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Mum and Dad

Dear family: Please give us these 5 great Christmas gifts instead of more junk


Whitney Barthel

posted in Parenting

As my family is still swimming in gifts of birthdays and Christmases past, I am seriously dreading this coming holiday season. With four boys pretty darn close in age, it’s been a trend to get four of everything for a while. And while I totally get the mentality behind this, it actually created a disaster. Because even if my boys have four identical toys, they will still fight over just one of them.

Not only that, it led to an overwhelming amount of stuff. So grandparents, pay attention here. We love you so, so much. And, we are eternally grateful for all the thoughtful gifts of holidays past. You have not once failed to fill our hearts — and our homes. Seriously. Enough with the gifts, our house is full.

overflow gifts
A quick glimpse of the “kiddie corner” in our basement before moving.

And, I know I am not the only mom feeling this way. So please, family, friends, and neighbors, listen to us when we say “our kids need nothing.” But, if you do insist on getting my boys something, please try your hardest to follow these suggestions.

1. No toys. No exceptions. I promise, it doesn’t matter how many times Frankie says you will be his favorite aunt if you get him the “new and improved” version of the Batman toy he got last year, in a week he probably won’t even remember where it even came from.

Christmas gifts

If you want to get something for my boys that they will remember, get them something they will use all the time. For example, my mother-in-law decided to let my boys pick out new bedding for their beds this year. The boys had the best time picking which ones they wanted online…and they will think of her every time they snuggle in for bed.

2. Clothes are actually great gifts, even for boys. My boys love getting new clothes, especially if they are in their favorite color or with a much-loved character. And, I’m not going to lie, I love it too. It takes away a little bit of the stress of spending loads of money on kiddie attire.

Pajamas as gifts
The boys thought their matching Christmas jammies for the cabin were the best thing ever.

3. Get a joint present for the whole family. Again, my mother-in-law is a gifting genius. Realizing how much the boys and I (not so much Ryan) love popcorn, she made sure to order our family a big, movie-style popcorn maker. I can’t wait to see the boys’ faces when they open it!

4. Gift an experience instead of stuff. I don’t know about anyone else’s kids, but my kids love getting out and doing things without Mom or Dad. Some of their favorite memories are things like going to get ice cream with Grandpa. So how about gifting a trip to the movies or zoo?

5. There is always money. I know this isn’t necessarily a fun gift and the instant gratification certainly isn’t there. But I wish I’d graduated from high school with the balance my boys have in their accounts now. And it has been really fun teaching the boys about money and the value of hard work through chores and allowance.

Money for gifts

They actually love going to the bank to deposit “their money.” So this gift certainly doesn’t go unnoticed by them.

What is the best non-stuff gift your kids have ever gotten? What would you like to see your kids get this holiday season?

Images by Whitney Barthel

The post Dear family: Please give us these 5 great Christmas gifts instead of more junk appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.

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