As a single mom, I often find that the gifts under the tree are very practical. It’s just a fact of life. Money is tight and so is space. I find practical gifts to be a great way to celebrate a holiday without finding yourself with a heap of “stuff” that has no home. But for the first few years, this really bothered me. I worried that my kids wouldn’t have any fun. In the end, I’ve come to really appreciate the practical gift. Why?
Chances are, if it’s practical:
- It will last longer
- There will always be room for it
- I won’t find myself regretting the purchase
- It’s worth what I paid for it
But practical gifts can be a bit of a challenge, especially for the kid that is used to getting a heap of super cool toys every year. So how do I make that work? Of course, there is lots of time spent in my house on training my children to love and appreciate all of what they have. As Christmas approaches, I don’t encourage them to drool over catalogs of stuff they will never have. Instead, I encourage them to think of ways to give to others.
But I also think that there is a lot to say for making those needed gifts as super cool as possible. Don’t you? I mean who wants to have a boring box of socks?
So, we must think outside of the box.
This probably seems like a gift that no kid would love, but it’s so not true! In fact, my kids have been begging for one. Since I have two kids in braces, this is a very necessary purchase for us this year. I want to make sure that they don’t end up with cavities. Not sure it helps? Every time I go to the dentist he reminds me how wonderful this tool is. I’ve been using a Sonicare toothbrush for over 10 years. At age 36, I still have only had one cavity…EVER. And even that was only a filling on a crevice and not as a result of decay.
If an electric toothbrush isn’t in your budget or needs list, try a “create your own” spinbrush. I did this two years ago and the kids thought it was the best thing EVER.
Other hygiene ideas—>
Band-aids go in every stocking. Always. They have come to expect this and can’t wait to see what cool band-aids I found for them this year.
Of course, bath and hair kits are another excellent idea. When I was a kid, my mom used to load up our stockings with smelly shampoo, new brushes, and hair accessories. We loved getting those…even into our teens! You could easily go to Wal-mart and load up a little plastic bin with this stuff. Any girl would be in LOVE!
Ok, so most people immediately think clothing is a boring gift. But it doesn’t have to be! You can make it super fun with a little bit of thought. For example, instead of just buying pajamas (which are much needed) find super fun ones like these Superman jammies with a cape. I mean seriously, every boy’s dream gift!
In addition to new pajamas, my kids get new accessories every year. You know, those hats, mitten, scarves that always seem to get lost or somehow get holes eaten into them. Accessories are really fun. Get creative!
And of course there are socks and undies. You know these are tons of fun! I would encourage you to stock up on these when you do your Black Friday shopping if you so dare. There are always great deals that day on these novelty items!
It is crucial to me that my children understand that education is a gift. I want them to LOVE learning and all that comes with it.
A few of my favorite ideas for this year:
See the Light Art set. This is their MOST POPULAR SET! - The Gift of Love DELUXE GIFT SET Includes: The Gift of Love DVD (143 mins), a pocket Size – 6 inch See the Light Black Light (batteries included), eXtreme Colored Pencils, and Fluorescent Chalk.With this set your family can enjoy the “POP” from the black light in all three of the drawing lessons! Over 143 minutes of Christmas Content! ($25.00 + FREE SHIPPING – savings of 33 1/3 % !) Use Coupon Code: NOVEMBER
Horse Diaries. Seriously, books are the most requested item around here. Both from mom and kids. This year I found some new horse books. These are wonderful. They focus on a breed of horse and discuss the historical origin of that breed. This is a win win for this mom.
Find an excellent book series and get your child started on it. This creates excitement for practical gifts and a LOVE for reading.
This probably seems silly, but we love food. It’s a rare day in my house that the kids get much junk food. So I take advantage of Christmas time to indulge a little. Mostly- because it’s a cheap option. Oh I it takes up no space. Once you eat it, it’s gone!
What are your favorite practical ideas? Share them with us!