Christmas time is here again. With it comes all the hype of decorating your home, and getting gifts for those you love. While we have suggested ideas for seniors, for those in need, and even ways to choose more eco-friendly Christmas gifts, we get that when it comes to our children, sometimes it feels harder to pare down gift giving ideas. You don’t have to break the bank to make Christmas sparkle and be bright though! Christmas for kids is just as much about the experiences as the things too.

Christmas for Kids

“It’s not about presents but it is about your presence. Therein lies the spirit of the holiday season.” ~ Julieanne O’Connor

When it comes to Christmas, children are just as moved by experiences as adults. Where do you think all your fondest memories come from that you want to share with your children? They lie in the moments with loved ones. The proof: do you remember all the presents you received when you were 5, 7, or 11? Probably not. But you just might remember baking cookies with Grandma, building a snowman with your siblings, or cutting out paper snowflakes with Mom or Dad.

It is about presence. So how do you get that and still capture the magic of the holidays on Christmas morning?

Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids

Christmas gifts

A great way to build excitement for children is by seeing all those presents under the tree. What about if you wrapped smaller presents in larger packing though? Keeping in mind that kids still want to see something under the Christmas tree, even if your budget doesn’t allow you to go overboard, make those presents bigger to the eye. Alternately, you can wrap a small gift in successively larger packages, to extend the opening of said gift. They get a big gift (in theory), that keeps on giving at every layer. Everyone will get a good chuckle at these antics, that will be sure to be remembered.

“Brown paper packages tied up with string; these are a few of my favorite things…”

hand-drawn Christmas pictureAnother way to make your gift giving special is by making the wrapping paper just as special as the gift. Plain kraft paper is far cheaper than fancy store bought gift wrap, but doesn’t have the same allure. That is, until you add your own touch. Decorate it with jokes your kids will pause to read. Draw on your own images and point out your handiwork before they start to unwrap gifts. You could even leave the package blank, but encourage your children to decorate their own gifts before Christmas day. They can shake, handle, and explore the box all they want while they colour to their hearts content. How fun would that be!

But the gifts. What do you give children that doesn’t feed into frenzied consumerism and a cheap throw-away culture? How do you make Christmas for kids special?

Here’s a thought. Stop worrying about it so much. Rethink buying used.

  • We collect hundreds of books over the course of the year. Go to a thrift store and buy there for a fraction of the price
  • Even if your children like labels, you can often find cool clothes at thrift stores too. So many styles already sport rips and tears: make some of your own in a thrifted pair!
  • Scour online marketplaces for other cheaper items like bicycles, games, gaming systems, or other hot commodity items that kids are begging for this year. You will pay a fraction of the price, and keep those items out of landfill. Win-win.
  • Regift items you have pulled out of circulation for a while. This works better for younger children who may not remember the item, but might get a laugh from your teens too. Try it!

Like adults, children like experiences too. Think a trip to an amusement park, local children’s theatre, a museum, skiing, or a local alpaca farm. Cut an appropriate picture up and wrap it in 10 boxes, slightly larger as you go. Theme any other presents around the experience.

Ultimately, you need to remember that you start a precedence with every gift you give and tradition you begin. If you want to reduce the waste, the busyness, and the excess, rethink how you present Christmas for kids and remember: it’s all about your presence.