The Christmas season is upon us; commence hearing “Mommy can we get that!?” after every commercial during Paw Patrol. It’s the season of giving and if you have young kids it’s the season of magic and surprise. I’m going to embrace all of it because I know I’ll miss it when it’s over. Nothing beats watching those faces light up during the holidays. I even like shopping for my kids, it’s fun. I like seeing how excited they get when they open tangible gifts, it’s fun. I like playing with new toys with them, it’s fun to watch them figure it out. What I don’t think is fun is a playroom full of plastic-fantastic toys that either a) broke after 1 use OR b) the kids lost interest after 1 use. This year I’m going to focus on gifts with longevity. I’m saying NO to the Paw Patrol lookout tower and the Barbie dream house. (PS: Did you see the news about fidget spinners having a ton of lead in them? Greaaaat. One more thing to worry about, right? Check out the 10 most hazardous toys for kids as deemed by W.A.T.C.H: World Against Toys Causing Harm, here!) This year I want to invest in toys that mean something, and toys that will really engage them. So far I’ve purchased an interactive map they can ask questions to and get answers back in different languages (my Geography es Muy Mal), personalized kids’ yoga mats, personalized soccer and dance bags, carved hiking sticks, a bug catcher, a friendship bracelet kit, a pretend school kit, a learn how to play chess set, a sensory sand set, a game about allowance and a make your own chewing gum project. My goal this year is to avoid buying even 1 plastic gift that I know will break or collect dust before we can say Happy New Year.
I love the end of the Grinch story where his mouth drops open and he discovers that “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas means a little bit more…” Sure, the gifts I have so far came from a store. But each one was picked out because they meant something. I love to hike and do yoga with the kids. I love to watch them in after-school activities. I like teaching them something new like Chess or the concept of money. I love to see the wonder in my son’s eyes when he examines an insect and the joy on my daughter’s face when she makes a gift for someone. In this way, I’m trying to make our Christmas “a little bit more” this year. In years past I’ve written about non traditional gift guides like this one. There are so many options out there to make Christmas meaningful in your own way without loading up on junk (like I did that one year…6 Toys From Xmas I Want To Punch In The Face.)
This post was sponsored by MEFA and the U.Fund College Investing Plan.