December 7, 2015

My Not So Typical Holiday Gift Guide: 4 Gifts to Give This Season

My Not So Typical Holiday Gift Guide: 4 Gifts to Give This Season via Collecting Moments Blog

If you’re looking for the typical holiday gift guide, this isn’t one of them.

You see, I wanted to instill a simple idea to my daughter this year—that the holidays are far more than just shopping to get the best deals, wrapping items with a beautiful bow, and anticipating a gift in return. I agree: the spirit of giving is important this season, but there’s also being thankful, there’s being kind, and there’s remembering that it’s not what’s under the tree, but who you’re with during the holidays that’s most important. All these take precedence over a wrapped object or the expense of giving it.

Of course presents has its time and place during the holidays, that I won’t deny. My daughter is nearly two after all, and the tradition of tearing into a wrapped gift (from Santa, or whoever else) is something I still want her to experience. I just want to make sure that there’s a balance; that gifts are not all she expects during the holidays.

So, when I saw this 4 gifts idea circulating on Pinterest, I decided to give it a try and make it my own. The original concept was to give four items--something your child wants, needs, wears and reads—for any gift giving occasion, Christmas, birthday or otherwise. Some interpret it as a money saver, while others use it as a guideline to form their own gift list. As a parent, I decided on a different approach.  I wanted the “gifts” to be a mix of tangible and intangible, with a bit on the practical side, and plenty on being memorable. The result is a list below. Call them suggestions, call them tips, but my goal was simple: to share with you gift ideas that are a bit out of the box, but unforgettable as well.

Want and Need: Quality time
If this Christmas video is any indication, it’s safe to say that kids’ needs and wants are simple. Believe it or not, time with their family ranks much higher than toys or that coveted video game. So, what better way to celebrate the holidays than by being together and honoring their request? Perhaps a simple tradition of getting a tree to decorate should suffice, or maybe volunteering at a local shelter could be another. It could even be something as simple as popcorn and a Christmas movie for a Saturday or two that would satisfy their need. Whatever it may be, spending time with your children should be priority amidst the chaos of shopping, prepping and entertaining. As any parent will know: time is fleeting with our kids, and whether this is your first or your 16th Christmas with them, it is precious time you will never get back.  So savor each simple moment as much as you can. 

Wear:  Coats 
One would think that having a winter baby would make me an expert on buying coats, but as a still novice mom, purchasing clothing that will last an entire season (instead of just a few weeks) is still a skill I have yet to master.  However,  I have found that buying coats a size bigger works best for us. It allows for building comfortable layers underneath, and the bigger sizes guarantee a good fit even through those growth spurts in the winter time. Suggestions for affordable and lasting coats are below:

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Read: Build their Library
 I’m lucky that my daughter absolutely adores reading. In fact, books are far more effective for distractions than the typical toy in our home, and it’s no surprise that Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein outnumber Little Tikes toys and Fisher Price around here. Building a library for our daughter has been a goal of ours since before she was born. That’s why we’re thankful to find services like Bookroo to help us to instill our daughter’s love of reading through the years.

Bookroo’s concept is simple: to curate the best books that cater to your child’s age and ability and send you a set to enjoy with your little one every month. Whether you’re a parent, a doting grandparent or aunt, Bookroo is one of the best ways for kids to discover new stories and enjoy some classics as well. Not to mention an easy and practical means to build your children’s library.

I know, this is far from the other typical gift guides out there.  There’s very few items to purchase and hardly any brands to suggest, but I hope you still find it valuable for your children and for yourself this season.

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