He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. ~Roy L. Smith
Many parents and other relatives are considering alternative gift ideas for the 2007 holidays because of the recent mass toy recalls suffered this fall. Many families are looking at the possibility that they may be offered a chance to look “outside the box” at the whole gift-giving scene. There are many good alternative gift ideas that they can look at. Here are listed some great kid-friendly choices for alternatives you may explore.
One kid pleaser is the idea that they can receive a gift certificate to someplace fun, like camp or ice-skating lessons paid for by a favorite aunt or uncle.
The Gift of Time:
Sometimes the best gift of all is the gift of time. Make a thoughtful collection of items that represent activities that you and your child can do together during the next year and wrap these items up and tell your child that this year they are going to receive a gift of time; time spent with their mom or dad. An example would be that a small child’s baseball would represent one baseball outing with dad, a package of marshmallows would represent the opportunity for a whole weekend camping at a favorite campsite, and a peanut would represent one afternoon spent at the circus as a family. Make sure you follow-up and actually do these activities with your child.
Make a coupon book that contains fun family activities. Each coupon would be one activity. One might be for a family taffy pull, another may be a night of camping out in the family living room on sleeping bags where you all tell ghost stories and play games, eat snacks and tell jokes. Another coupon could be for baking chocolate chip cookies together or visiting a nursing home in the area and singing Christmas carols. Think of activities that the kids would like, for example hiking on a local wildlife trail, going to the zoo, making and flying a kite, or visiting a chocolate factory. You can create and print the coupons on your computer.
Consider making a craft together. You can purchase all of the materials and print or copy the instructions for the craft or hobby project and put everything into a box, wrapped in their favorite colored paper. Tell them that this is something the two of you can do together. Girls especially love learning how to sew, embroider, knit or crochet and how fun that they can do this with you. Think of something that you are good at (model airplanes, mosaic tiles, pottery, etc.) and make it a gift of time spent together creating something fun together.
Buy or make one of those cookies in a jar items and wrap the jar up as a present. Make sure that the treat is the child’s favorite. Toss in some envelopes of hot cocoa and a bag of marshmallows and you have a terrific gift.
More Alternative Gift Ideas:
- Books centered on the child’s favorite subject
- Accessories for your child’s favorite sport
- Costumes for dress up/playtime for the little kids (can be purchased cheaply right after Halloween)
- A large box filled with craft odds and ends including: assorted ribbons, bows, pipe cleaners, buttons, pom poms, stickers, fabric swatches, shiny paper, construction paper, tissue paper, etc.
- Give the gift of music in the form of an instrument, tickets to a concert, CDs, or a book about Jazz or the Blues etc.
- Science experiment kits or a book about science experiments
These alternative gift ideas are great to give for any gift giving occasion – birthday, thank you, and holiday or whenever you want to brighten a child’s day. Have fun thinking “outside the box” when it comes to gift giving.