10 Minimalist Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids
Was it just me that noticed, or were the Christmas decorations in the shops before Halloween this year?
Rows of tinsel, baubles, trees, cards and advent calendars. Letterboxes full of toy catalogues, decorations appearing in shop fronts and gift ideas popping up on websites, blogs and social media.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas! But in October? Really?
If putting up the tree early makes you happy - go for it! If you pull the Santa card to bring your kids into line - go for it! But the in-your-face consumerism surrounding the 25th of December seems a bit too much for me.
I recently decluttered the kids rooms and was horrified at the amount of plastic, useless toys I was donating or simply throwing away. So I’m on a quest to make it less about the quantity, more about the quality of gifts this year and also less about the things and more about the experience and essence of Christmas.
Being Australian, I grew up celebrating Christmas in the heat with a belly full of crisp salads, cold hams and tropical fruit. The day was all about pool time with the cousins, simple summer food and most importantly, a whole day with mum and dad!
I remember laying under the tree alongside my brother, staring up at the mish-mash of homemade decorations and blinking lights. Sharing the excitement of the day to come, we’d lay out our personally decorated pillowcases, rattle a few presents under the tree and leave out a beer and some shortbread for Santa.
So what’s my point here?
My memories are of the the whole experience of Christmas. I can barely remember the toys I received, but I do remember making that shortbread with Mum, the anticipation of the cousins arriving and the excitement of having Mum and Dad all to ourselves.
I do love to be spoiled by a well thought out gift. But it really doesn’t matter how much money is spent, how big it is or which shop it’s come from. I’d much prefer the person isn’t stressed about the whole process. And it got me thinking … now is the time to teach gracious gift giving and gift receiving to my children. Be the example.
So I’ve been reading, researching and racking my brain to come up with 10 gift ideas that will be appreciated by the little people on the big day …
In Australia there is always a new children’s movie released on Boxing Day. Gather the ingredients for the best movie experience ever …
- A reusable bag that they can use for small day trips or even a sleepover
- A bag of popping corn … you can make it together and pop it into reusable containers
- A new smart-casual outfit
- The ticket (s)
So many lessons in planting a seed and watching it grow! The things can be popped into a reusable gifting bag
- Seeds … growing veggies / herbs is especially fun!
- Watering can
Try and buy good quality if you can - so that you’re not replacing every year … I’m always amazed at what my kids can achieve when it comes to breakages of their school kit!
- School bag
- Pencil case
- Drink Bottle
#4 Arts and Crafts
Materials to make an arts and crafts box. For example;
Plain cardboard box (Repurposed one you have lying around would be perfect)
- Recycled coloured paper
- Paint brushes
- Old pillowcase to line the interior
- A voucher for some of your time to help them put it together
Remember it doesn’t need to be perfect - it’s more about the process than it is the end result
A cooking kit! There are kid-sized cooking kits out there … but I’ve found that they often are either poor quality or redundant after your child hits tweens. The obvious would be a baking kit, but why not try something different and gift them the things to cook up a storm for dinner;
- Chopping Board
- Recipe Folder
- Hand written recipe of a family favourite dinner
- A voucher of your time to help them wow the rest of the family with a yummy dinner
You could even wrap this one up in a tea towel
Getting new gear for whatever sport they love will always be well received
My kids are still to young to have smartphones (they have to be 18 right ?!?!), but they love to listen to music. There are some super cheap MP3 options out there now … and more than sufficient for some hairbrush - mirror singing! You could also add a voucher for them to purchase their fav songs!
My son has his nose buried in the Harry Potter series at the moment. The first 5 books he’s borrowed from the library and the last two were my brother’s. The library is amazing for good quality books and no damage to the budget at all! But it is super special to have your own copy of a book - as long as it’s looked after. Maybe even throw in a bookmark too!
What fun things are available to do around your local area? What is normally reserved for tourists? For example;
- A swim with the dolphins at Seaworld
- A trip to the local Zoo
- Going to see the latest theatre production
- Going on a bush walk
Buy the voucher or make one yourself and pop it in a reusable gift bag along with something related to the experience
There is a ton of research indicating that the ‘thing’ children want the most is time with their parents.
Create a voucher for some of your time. One for each child and for however they would like to spend it (within reason of course)
It could be a simple addition to a card or you could couple it with a special pen and notepad on which they can design their special day with you
I hope that this is helped inspired you to a less wasteful Christmas. I’m sure that if each of us makes at least once change in the way we give and receive gifts this year - we can start to clean up our planet for generations to come, raise minimalist children and gift them with a clean Earth in the future, rather than the latest LOL doll.
If you think that your friends and family could use some … ermmm … ‘encouragement’ to hold off on the cheap plastic crap this year - go ahead and passively-aggressively share this blog on your social ... go on, I dare you ;o)
~ Just One Small Change ~