Gift-giving season can be overwhelming for parents. Just like Santa, you’ve probably got your own list, and you’re checking it twice. Buying gifts for children can be so fun and exciting, especially when they’re young. But after the holiday is over, many of those toys and trinkets sit on shelves unopened or ignored for months. If your children are inundated with presents, you might want to consider alternative gift options. Here are some ways you can still celebrate Christmas, without the gift-frenzy chaos.
The consumerism of the season is difficult to ignore. “Black Friday” deals started weeks before Thanksgiving and trickled all the way to Cyber Monday as more people are purchasing gifts online versus shopping in stores. Commercials and mail advertisements are being geared more toward children, with flashy ads and fancy catalogs marketed toward young children. Some parents do “12 Days of Christmas” with special gifts leading up to the holiday, or an exciting Christmas Eve box filled with goodies for the kids to enjoy as they wait for Santa. This can all be fun and a wonderful way to commemorate the holiday, but some parents must be ready to skip the hassle. Sometimes the best gift you can give your children is quality time through meaningful experiences together.
Here are some simple ideas for focusing less on gifts this year.
- Focus on family activities. Christmas season is a wonderful time to spend extra moments together as a family. The activity possibilities are endless. You can decorate gingerbread houses, drive around looking at Christmas lights, go cut down your own Christmas tree, create a fun lights display on your home, bake cookies, watch Christmas movies together, or go on a sightseeing walk to look at neighborhood decor.
- Spend time giving back. Help your kids sift through old toys to donate. Go on a shopping spree with your children to buy toys for a local charity or “adopt” a local family to provide gifts for. Help an elderly neighbor decorate her house. Bake cookies for the local fire department. Order coffee for your kids’ teachers. Donate old books to the library. Pick up trash at a local park. Prepare a meal together for a family with a new baby. There are so many ways to help the community, and teaching your kids to give to others can be even more fulfilling to them than a giant pile of presents under the tree. Your children will likely receive lots of gifts from friends and family members, but focusing on the giving aspect rather than receiving can make a big impact on young children. Teach your kids that even small acts of kindness go a long way this season!
- Focus on homemade versus store bought gifts. Handmade gifts are truly from the heart and can be cherished for years to come. It’s easy to make ornaments for one another, especially with the KeaBabies Handprint Footprint Keepsake Ornament Kit. This kit comes with everything you need to create 2 beautiful keepsake ornaments using your little one’s hand or foot. It comes with stamps, paint, and ribbon, so your child can customize it to fit his unique style. These ornaments take a few days to dry, so be sure to start this project well before Christmas! Other ideas for homemade gifts include bracelets or necklaces, baked goods, poems, scrapbooks, paintings, or cards.
- Enjoy holiday movies. There are so many wonderful Christmas movies the whole family can enjoy. Make a new tradition – take turns picking one movie every night leading up to Christmas and watch as a family! Pop some popcorn, grab some cozy blankets, maybe let your kids pick a few new pairs of pajamas, and you’ll have everything you need for a fun time with your little ones!
- Pick a Secret Santa. Doing a Secret Santa gift exchange can be fun while lightening the present load. Have each family member pick a name out of a bowl, and come up with a great gift idea for just that person (small children may need help with this one). Buying one person a few really meaningful gifts can be worth so much more than a ton of cheap presents under the tree. You can make “Secret Santa” a week long activity, and spend the week doing nice things for the person you chose, such as making their bed, putting away some laundry, making them a snack, or decorating a Christmas card. At the end of the week, everyone can reveal who they picked!
Christmas doesn’t have to be all about gift-giving. There are so many ways to enjoy this holiday season, without worrying about buying your kids a ton of presents. Spend some time making new traditions and creating lasting memories with your families.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Kaitlyn Torrez
I’m Kaitlyn Torrez, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live with my husband and two children, Roman and Logan. I’m a former preschool teacher, currently enjoying being a stay at home mom. I love all things writing, coffee, and chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and working out.
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