I can’t even believe that I am about to write my first Christmas post. Seriously it’s the last day of September and I am in full on Christmas mode in my mind. I usually start my shopping in the summer because I like to have it done before the holidays get really busy. Also, Porter’s birthday is in the beginning of the month and we host a Christmas Cookie Party and also Christmas Dinner so there are plenty of other things to focus on.
As I was making my list this year I really started to think about gifts that I was buying for the kids in my life. I mean we try very hard to buy minimally at Christmas because our kids have so much and it is total over load for them. I am intentional about what I tell family and friends to buy for them too as I want to make sure that it is appreciated and used. I try to return the favor for the families I buy for and make sure its things they want or need.
Over the past several years I have listened to many friends talk about wanting family gifts for Christmas or even sports and memberships for their kids. The truth is there are a lot of options beyond traditional toys and your family will probably appreciate them more. Here are my top picks for non-toy gifts for this holiday season…
Sports… As the mom of three boys I am here to tell you that sports are expensive. There is the initial cost of participating and then the major cost is in the equipment. The first year is typically the most expensive and where a family would love a little support. Especially if they have older kids who may want a specific kind of bat or helmet that may be over their budget. Paying the entry fees would always be appreciated but if you want to give them an actual gift on Christmas day think about things like equipment and uniforms that they can open and enjoy.
Memberships… Going to the Zoo or the Aquarium regularly is so much fun! Having a membership allows you to pop in and out and not feel like you have to spend the whole day there to get your money’s worth. Most memberships you only have to go once or twice to make them worth it. Places like the Children’s Museum and Jump Park and Global Wildlife all offer memberships.
Movie or Ice Cream Gift Certificates… My kids love to go to the movies and out for sweets. The movies have become an outing that they enjoy one on one with us. Gift cards to go out to the movies and have dinner, like at the movie tavern, would be an excellent choice. Also, ice cream nights or restaurant gift certificates so the family can go and do something all together. Bonus if you throw in a few extra dollars so mom and dad can get wine.
Subscription Boxes… This is actually something I am doing for a few kids in my life. All I did was a quick google search and I was amazed at the amount of subscription boxes are available. Anything from tshirt of the month to socks to art and science projects. You can order them for one month or six or twelve and then set them up to be delivered starting after Christmas. A gift like this will also keep the excitement going long past December.
Classes and Camps… Art and Music are such a popular thing for kids to get involved in currently. Many of the private art and music schools in our area offer weekly classes but also camps over holidays and in the summer. If you have a budding musician or artist in your family this may be right up their ally.
Meals… Do you have a family in your life that loves to cook? Think about a meal delivery service that the whole family can participate in. Services like Hello Fresh and Blue Apron have great plans that will allow a family to involve everyone to prepare a meal.
Tickets… Ballet, symphony, theater, sports, concert, festivals… The list is endless! We love doing things as a family and having nights out and this would be the perfect gift for the adventurous family in you life.
New Room… Think about a way that you could buy gifts that will help build or decorate a new room for a niece or nephew. Blankets and sheets and comforters or even wall art. This could be an opportunity to work out a surprise with their parents or take them shopping and use it as a bonding experience.
Family Basket… These could be fun to build and be as complicated or as easy as you want them to be. Movie Night with a DVD or gift certificate to red box and popcorn, candy and trimmings. The list would be endless when you identify what the family is into. Baking. Camping. Grilling. Fishing. I can go on and on.
Photography… Family pictures is something that almost everyone treasures but sometimes forgets to get on the calendar. Pay for them to have their next family session or mini session for Christmas. This would be a great pre Christmas gift as so many photographers are having their mini sessions this next month. Like my photographer Melissa Breedlove!
Christmas doesn’t have to be all about the toys this year so reach out to the people on your list and see if they would rather a family gift and minimize the amount of toys rolling in the house.