Our Christmas budget is incredibly small, so it has to pack a strong punch. We’ve found that finding the right gift is more powerful than finding a lot of gifts. To do that, we encourage our children to write lists of things they want for the holidays at least 8 weeks before the big day. As we look over their lists, we make it clear that they’ll be lucky if they get even one of the items they’ve listed. We’ve found that reduced expectations make for a merrier Christmas morning.
We encourage our kids to leave nothing off their list, even if they think we’ll never be able to afford it. This encourages them to make a large list and to think about any possibility. Usually, when their list gets long enough, they begin to remember things they wanted months ago but forgot about. Our goal is to get that item the kids have been wanting for the last six months or more. If you gather their list ahead of the latest advertising you’ll be sure to get what they really want before they get the latest fad stuck in their heads.
As we look over the list, that one special gift is usually easy to find. It sounds familiar. We’ve heard them mention it before. Knowing that it’s still on their minds reinforces our decision to purchase it because we know they will appreciate it, use it, and love it.
As cool as it is, one gift doesn’t look like much under the tree, so our next step is to gather filler material—those items that we wrap just to prolong the fun and excitement of Christmas morning. We like to wrap little things like boxes of cereal, small stuffed animals, and packages of gum. And, undoubtedly, we’ll end up wrapping an impulse buy or two and shoving it under the tree to fill in the edges.
We often shop online for these items, and The Organized Parent is loaded with great gift ideas. One of our favorites is the cuddly Huggie Bear Warmers by Streamline. These microwaveable stuffed animals are filled with natural buckwheat and aromatic lavender so they’ll offer a warm place to rest and encourage a deep sleep when kids or adults aren’t feeling well.
Another favorite is the Family Table Topics Cube. It’s filled with cards that encourage active conversation and help family members open up and share more about themselves. It’s sure to increase the laughter in your home.
The dad in your family will appreciate the Be Hip Dad Bag by JuJuBe. It may be one of the most fashionable diaper bags for Dad available—designed to work either as a diaper bag or a workbag. Finally Dad can slip out in public without carrying a bag that announces to the world that he’s about to wipe unmentionables off Junior’s bottom.
If you love to travel, or just dream of someday when you’ll finally be able to, you’ll love the Passport to the World 16 Month Mini Calendar by Graphique de France. These beautiful photographs will give you a taste of far-away places and help encourage you to save for that big trip overseas.
This is only a small sample of some of the gifts we’ve found on The Organized Parent. Gifts like these are a great way to increase the number of presents beneath the tree and provide beautiful gifts with practical uses that will last for years.
Whatever you choose to buy or create for your family this season, we hope it suits them perfectly, and that they remember your gifts all year long. Good luck and happy holiday shopping.