Last year, I cashed in MyPoints on a $50 Amazon.com gift card and bought toys for all of them. But it was exhausting shopping for that many kids, especially since we live so far away. And honestly, at that age, they’re so inundated with toys on Christmas morning that I question whether the toys I sent added any real joy to their Christmas.
So we’ve been thinking of alternative gifts for our nieces and nephews to make the holidays easier on us and special for them. Here are some of the ideas we’ve considered:
I still have books from my aunts and grandparents with little messages inscribed inside. Books can last a lifetime, and they’re not very expensive. Choose something meaningful to the child in your life (Harold and the Purple Crayon for the kid who loves to draw or Where the Wild Things Are for the rambunctious kid). If you you live far away, have the book shipped directly from Amazon.com to cut down on shipping costs.
Give your time.
I was a middle child growing up, and what I wanted more than anything was to feel special. Give a kid with siblings a day all to herself. Wrap a gift certificate for a kid manicure or a movie, and take him or her on a special outing.
Adopt an endangered species.
If you donate $50 to the World Wildlife Fund, they send you a species adoption kit including a plush toy, an adoption certificate, a photo of the animal, and a species information card. This may be a little too deep for really young kids, but my 6-year-old niece and 4-year-old nephew would love it.
Name a star after him.
Let me start by saying this: whatever you do, don’t send money to the “National Star Registry.” This isn’t an official organization, and stars named this way are not recognized by anyone but you. So you’ll end up sending off $50+ for nothing but a certificate. Why do that when you can make one yourself and get across the same idea to the imaginative child in your life? Let him pick the brightest star in the sky, name it what he wants, and create your own star naming certificate.
What are your creative gift ideas for kids?