Ready to rethink your xmas gift list?
This blog post is by Nicola Baird sharing ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children. This post covers some heretical ideas about gift giving around xmas time. For more info about my book Homemade Kids, with lots of ideas about parenting, click here. Or for more about a Meaningful Christmas, have a look at a piece I wrote in November for the fab Families North West magazine here.
Read this sentence aloud
Please read slowly. “There is no such thing as a must have toy for Christmas.”
But there is a list of so-called “must have” toys for Christmas, according to Mumsnet’s top 10 info from the Toy Retailers Association. Try not to be tempted.
Perhaps what worries me most about the top 10 is the extraordinary expense of these toys. It’s so hard to earn money at the moment, it seems crazy to spend on such sillyness. And where are the fair trade toys – what if some of these are actually made by children?
Gifts may be fun to wrap up, but I still think that being able to give children more time, or even just play with them, is the best present of all.
In early November I joined a radio show about preparing your family for a meaningful Christmas on Radio Verulam 92.6FM (presented by Friends of the Earth St Albans’ co-ordinator Amanda Yorwerth’s show Environment Matters) and found myself suggesting that three year olds and under really don’t need presents. You could just wrap up a cucumber with a few generous pieces of newspaper and your tot will probably adore unwrapping it. Then wrap it up again… I do hope the good citizens of St Albans didn’t choke on their tzsaiki.
One xmas my cash-starved daughters drew silly felt pen faces on their uncle’s log pile – a joke gift that he quite enjoyed.
Or you could try finding a practical gift for bigger kids – PJs, slippers, gloves, shoes, warm jumpers, wellies.
Or give cash
Do you remember that tremendous satisfaction counting up those cash gifts you slowly acquired from relatives over the year/s in a bid to reach a particular shopping target? It’s how I bought a Fleetwood Mac LP!
My 13 year old longs to have classy wellies or a pair of non school shoes – but the speed her feet are growing prevents me from feeling able to allow her to have yet more footwear. So she’s decided to save up. A fiver here and there would get most children the jeans, phone, iPod, game, book or clothing they have their heart set on.
There are lots more ideas in my book Homemade Kids – a whole chapter on gift giving!
1 Doggie Doo RRP £24
2. Fijit Friends RRP £54.99
3. Fireman Sam Pontypandy Rescue Set RRP £29.99
4. Kidizoom Twist RRP £49.99
5. LeapPad Explorer RRP £78.99
6. Let’s Rock Elmo RRP £69.99
7. Milky the Bunny RRP £59.99
8. Monster High Lagoona’s Hydration Station RRP £39.99
9. Moshling Tree House RRP £19.99
10. Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster RRP £44.99
Over to you
What are you going to give your kids or small relatives/friends? Can it be copied without a trip to a toy shop? Is going off-list a disaster in your family?