Well I (and others) still need ideas for things to wrap and place under the tree, I realized... sometimes the best gifts are not things.
Be sure to also check out the post:
5 Tips on Getting Relatives to Think Outside the (Gift) Box
Below are four fun holiday experiences to gift your kids this season. I'd love if you'd share additional ideas with me in the comments below.
Give the Gift of Theater
Buy your child tickets to a play or musical. Last year we gave our girls (and my in-laws) tickets to see a children's production at the local theater. The four of them had a wonderful time. They had a special quartet lunch and enjoyed the show without mom or dad to cramp their style. The best part was the show was on a random day in March vs. during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. This made the experience less stressful for the grandparents and more memorable for the kids.
This spring The Peanut, as Tiffany so fondly calls her little one, enjoyed a special birthday afternoon on the town sans sister with her mom & aunt. Can you guess what musical they saw?
Do you see the joy in her eyes?
What to give under the tree: If you are seeing a "character" play or musical consider something associated with the storyline, such as an adorable Dr. Suess hat!
Reciprocal Children's Museum Pass
Consider getting a pass at a nearby children's museum. We actually do not have a museum in town, but have access to two museums within an hour and a half of driving. Two years ago we started getting a reciprocal pass. We've used this on trips to Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee and the Twin Cities in the past year. Over 200 museums across the nation participate in the Association of Children's Museum program, click here to find your state participants. Joining offers benefits such as:
- Unlimited admission for the entire family to the museum all year (and reciprocal museums)
- Invitations to members' events, exhibit openings, and special events
- Discounts on education programs, activities, and field trips
- Discounts at the museum store
- Free or reduced parking
What to give under the tree: Check to see upcoming events at the museum and give a small gift that has an association. For example, if there is a rainforest exhibit consider something cool like this tree frog.
A Night at the Local Hotel
Growing up I was a spoiled child with multiple trips to Disney World. Do you want to know what my fondest memories of these trips are? Swimming in the hotel pool with my brothers. Yes, a vacation holiday would be swell, but honestly all your child truly wants is your attention... and a pool. A water park hotel is would be great, however a classic square boring pool will do just fine. For bonus points invite some cousins or friends to join the fun.
What to give under the tree: Fill a pre-owned suitcase with some fun items like PJs, microwave popcorn, and other treats for your sleepover.
One-on-One Date Night
If you have more than one child consider taking each of them on a private one-on-one date night. You can go for dinner, ice-cream, to the park, to a movie, but the only requirement is the date is a duo. Strike that, there are two requirements. Turn off your cell phone and give your little one your full attention.
What to give under the tree: Consider a gift certificate, a box of ice cream cones, or a box of popcorn depending on what your plan is!
Let's take this post full circle... look at this photo of The Peanut. What toy can compare to an afternoon of happiness and a life long memory? You can literally see the joy in her eyes, what an amazing photo.
Give your child THIS for Christmas. Will they notice one less toy under the tree? No. You may not get the Christmas morning unwrapping glee, but you will get a return on your investment that is priceless.