As the Mum of two teenagers, I know what it’s like to look at my children’s Christmas wish-lists over the years and have to restrain myself from rolling my eyes at the things they’ve added.
Being completely honest, I have to hold my hands up and say that over the years, I’ve bought plenty of toys that have been desperately wanted at the time but have then ended up under the bed or at the back of the cupboard after a matter of weeks. I’ve bought the dolls that cost a fortune and do nothing different from the dolls that don’t cost a fortune and spent more money than I care to share on what is essentially just plastic tat.
But I have got better over the past few years and I try to give gifts with a bit more meaning these days. I always give the kids a couple of experiences as part of their presents – we’ve had Master Frugal being the mascot at his local football team, days out at somewhere they’ve been wanting to visit, makeover and photo sessions and spa experiences.
Experiences make memories that they’ll have for years to come so I always think of that as money well spent but as well as that, I try to give a few other gifts that I feel will keep on giving…
You’d be surprised how popular this one is. We all take so many photos of the kids on our phones that they’re often lost in the depths of social media or just left on your phones memory and forgotten about. So, why not gift them a memory from the summer, from a birthday party, a special moment from the school year or something that just makes them smile. Check out this website for canvas ideas, glossy prints, photo books and other ways you can surprise them – I’ve made photo books for my two for the past couple of years filled with the highlights of their year and I hope that in years to come, they’ll be able to smile looking through them and just remembering.
This is such a great gift because the type or theme of the magazine can be something that they love, whether it’s a sport, a hobby, or something completely new for them to discover. It’s a gift that they can enjoy every month throughout the year too. And what could be better than the gift of reading? I love seeing Master Frugal read the football magazine we got for him last Christmas when it comes each month. He enjoys it and I know he’s reading something which is a big thing considering he’s a 13-year-old who is determined not to read anything unless he absolutely has to!
We should always encourage what our children are passionate about. So, whether they’re in love with dancing, like the idea of singing, acting, painting or even photography why not spoil them with some classes in their favourite hobby? Miss Frugal used to love a pony day at the local farm as one of her Christmas gifts.
A dressing up box
This is one for the younger kids. 😉
Let their imagination thrive with a box filled to the brim with dressing up clothes and accessories. And I don’t mean those cheap plastic outfits that cost an arm and a leg. Head to a charity shop and see what you can find. An old pair of heels and a handbag or two, some old dresses with costume jewellery, you’ll be amazed at what you can pick up! You might have some bits and bobs at home too – an old apron, or work boots, an old jacket or briefcase. Present their new dressing up treasures in a beautiful trunk or box and they’ll soon forget about their tablets and TV time.
Arts and craft supplies
What could be better than a generous supply of paper, coloured card, pipe cleaners, craft glue, sticky tape, glitter, pom poms, string, feathers, googly eyes, beads, felt and anything else you can think of. Think of all the gorgeous items they can make for you throughout the year. It’s a perfect rainy day gift too!
You could adapt this slightly for older kids and maybe buy supplies for a particular craft that they want to learn – knitting jewellery making or watercolour painting for example.
I hope this gives you a few ideas for some different gifts. 😉
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