While our kid is only 7ish months old, I understand that we haven’t seen anything yet…but I’ve been to my share of kid’s birthdays, Christmases, Easters, Arbor Day Celebrations…you get the idea! Why is it that people feel the need to bring MORE toys!?!? We’ve all been there, right? You show up at little Bobby’s 3rd birthday party and add your obligatory wrapped blinking, screaming, honking, bleeping truck-train thingy that you found on sale at Target to the humungous mountain of other wrapped crap! By the time Bobby gets around to opening all 57 of those gifts, he’s all sugared up, overstimulated, and likely exhausted. Let’s have him sit and open all that shit now and attempt to play with it, okay? Bad idea! Now load up the car, take it all home, and try to find a place to put it all!
Here’s the thing; we’re already a country of over-consumption. We want it bigger, louder, brighter, and we want more of it! The more toys, the better! The more food, the better! The more stuff, the better! That’s why we’re in debt, overweight, and have “stuff”spilling out of every corner of the garage, closets, under the beds, etc. We’re drowning in our own hunger for more! Yet, why don’t we crave more conversation, more family time, more creativity, more knowledge???
As you may have read in some of our recent posts, we’re working towards exactly that! Consuming less and spending our time on things that actually matter to us. Less TV and more music; less processed foods and more fresh, local produce; less toys and more interaction with Sammy. So, it’s from that perspective that I’ve started to look at how we can lessen our carbon footprint while still participating in that glorious tradition of giving each other “stuff”.
Here’s some ideas for kid’s gifts that don’t suck:
1. Tickets to the local zoo or aquarium – heck, get enough tickets so you can go, too!
2. Books…books…more books! – you can never have enough books, either actual or virtual, get more books!
3. Art, cooking, or music lessons – let’s help inspire those creative minds!
4. Money towards college – who doesn’t like money?
5. Tools, instruments, or supplies for building and/or creating things – art supplies, drumsticks, legos, whatever!
6. Kits – model airplane kits, knitting kits, birdhouse kits, you get the idea – kits are cute, neat and easy!
7. Small fish tank – kids love little fishies. Their parents might not, but what the hell?
8. An EXPERIENCE! In my opinion, this is the best gift of all! Create a certificate or ticket for an experience with you. Whether it’s a movie and ice cream, or a picnic at the park, go make some memories!
As a BONUS for all you beautiful blog readers out there, I’ll give you some ideas for adult gifts that don’t suck! Instead of exchanging more meaningless “stuff” next Christmas try this:
– A great bottle of wine, with a recipe for a food pairing – let them create a romantic evening for their spouse, or maybe get in on the action if you like food and wine!
– A gift card to their favorite online store – yeah, yeah, we all know about gift cards, but I love getting a gift card that I can use while cruising the interwebs…
– Cooking, art, music classes – I know, I used this one above, too but it’s still a good idea to foster creativity in grown-ups!
– An EXPERIENCE! Yeah, stealing from above again, but it’s worth it! Take each other out to a nice dinner instead of both of you spending $50 on some bobble for each other that will end up in a drawer or collecting dust on a shelf! Or meet at a winery, do some tasting and buy each other a bottle of something you liked! Get creative…the potential for good experiences is endless!