Practical Christmas Presents - Baby Steps in High Heels

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Practical Christmas Presents

My friend Jolie over at The Gray Matters recently posted a list of Perfect Preschool Presents that I really love. If you know me personally or followed any of my posts in the past, you know that Husband falls a tad into the ‘neat freak’ camp. He likes clean lines, organized everything, and absolutely no excess of stuff. 

This can be a struggle to balance with the love my kids have gift-receiving along with the love their grandparents have for gift-giving

Add to that the fact that we have a birthday in November followed by Christmas in December, and I can almost see Husband’s anxiety building right in front of my eyes as he envisions all of the new things he will have to find room for in our home.

On occasion, we have tried to save extra gifts to donate, but Miss Mighty tearfully pointed out earlier this year, “But that was MY present, Mommy. They gave it to ME.”

While I think she is old enough to understand the concept of giving to others, I’m not sure she’s quite ready to give from her own wealth. That’s one we’re working on.

In the meantime, I love rethinking the types of gifts we give, both to her and to our son.

Based on the list from The Gray Matters, I’m making a list of Practical Christmas Presents from my own perspective.

  1. Clothes. This one may not work for everyone, but Miss Mighty is a girly girl right down to her core. She would be as thrilled to receive a dress as a toy, and I bet there are a lot of kids out there with their own clothing quirks. Hone in on what that is, and indulge them!
  2. Stuff to do. We live in a great little town right between two cities, and we love getting out of the house. Memberships or season passes to the water park, zoo, or museum would be great. Tickets to plays, which my little drama queen loves to attend, are also a big hit. Even just a spa day for her to have her fingers and toes painted is always so special. In fact, my mom does this every year for my daughter before her birthday. It’s becoming a little tradition, which is even more special.  
  3. Art Supplies. Some to share and some that each kid can call their own. As The Boy gets older, he wants more and more to play right along with his sister. I think it’s a great opportunity for them to do something together, but it can also be difficult to both color in the same book. Stickers and crayons are great for sharing and learning to take turns. A box for each kid to keep their own special note pads and/or a portfolio to house completed projects would be great individual gifts.
  4. Jewelry. This is another one for my girly girl, but I love the idea. A friend told me that her grandparents got her jewelry every year from an early age, so she had a nice collection by the time she was an adult. It doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy. We’ve started this a bit with some James Avery charms, and I also think it is also easy to do with birthstone items.
  5. Stuff for summer. Bathing suits, beach towels, sand/pool toys. How much fun would it be to get a little basket of sunshine in the middle of the cold weather? This gives kids something fun to look forward to, and it's a great way to give the child with a winter birthday a gift to go back to in the middle of the year. 
  6. Movies, books, and games. These blend practical with fun. New movies always seem to be released around the holidays; and, can anyone really ever have enough books?! Games – board games, games for the leap pad, or even outside games are all great ideas,      too.
Of course, I still have an Amazon Wish List for both kids, and the lists are full of …. stuff. I make these lists to give ideas of what my kids are into at the moment, and it’s a great way to keep an organized eye on prices and when things go on sale.  

All that said, I do think sometimes kids need to receive a just-for-fun toy, and sometimes gift givers want to give exactly that – something that will put an instant smile on a child’s face. After all, the spirit of Christmas is in the joy of giving, and I firmly believe that the basis for that later in life is to experience the joy of receiving in the early years. 

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