Please don’t call me “Scrooge.” A Christmas without toys for the kids? Yes, toyless Christmas gifts are possible and it takes guts. Yes, your children may think you’re crazy, but so what. For one thing, Christmas is not for your kids. It’s a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, and most parents don’t even explain this to their children. Gift giving is to celebrate the gift of Jesus and how He gave his life to save the world, and to forgive our sins, and we are to thank Him for His gift of life and love. Here is the real meaning of Christmas in a nutshell – Jesus is His name.
J – Just as we are, we need to accept Him.
E – Enter into His presence with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise.
S – Seek to do His Will and tell others of His goodness.
U – Understand that He died for our sins, that we may have abundant life.
S – Share the Gospel; the good news of Jesus!
Now, I said it. Kids want toys for Christmas, but toys are fleeting and usually don’t keep the kids’ interests for long; in addition, they’ll play with the toys for a few weeks or for a few hours and then move on to the next thing. Now I do know that some kids do have a toy or two that he or she hangs on to like Linus on Charlie Brown hangs on to his dirty blanket. The Christmas gift you give can be used later on in the year. For Christmas there are fun alternative options to toys, and parents can present their kids with these options.
1. Arts, Crafts, Sewing and Cooking Classes, and Family Camps
Family activities are a great Christmas gift and some wonderful family time. Christmas gifts nowadays are so isolating, meaning, when you give a technology gift only one person can use it, i.e., a computer, smart phone, iPad. Learn to give a gift of “togetherness.” Stores like Michael’s and Hobby Lobby offer great arts & crafts classes, along with sewing classes. Sewing classes are nice because a child can learn to make some of their own clothes, and a child learning how to sew has its benefits. Williams-Sonoma offers Junior Chef Classes, and this is great for kids that love to cook. Don’t forget about The Home Depot and Lowe’s free workshops for kids. Ever heard of YouthSpark Camp? Microsoft offers this for kids and teaches them how to code and create APPs. There are also camps that have family weekends. Check out these family camps:
2. Glamping Trip
Some of you have not heard of Glamping, so let me explain – it’s camping on steroids. Glamping is “glamorous camping.” Accommodations for Glamping include, but are not limited to, teepees, Yurts, Tree houses, Huts, and Tents. You and your family will experience luxury accommodations in a desired travel destination. You may also Glamp in your own backyard. The kids can come up with some great ideas to create their own Glamp. Now grant you some of you live in areas where you can’t Glamp in the winter when Christmas occurs, and that’s why this particular Christmas gift can be considered a future venture. To learn more about Glamping click here.
Courtesy of DesignDazzle.com
3. Small Pets
Small pets are too cute, so get your family a pet that everyone will enjoy. How about a Sugar Glider (small marsupial), turtle, Hermit crab, or Chinchilla. These are easy to care for and fun to watch. Chinchillas are fragile animals and would be good for kids 11 years old and older. Below is a picture of a Sugar Glider – how cute!
4. Old Movies
The movies that Mom and Dad grew up with are so different than what are offered the children of today. Introduce your child to some good old fashion movies, and yes I have a short list (don’t laugh, you know you remember some of these – 😛 ):
- March of the Wooden Soldiers w/Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy (aka Babes in Toyland)
- Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)
- Jack and the Beanstalk w/Abbott and Costello (1952)
- Little Women (1994)
- The Princess Bride (1987)
- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
- Stand by Me (1986)
- Oliver Twist (1999-mini series)
- Anne of Green Gables (1985-mini series)
5. Children’s Dinner Theatre Tickets
This type of event is wonderful! What is a children’s dinner theatre? It is a combination of having dinner and seeing a live performance with actors, singers, and dancers. Some dinner theatres have the audience join in on the performance. Furthermore, after the dinner theatre your child can possibly take pictures with the cast and/or bring home a piece of costume from one of the performers. Due to the popularity of dinner theatres, they make a great place to hold a birthday party for your child. Check out the children’s dinner theatres in your area.
6. Bedroom Makeover
Oh what a treat for your child, also what a lasting impression a wonderful bedroom makeover would leave on your child. As a result of your child’s bedroom makeover he or she might want to stay home more? Additionally, a bedroom makeover could help to bring some organization to your child’s life. Most of all, a bedroom makeover for your child would last much longer than that Christmas toy. So give some thought to this fabulous idea. A bedroom makeover does not have to cost an arm and a leg; some paint on a wall, a different light fixture, a picture, colorful accessories, can make a great difference in your child’s room.
7. A Telescope
A telescope is an instrument designed for the observation of remote objects. A great free activity for the whole family is stargazing, and using a telescope is one of the best ways to stargaze. Since only one family member can look through the telescope one at a time, then add some binoculars to the mix. Binoculars are telescopes for each eye. Telescopes come in different colors and are relatively inexpensive. Getting your child a telescope may possibly open him or her up to the world of Astronomy.
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