We live in a time where most of the people we know already have everything they need. In-laws, distant relatives and long time friends usually take the longest to shop for.
What in the world could we possibly buy and them not end up hiding it in a closet or re-gifting it?
I struggle with this every year, but I’m getting better. Here are some ideas I’ve come up with over the years that people actually enjoy!
For my father-in-law (you can only buy so many pocket knives for someone), I finally found a gift he LOVES.
We bought a Northpoint Lavish Luxury Blanket for ourselves at Costco for more than Amazon has it priced. We loved it immediately and knew he would too. We gave it to him last month when we saw them at a wedding and I know we scored big points! If you have someone in your life that likes to enjoy a chilly Sunday watching football games in the recliner–this is the perfect gift!
I will say that we have not had the bad experiences that the Amazon reviewers had of excessive pilling. But, it’s something to take into consideration.
Of course the best gift to give in-laws or grandparents is a framed family photo or personalized ornament. I recently posted about a fundraiser to support Giving Diapers, Giving Hope- a non-profit organization that provides cloth diapers to deserving families.
What about siblings? I *never* know what to get my siblings! Well, I can always find a joke gift that fits them perfectly but something they can actually use is another thing.
Gift cards are always nice but what my siblings and I have chosen to do is buy board or card games. This is an easy way to build up your stash of family games without having to go spend a bunch of money.
The kids love all of them and they are easy to play. The other day we made up our own HedBanz game by using stretchy headbands and Old Maid cards.
Extended family is one thing but buying for your children is serious business. Serious in that 1) we tend to overspend 2) we have to live with the things we buy and 3) most gifts end up being ignored after a few weeks.
Since I have children ranging from 10 to 1 I’ll share with you some gifts over the years that have actually stood the test of time.
For the boys: Trio Blocks are a must. We have 3 sets: the basic building set, King’s Castle and Wizard’s Castle. All we have bought over the last few years, all from Amazon and all have survived! Unlike Lego’s it’s much easier to keep track of these blocks. As a matter of fact, the boys are happily building “spaceships” right now. Great toy!
For the girls: Princess costumes, mini-doll carriers (the “just like mom” kind), Green Toys dishes and craft supplies are in constant use. I just asked my husband what he recalls being long-lasting gifts for the girls and I had to laugh at his answer…although totally true. A couple of years ago we got one of the girls a Disney princess doll and fashion set. Basically it’s a Disney princess with interchangeable rubbery dresses. ALL the kids LOVE it. Weird kinda, but they all fight over them.
Of course, our girls don’t just play with “girl” things and the boys don’t limit their play to blocks, tractors and dirt. But, these are the favorite go-to activities. Often times Haven is holding the baby doll (or being craftier than them all)and Paisley has built the biggest Trio house.
BABY AND TODDLER
My favorite though are the baby/toddler toys! I have my favorites and some we’ve had since Haley was a baby.
I wish you could still buy it because I’d recommend everyone getting it. Alas, it’s old school–apparently.
At (almost 2) Camden’s favorite toys to play with are the Imaginext castle and figures that go with it. We bought them at least 2 years ago for Haven and this is another toy set that has endured and lasted through 5 kids who aren’t great at being gentle with toys.
When Sterling was 9 months old (I have no idea why I remember this so clearly) I asked Michael to swing by Walmart and get Sterling a car to push himself on. I was thinking more along the lines of the ones they can walk behind and transition up to riding.
Michael came home with the older version of this Fisher-Price Ride On. I was frustrated at first but he’s now 3 1/2, way too big for it and still adores the thing. And Camden has since he was big enough to climb on.
I’m getting carried away with this post but it’s so much fun thinking of the great gifts we’ve purchased over the years!
I hope these suggestions help you this Christmas! Now, I need to find idea for my children!