Monday, December 14, 2009

Memberships and Classes: A Great Idea for Christmas Gifts

As I sit down to write this post, I am aware that I have some boxes sitting in the front hallway, waiting to be wrapped and hidden before my 5 year-old gets home from school and my 2 year-old wakes up from her nap :) We have been receiving Christmas gifts in the mail for a couple of weeks now - since we don't have any family in town, all gifts need to be shipped. Don't get me wrong, it's not like we have 5 boxes arriving daily, just a couple here and there. But since we lack extra storage space, we're having to get creative with our wrapping and hiding techniques :) My husband is a much better wrapper than I, so thankfully he has pretty much taken over this job. Our children will be delighted with their gifts on Christmas day and I am very grateful for everyone who has been generous enough to send us a gift!

I did want to mention an alternative to tangible gifts, though, since a few friends have been asking recently what I tell my family members when they ask for gift ideas for the kids. Oftentimes, for birthdays and Christmas, I have suggested a membership to a museum or some contribution towards a class that our children would enjoy. For example, we have received memberships to the children's museum and zoo in the past, as well as Gymboree classes, swimming lessons, and an after-school science class. These have all been very much enjoyed by our kids, and I make sure to remind them several times of who has given this to them as a gift. I also send a thank you note with a picture of my child enjoying the activity, so that it's more tangible to the gift giver.

So, while there is a certain amount of joy and delight that comes from unwrapping gifts on Christmas day, this can be an alternative for the relative that is out of gift ideas!

God bless all of you in your Advent journeys!


Karen said...

Don't forget that gift cards to movie theaters and places like ice cream shops are also nice gifts that don't take up space. I have difficulty convincing family members that my kids really do want an annual membership to the local aquarium or science museum, but the kids really are just as thrilled with a gift that leads to outings every bit as much as they are with a toy. In some cases, the gift of an outing to a movie, fast food joint or ice cream parlor is better received than a toy since I don't necessarily like to frequent those places, but will if the kids have a gift card to use there.

Jen said...

Another nice idea is a magazine subscription. We got Wild Animal Babies one year from the grandparents and it is a really sweet magazine for toddlers (though the WWF is not exactly a friend to farmers, but that is another story). We were looking at Highlights High Five for our 4-year-old. They love getting something in the mail each month!

Mary Alice said...

I second all of these. My brother also gives a great gift, tickets to a children's theater production. He takes the child to the show and then out to lunch, usually with grandma along as well. This is the sort of thing that we wouldn't do on our own, but love to have our children get to do, and a special bonus is that it really builds their relationship with their uncle.

Oh, and for the Catholic child in your life, Magnifikid subscription is a nice gift!

And don't forget magazines for Mom -- I would like to try out Faith and Family and Mater et Magistra soon.