Sunday, December 11, 2011

Keeping Christmas From Turning Into Crapmas

We are only a couple of weeks from a magical time of year. A time where people are a little nicer, when the weather is little colder, and when daddy is a little poorer. Every year we always say "Let's not waste any money this year." and "Let's make sure we only buy what we need." But somehow we always end up about $500 lighter and a house filled with plastic crap that will soon be making it's way to the back of the closet. But things are going to be a bit different this year...we have a plan. Here is how we are approaching holiday shopping this year:
  1. Give Them Something They Want. Fine. I get it. They really want that new transforming robot unicorn that shoots play dough out of his horn when you squeeze it's tail. They have only been telling me about it every time that commercial comes on tv. Yes. I know that it is going to break 10 minutes after they open it. Yes. I know that I will spend an hour trying to find that one random microscopic accessorie that came with it. Yes. I know that they will forget about it in a week and start playing with the left over wrapping paper tubes. But I love them—and if it makes them happy—then I am good with it. 
  2. Give Them Something They Need. Sometimes the best things are things they can't even think of even if you ask them. Start thinking about what it is you have noticed that they need (education games or drawing supplies) or maybe something you think they need to help them start a new hobby or area of interest (sports equipment or musical instruments). It might not be the big winner on Christmas Eve, but in the long run, I can bet you dollars to donuts (I believe that with the weak economy the conversion rate is 2 dollars to every donut) that this will get more use than the toy they wanted. 
  3. Give Them Something to Wear. Kids never get excited about clothes. Tough. You can't have your little ones walking around looking like extras from Oliver Twist. So get your kids some cool gear (perhaps something from the StuntDad Stuff store – coming January 2012).
  4. Give Them Something to Read. Reading is fundamental and can actually be kind of fun. Depending on the age, a book is a great gift that can start a lifetime of entertainment. For toddlers, start thinking about specific areas of development that you are interesteed in having them build upon. For 5-8 year olds, I highly recommend starting a series like Captain Underpants. And for 8 an above, start looking into chapter books like Sisters Grimm Fairy Tale Detectives or Alex Ryder Spy Series. 
  5. Give Them Something to Experience. Some of the best gifts in this world never come in a box. There are so many better things to spend your money on than "stuff".  Think about things that you would like for them to experience, such as a trip to the circus, a day at the museum, or maybe even a trip to an indoor waterpark. While these might not be traditional "gifts", these are the type of things that your child will remember later on in life. 
  6. Give Them Something to Provide Perspective.  It easy to get caught up in the "I want" mindset this time of year, but I think it is important that children understand that not everybody is that lucky. Some folks are struggling out there and could use a little help. I think it would be a great idea to have your kids participate in a Toys for Tots program or maybe go to a local shelter and pass out something small to all of the kids (Matchbox cars are only $1 and you can get dolls from the Dollar Store). Or maybe even just scheduling time after Christmas to sit the kids down and explain to them that some kids don't have toys and that we need to go through ours and find toys that we don't play with anymore that we can give to those kids. 
Do you have any tricks to keeping Christmas under control? Any ideas that you want to share? 
StumbleUpon Pin It Now!

No comments:

Post a Comment