I asked our contributors to share their favorite Christmas gift ideas with our readers. Here is what they came up with!
From Ann Dunagan of Harvest Ministry:
2. Each Christmas morning my dad ties scrolls to our Christmas tree branches – one for each of us older girls. Inside of the scroll is a personal, unique, rhythmic invitation for each of us to go on a special shopping “date” with Dad. We go out for a treat: ice cream, a meal, or a snack and then have two hours to spend $__, usually on clothes. We have made some wonderful memories and usually purchase “unique” clothing items that reflect a combination of Dad and daughter clothing preferences… a lot of fun & quite humorous… It is a great time for talkin’, walkin’, and shoppin’ just the two of us! Afterward we come home and do a “fashion show” for the rest of the family, whittle down our options and return the items that exceed our budget. It has become a special tradition I look forward to every year!
3. Hope Chest Items – Each year at least one of us girls receives a hope chest item, often hand-crafted by Mom or another sister. These gifts have been treasures to receive because of the intentional thought, planning, and foresight invested in their craftsmanship. We enjoy tucking away these timeless gifts in our hope chests for future days as a wife, mother, and homemaker. Some of these items have included: a blanket made of Great-Grandma’s fabric scraps, a sewing box beautifully painted and covered in a quilted cushion with a cross-stitched Proverbs 31 verse on the lid, a beautiful potholder embroidered with a Bible verse about Jesus being the Bread of Life, embroidered homemade pillowcases, intricate crocheted cross-shaped bookmarks, knit dishcloths, reversible aprons, Swedish-weave dishcloths, lace-painting surrounding a framed poem, cozy shawls knit while the recipient is prayed for, etc… Usually these gifts are accompanied by a letter that explains the giver’s intention in the gift and a written encouragement for the recipient. These gifts not only display a willingness to plan and give generously, but stirs up the recipient with joy and excitement for their future role, Lord willing, as a biblical woman in a home of their own.
4. One year we received a family gift from our parents and grandparents to travel to a ski-resort for a day and spend a night in a hotel.
5. On a few occasions our parents have purchased for us gift certificates to take hands-on classes: cake-decorating, knitting, etc., sometimes even with our Mom!
6. Because life is busy, sometimes the best gifts have been TIME TOGETHER. My sisters and I have given each other “girlfriend time” certificates: a trip to a tea room together, a jewelry-making trip to a bead store together, etc.
7. Books & Music - Weeks prior to Christmas my mom will ask us to browse our favorite online web stores or book catalogs and make a “just-in-case” list. We buzz with excitement at the sight of a new book or an uplifting music cd!
From Terry Covey of A Mom’s Many Lessons:
8. Last year we splurged and gave our family and our adult children the parts to make their own soda machine. This consists of a CO2 tank, meters, and tubing. It will last for years and make soda water for pennies per liter. All you have to do is add natural juice concentrate or flavored stevia, or enjoy it plain for a delicious and healthy drink. No more high calorie/sugar filled sodas for us!
9. Games, like Catan, are always a good value because of the family time they offer us. It’s always fun when someone in our family gives their latest find in the game world.
10. The gift of a family ski trip or Silver Dollar City season pass tickets were big hits. Just FYI, SDC is a Branson, MO theme park set in the 1800s with craftsmen who show their skills in glass blowing, blacksmithing, woodcarving, and more. Again, something our family can enjoy and build memories together.
11. Specific ideas for gifts are hard to think of, but something we’ve done for years is have a magnet board decorated for the season, where everyone has a decorated, folded paper with their name on it. On the backside, they list their ideas for what they could use, and on the inside of the folded paper, we all list ideas for that person (no peeking!). This way, we’re not just buying stuff, desperately wondering if the person will like it! We’re actually giving them something personal, that they would really like or need, and possibly something they wouldn’t splurge on themselves. That way it’s a practical gift.
From Marci Ferrell of A Thankful Homemaker:
13. Telescope - these were some of our favorite nights gazing at the stars and planets together
14. My Father-in-Law loves his Trail Camera and we all enjoy looking at the critters running around the yard.
From Molly Evert of Counter Cultural Mom:
15. One of the best Christmas gifts–value for money–that I have ever given was a Mini Kick Scooter from Kickboard USA, which I purchased for my 2 year old. This scooter is PERFECT for a toddler who wants to ride like his big siblings. They offer a scooter with a shorter bar and a seat for 1 and 2 year olds (the Mini Micro), but that wasn’t available when I purchased the Mini Kick scooter (which is recommended for ages 3 to 5). My then-2 year old LOVED it. The lean and steer handle bar allows kids to use their body weight to steer effortlessly, and the scooter has 3 wheels and is very light weight and low to the ground. It served him for years, and now our current 2 year old is using it. This is not a cheap scooter, but it works great for toddlers, and is so well-made it can be handed down. I recommend it to all my friends, and those who have purchased it love it just as much as I do. An added bonus for me is that the wheels don’t scratch my hard wood floors, so our kids can use it inside, too.
16. Audio books make a great gift for kids or homeschooling families. My Audio School offers a gift certificate for a one year membership, giving access to over 600 educational audio resources including classic books, old time radio theater, educational television and radio broadcasts, and much more. For information about setting up a gift subscription, email firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.myaudioschool.com
17. Our family also makes a point of shopping on two particular days when we can find good savings. Some of our younger children enjoy playing dress up, and I often find good deals on costumes and accessories on November 1st, when all the Halloween things are put on sale. I keep in mind historical time periods we will be studying, and I have picked up great finds like Roman gladiator, knight, medieval dresses, and many more. Also, my husband and oldest son get up before dawn every year on Black Friday and brave the crowds to find unbeatable deals on electronics, toys, camping equipment, housewares, jewelry, and more. I have never been brave enough to join them, but I can’t deny the amazing deals they find, and much of our Christmas shopping gets done that day. My husband uses an iphone app to track all the Black Friday deals.
From Natalie Klejwa of Visionary Womanhood:
The biggest hits in our family have been:
18. A trampoline. For four years, not a day goes by without the kids jumping. I think this was the best gift we ever gave.
19. Hamsters. The kids loved these. Me? Not so much.
20. Cockatiels. Even I can get into these animals. They are fun, friendly, smart, and they don’t stink. The only problem is that they DO make a lot of noise. But in our home with 11 family members, the difference is miniscule.
21. Play dress up clothes. Our kids play dress up EVERY DAY. And they ask for outfits for their birthdays and Christmas. We’ve got cowboys, police officers, doctors, princesses, Robin Hoods, and even Gandolf…among others. The possibilities are endless.
22. Super Sculpey. Do yourself a favor and forget the play dough, moon dough, and any other kind of “dough” on the market. Kids adore Super Sculpey because you can make/sculpt so many neat things with just your hands and a toothpick. Our kids make people, animals, farms, etc. and play for hours with this stuff. It’s so easy to clean up. And all you need is this neutral color. They use their imaginations for the rest. It never dries out. Never gets old. Just stick it in a Rubbermaid container until next time. If you want to bake a creation to keep…you can do that too. We LOOOOOOVE this product.
23. Legos. Hours…no…YEARS of fun.
24. Playmobile. Ditto.