88 days til Christmas. Did that give you a heart attack? Maybe it is just the knowledge that I need to be extra prepared this year that has me a bit overwhelmed by that number. Our son is due at the beginning of December. I know I need to be thinking now about Christmas gifts as wells as planning my daughter’s December birthday.
I sat last night thinking about gifts that have meant a lot over the last few years to our family. It is impossible to not think of the kids’ awesome grandparents. They are almost generous to a fault. I thought sharing a bit about their presents to our family may help you give ideas to your extended family members for the upcoming holidays.
1) Small appliances. One year we received a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. It has been an amazing year long gift. It is a quality gift that won’t quickly break and has fun written all over it. A mixer with grandma’s super secret cookie recipe would also be cute. It is something that creates special family time as we wait for the deliciousness to be ready.
2) Shoes. I know this may seem a bit practical, but they mean a lot. I don’t know about your little people, but mine grow out of their shoes before we get them home. Having special shoes in the middle of the year is just plain practical fun. My youngest daughter recently got glittery, twinkle-toe shoes. She calls them her “grandpa shoes.” They are way over the top in her mind because they sparkle. They are phenomenal to me, because I didn’t have to pay for new tennies! Win-win.
3) Online Scrapbook. What to get for baby’s first Christmas? How about memories of their first year? I was stellar about the beginning of their baby books. Now expecting our 5th, though, I will admit, the first one is still not complete. Catch up on 5 now?? Oy vey. You know that isn’t going to happen. There are so many great sites that provide drop in pictures and will send you a hardback photo album. Honestly, I don’t even have time for that, though. But grandparents usually do. This is a special treasure for both parents and kids. My niece has one from her first Christmas. She loves to look at it and has no idea her mother didn’t make it. Turn over your hard drive where you keep dumping pictures you’ll never print. The great part about grandparents, too, is that they usually know what your child was up to in their first year and can write special memories as captions.
4) Family History. I know this may sound boring for an older child, but this, too, is an excellent treasure for a First Christmas. Having your parents or grandparents talk about their story, their childhoods, their treasured memories, their hardest struggles is so intriguing. They’ll love it one day. You can have this written or videotaped. They even have journals that can be used as prompts. Having children through adoption, it was a precious gift to receive a handwritten letters from their great-grandparents about how the children were now grafted into their tree and loved as a family forever. Biological or adopted, what a legacy to leave for your children!
5) Passes. The Children’s Museum, the Zoo, even trampoline gyms. Anything that gets you out exploring our town as a family. This is an all-year gift that for many of us just isn’t in the budget! We have adored and utilized our Zoo membership for years now. I would much rather have something that lasts a bit longer than just the holiday season.
6) Magazine Subscriptions. Kids love getting mail. I love that we have a little something special waiting for them in the mailbox each month. I can then remind them of the thoughtfulness of their grandparents each time one arrives.
7) Talent. Special gifts don’t have to be costly. Using a talent to give a gift is memorable. My mom always makes the children’s birthday cakes. She is amazing at it. When my girls learned that my mom made these great cakes for us growing up, it wasn’t long before they convinced her to make that her gift to them on their birthdays. Spending time sharing a talent is also precious. My hubby’s grandfather gave the kids hot pink fishing poles one year. He wrote them little notes about taking them to learn how to fish in the same spot he had taught their Daddy.