Guest Post by Jana Lynch
December is an expensive month for my family.
Not only do we celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah
but our daughter’s birthday falls right in the middle of the month.
As a result, we end up with a glut of presents, half of which remain unopened until the next year when we have to purge and make room all
It’s getting kind of annoying.
This year, in an effort to combat the army of gifts that enter my house, I’ve been very particular about what she receives, trying to focus on needs. But as I looked around to see what she needed, I realized that the child is very lucky and doesn’t need a whole lot. Which means that we’re left with a whole lot of “want” purchases and that can get very ugly very quickly.
So I made a list of gifts to get a child that has all of her major holidays crammed into one month and doesn’t need a whole lot:
1. Gift Cards
I know that many people don’t advocate for gift cards but I do. I love them. I think it’s a great way to teach kids about shopping on a budget and trying to make the most of their money. Plus, gift cards give them the freedom to shop for what they truly want and since it’s their money, parents have no input, which in turn fosters independence. If you really hate gift cards, cash works too.
Instead of giving a material gift, create the gift of an experience. Take a family day trip to an amusement park or aquarium or a play; anything that you might not ordinarily do and will give the kid lasting memories. We do this. Rather than giving our daughter a birthday gift, we have a party for her at a location of her choice. We know she’ll remember the party for a
long time, whereas the gift, might just end up in the trash.
3. Quality jewelry
This is a good time to get a piece of jewelry that will last a long time. If your budget is tight and you don’t have a lot of money to spend, look at what you own. Maybe you have a piece of jewelry or a watch that you don’t wear or use; why not pass it on to the kid? Create an heirloom. Besides, there are a lot of kids who think it’s really cool to wear mom or dad’s fancy stuff.
4. Redecorate his/her bedroom
As kids get older, their tastes change. Maybe they think their room is too “babyish” or they all of a sudden are really into the color orange and want an orange bedroom. Why not give the gift of redecorating? You can browse Pinterest or Google for inexpensive, age-appropriate ideas and, as a bonding experience, you can work on everything together. Or, you can make it a surprise, ready when your kid comes home from school one day. If you do choose to do this, just be prepared to see less of your child.
The nicest part about these types of gifts is that the price is flexible. They can be done on a tight, average, or extravagant budget. The point is to make your child feel special during the holidays. There are plenty of ways to do that without spending a ton of money or receiving junk that will end up in the trash.
Money Saving Enthusiasts!! I’m Jana and I run a personal finance blog, Daily Money Shot, where I talk about money (but not the boring parts). I’m also a freelance writer and founder of the blogger mentoring program, Bloggers Helping Bloggers. I’m thrilled to be guest posting here and when you’re done reading what I have to say, come say hi on Twitter or Facebook!
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