Christmas is my favourite holiday! Like hands down, my absolute favourite holiday! Like I’ve got 2 Christmas trees people! I’m totally obsessed and in love with Christmas. The food, the traditions, the decorations, they are all reasons to love the season. And the presents.
I love giving presents. I love the process of picking the perfect gift for each person, finding the best price (it’s got to be on-budget), wrapping it up in beautiful paper and watching the recipient open that gift. But at Christmas, the gifts can be a little…overwhelming.
It’s a difficult balancing act. I want to the kids to have full stockings and gifts to open while we sit around the tree. But I don’t want my house and more importantly, my kids, overwhelmed with toys. I firmly believe that the point of Christmas is not about toys but I also love watching them open presents around the tree on Christmas morning. So what is a mom to do?
I try to be thoughtful, and purposeful when deciding what to give my kids for Christmas. About 95% of the gifts my kids open on Christmas morning are practical and non-toy gifts. Yes, they get a toy or 2 but usually, the presents around the tree are other things.
One of my biggest secrets is that I actually use Christmas as a time to stock up for the year to come.
This is the time when I evaluate what my needs will need in the next 12 months. Stocking stuffers are usually toiletries, socks and their favourite snacks. Under the tree, you’ll find new running shoes, clothes in the next size up and other non-toy gifts.
Looking for some ideas of what to wrap up for under the tree? Here are some of my favourite practical, non-toy Christmas presents. I’ve broken it down into categories and I try to get at least one from each to make a well-rounded Christmas.
I always stock our stockings with toiletries that the kids will need in the next few months. It’s stuff they need but it gives them something to open and they get really excited to get “their own” products. Bonus if you can find one of their favourite characters or colours.
3. body wash
4. bubble bath
7. hand or body lotion
8. lip balms
9. bath bombs
I always like to have a few snacks in the stocking. Yes, I add a special treat like a chocolate or candy, but here I’m talking about other snacks like the ones I pack in the diaper bag and for lunch at preschool. The best are those that are individually wrapped for ease later when packing.
11. mini oranges
12. fruit cups
13. fruit pouches
14. rice cookies or teething cookies
15. granola bars
17. trail mix
Things to Wear
Christmas is the time when I like to get the kids clothes they will need in the future. I get a few things in a bigger size for each of my girls. Now, I’m not one for character clothes usually but at Christmas, I make it a little special and include something they love. Alexie is getting a Paw Patrol sweater shirt which is not something I usually buy but she’ll love it and it makes a great gift.
18. socks – we always got socks for Christmas and I’m continuing the tradition
20. clothes or an outfit
21. shoes – I always get my kids a new pair of running shoes
26. pyjamas – We give new PJs on the Christmas Eve. That way the girls have cute, new PJs when we take pictures in the morning. I even pre-wash them so they can wear them to bed that night
27. hair accessories like clips, bows and headbands
28. purse or bag
There are some other fun items you can get that aren’t toys but are great for kids.
31. snow fort building moulds
33. ball (football, soccer ball, basketball, etc)
35. craft supplies
36. colouring book
37. crayons, markers, pencil crayons (bonus for travel size)
38. sports equipment they need (new helmet, skates, gymnastic leotard, etc)
A little Card
A little card can hold a great gift. Gift cards and memberships can hold a lot of fun if you are smart about what to buy.
39. zoo membership
40. science centre membership or pass
41. museum membership or pass
42. aquarium membership or pass
43. indoor playgrounds voucher
44. mini golf voucher
45. go-carts voucher
46. art classes
47. fees for favourite sport (soccer, gymnastics, hockey)
48. music lessons
49. concert tickets
50. amusement park pass
Other Cool Things
There are some other great ideas that just don’t fall into one of these categories.
51. water bottle
52. fun plates, bowls or cups
53. forks and spoons
54. cute snack containers
55. bedroom decor
56. new sheets or blankets
58. musical instrument
60. Anything your child will need in the next year (Alexie is getting a booster seat for the dinner table
Picking practical gifts will mean fewer toys and junk and more of things you actually need. It also means you’ll have a stockpile of things your kids will need. It’s also great on the budget since a lot of these things are things you are going to need in the next little while. Its a better use of your family’s money, rather than a toy your kids might play with for 10 minutes. Consider a practical Christmas this year!
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