Friday, December 13, 2019

A Holiday Gift Guide for the Children You Love

We have a blessing and a curse in middle class America where we can afford gifts for our children, but also still care about their gratitude level in life.  As parents, we understand how fortunate we are to even afford presents, but so many of our options are just excessive and unnecessary.  Even more fortunate are those of us whose parents are able and willing to buy gifts for our kids too!  But again, the gifting can get out of control so easily.  Let's talk about some gift ideas that can support a healthy child and satisfy a loving gift-giver.

Arts and Craft Supplies

One of the most important parts of childhood that we suppress far too easily is Creativity.  Whether you have a busy crafter or a kid who doesn't seem interested, both children NEED creative outlets.  This is a fundamental need that we all have that helps us understand our world and ourselves.  For my 6 year old daughter who always has a craft idea, a basket full of random supplies would be a delight.  My 9 year old son who enjoys a good craft but just as easily would play ball with you for hours, he might enjoy more themed crafting like a nice paint by number or build and paint your own activity.   The point is that it isn't just something to take up space, but an opportunity to explore and create which will then lead to other opportunities.  This is a beautiful way to live life!

Build Your Own Craft Basket
Paper, Foam, Fabric
Pens, Markers, Crayons
Play Dough
Craft Sticks
Googly eyes, Pipe Cleaners
Paper Cups, Cotton Balls

Prepackaged Ideas
Color/Paint by Number
Jewelry Making
How to Draw Books
Wooden or Ceramic items to be decorated
Learn to sew/crotchet/knit kits

Feed Their Soul

Whether we honor it or not, we all have a great need for spiritual fulfillment.  God has placed in a us a desire to know and be known by Him.  It is tempting to think that taking our kids to church or making sure they have some morally good friends should be enough.  Those are important parts of our spiritual nurturing, but how is their soul being fed daily?  Reading the Bible and thinking about spiritual things every day is one of the most important ways for cultivating a lasting heart for God.  Does your child have their own Bible?  By the time they are reading well, their own personal Bible (not a kid one with mostly pictures but one where they can actually learn to find books and verses) is a great gift.  My son asked for one for his birthday a couple of years ago and we got his name printed on it and a set of tabs to help him find the books.  The important part of feeding their soul is that is happens daily, not once a week at church.

Inspirational Calendar
Bible Journal & Supplies
Scripture-based Music
Bible-themed Activity Books
Read together Devotionals
Magazine Subscription - We like Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. from Focus on the Family

The Love of Learning

As a homeschooling family, encouraging learning is something we are always thinking about, but it absolutely applies to every person on the planet! We all need encouragement to continue learning.  Longevity, personal growth, and better relationships all benefit from life long learning..  This includes keeping our minds healthy and  finding new ways of thinking.   A wonderful gift for a child is something they can use to grow and be healthier!

Magazine Subscription (National Geographic for Kids, Zootles, Ranger Rick, etc.)
Items to Build With (Blocks, Legos, Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, K'nex, Brain Blox, etc)
KiwiCo - Monthly Activity Subscriptions
Local Classes

One of the best things to remember when you are buying for children is that a good gift can encourage life, but a mindless gift may only create clutter. 

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