storage. Toy bins with a new toy, video game storage console with a new game, a puzzle rack with a new puzzle, or a block set with a block box, like the one below, are examples that would work for younger kids.
- Vacations. Technically, this is a subset of Experiences, but I thought it warranted its own line item. Growing up, I took a vacation each summer with my grandmother. I’ll never forget riding the train with her across the country or going on road trips to crazy roadside attractions. My cousins also have fond memories of flying to see her and spending two weeks playing on the farm without their parents. Showing children the world can be a rewarding experience for everyone.
- What the child wants. Sneaking a peak at a child’s letter to Santa Claus before it is sent in the mail can be a good way to learn what a child plans to play with in the next few months. It’s not clutter if the object is used and loved.
- Hints from mom and dad. If parents have created wishlists for their children (especially new parents with young children), it’s extremely kind to buy from that list. Great thought and care usually go into creating these lists, and buying from them can help the parents to provide for their child. It’s not very creative, but it is incredibly generous. If mom and dad are running on such little sleep that they can’t find the energy to create a list, pick up the phone and ask.
Please add your ideas to the comments. Also, don’t forget to check out our Unclutterer’s 2009 Holiday Gift Giving Guide Index Page for a listing of all the articles as we publish them.