Each year I start my Christmas shopping/prepping early. I'm talking like August early!! I start gathering little stocking stuffers I find on sale as well as clothes, toys, games, etc. It legit takes me months to get my shit together for Christmas!
Plus, when my daughter was younger, I thought making an Advent Calendar was a great idea! Of course that was back when I had extra time to actually make one myself (yea.. I can sew.. who would've thought)! Well, now that damn Advent Calendar stresses me out. haha
Each day in December we either do a Christmas related activity, open a Christmas related present (xmas pjs, movies, books, etc), donate toys/clothes, or anything I can come up with. It takes a lot of prep and pre-planning but the kids love it, so I will stick with it.
Then it comes to toys. We are fortunate enough to have lots of family that want to gift our children with presents. But I am that mean mom that doesn't just want "stuff" for my kids. I am all about experiences over "crap" that only gets played with once but I will trip over at least a hundred times.
Luckily I am not the only one with the mean mom syndrome and lots of bloggers have created great lists of non toy items to get kids for Christmas (check Pinterest for sure). Again, I like experiences. So we ask for money for camps, tickets to plays/shows, mini photo shoots (my nine year old loves to be in front of the camera), or even gift cards to our favorite local museums or zoo.
Don't get me wrong, we still do toys. But we are trying to teach our kids that more "stuff" does not equal happiness.
Do you have any good non toy gift ideas that your family loves? We would love to continue to build on this concept each year and are always open to new ideas!
Happy Holidays everyone!