4 Alternative Christmas Presents for Kids to Avoid Toy Overload

We have too much stuff, especially kids’ toys.  I’m guessing you can probably relate.

Honestly, we don’t buy many of our children’s toys.  Instead, they come from well meaning aunts and uncles as well as grandparents.

Fed up with toys strewn about the living room and kids who whine about picking them up, I’ve been slowly purging the toy box and moving things down stairs to storage.

Now, the holidays will soon be upon us, and I can see more toys heading our way.  But this year, I’d like to do things differently.  I’d like to ask the well meaning relatives NOT to give a present.  Or if they do, I’d prefer they not give a toy.  Instead, they could consider one of these gifts:

1.  Give the gift of time.  I saw this idea on another blog and loved it.  Instead of giving my children a gift, take the time to spend the day with them and give them a memory.  Take them to the zoo or to a movie, or do something else fun that they will enjoy.  They’ll remember their special day years from now, unlike the toys they may receive.

2.  Give the gift of an activity.  My kids love to go to the zoo as well as the aquarium and the planetarium.  My middle child has been asking to take dance lessons and my youngest wants to take karate.  The two oldest take music lessons.

None of these activities are cheap, and simply put, we can’t do it all financially.  Instead of toys for all three children, why not give the gift of a museum pass for a year or a month’s worth of music lessons?  I’d appreciate the financial break, and my kids would appreciate the chance to add another activity to the things that they can do or the places they can visit.

3.  Give the gift of a secure financial future.  Sure, this isn’t the most exciting present idea to a young child, but trust me, they’ll appreciate it when they’re older.  Why not give the gift of a stock?  The children will hold on to it until they are at least 18.  Imagine how much the money for one toy, used instead to purchase a stock, will grow over the next 10 to 15 years.  Trust me, when my child is 18, he will be very glad you bought him a stock instead of a toy.

4.  Give the gift of a handmade item.  If you’re crafty, why not make my children a handmade item they can love throughout the years?  My aunt made my daughter a stuffed lamb when she was born, and 5 years later, my daughter still sleeps with it every night.

My mom received a gorgeous baby blanket for my baptism made by her grandmother.  We were able to use that blanket when our own babies got baptized, and we’ve saved it for my kids’ kids.

This Christmas season, if you’re the gift giver, try to avoid the glut of toys most kids get.  Instead, consider giving something that will last much longer and create memories.

What gifts do you like to give children?  What gifts do you like your children to receive?