Happy (Practical) Holidays

Happy (Practical) Holidays
November 3, 2010 jflojennings

By Jane Marshall

The holidays are just around the corner, and I know we’re all starting to think about gift giving, especially to our little ones.  With budgets being tighter than in past years, I’ve thought of a few different ways to make sure that we get things that Sierra really needs rather then getting a whole bunch of things that are just going to sit around and collect dust.

My whole outlook on this holiday season is to be practical.

I have taken note of things I see Sierra enjoying and the main thing is music.  Whenever there is music on the radio or television she stops and listens and then starts to dance or mimic the instrument being played.  I came across a piano for her age group and thought this would be a perfect gift for her to see if down the road she will have interest in playing a real piano.  I let my mother-in-law know, and she was excited to order it for Sierra!

Walmart gift cards are the best type of present for us as a whole, as our family goes there at least once a week for house supplies, dog and cat supplies and of course baby supplies.  How often have you gotten a knick-knack from someone that winds up sitting around without being put to use?  Don’t be too shy to ask someone if there’s something in particular that they need.  In fact, I bet it will be greatly appreciated, and you will see a very happy look on their face when they receive something they really want!

This year, spending time with family will be the most important thing, our focus this holiday season.  If you want to create memories with someone, why not buy tickets to a concert, a play, a sporting event or something where you will get out of the house and spend quality time together?  I love to do this with my dad as it always gives us “WE” time.  He is another one that loves music, so I always check to see if there’s a particular artist we both enjoy that we could go see.  Last year we saw the Celtic Women in Manchester, NH and it was such an amazing show.  You get a holiday present for a loved one, you have something to look forward to, and you get to spend time together at the actual event!  It’s a gift that goes beyond the initial ‘giving.’

A great way to search out gifts you are interested in is to visit Amazon and to get a few different pricing options.  I found Sierra’s piano in a catalog I had received at home and it was $16.00 cheaper at Amazon!  Not only were we getting the gift we wanted for Sierra, but we also saved my mother-in-law a few dollars!  Another idea if you have a daughter:  get a collection of gift cards to the American Girl Doll Store and you’ll be able to go with her to select the special doll she wants, spend a great afternoon at the store- two floors!- and even visit the in-house restaurant.  Same goes for the Build-A-Bear store where, once again, your child can pick out exactly what they want while you have fun together.  I also received a catalog from the Toy Shop of Westford, and it has a lot of great ideas with unique toys that you may not have thought of.

If you want to get creative and get a personalized gift for your family members, why not create a calendar with your family’s pictures in it for every month?  It’s a great way to take a walk down memory lane and for those that may not live right around the corner, a great way to see your family on a daily basis.  I store my photos online at Kodak Gallery, and they have so many ideas for that type of gift.

Also, make sure you make the most of those coupons for stores like Toys-R-US and Babies-R-Us, Bed Bath & Beyond and any others that you receive.  Every $5 you save may be an additional $5 toward another gift for another person!

Happy Shopping! Make sure you take lots of pictures this holiday season.  Those are the best gifts of all because you’ll go back them time and time again.

Comments (3)

  1. Meredith 9 years ago

    Great tips Jane!

    When our daughters were born 2 years ago, my sister and I started the tradition of making a photo calendar for our parents. We are working on our thrid one now – it is my parents favorite gift and our girls love to see themselves on the big glossy pages. It is so easy to do and reasonably priced. I also use Kodak Gallery and created a beautiful linen coffee table photobook for a Mother’s Day gift to my Mom.

    I also love the gift of entertainment. Sesame Street Live is coming to the Lowell Auditorium and tickets to the show would be a great idea for friends and family with young children.

  2. Amy Dienta 9 years ago

    I make my son give 1 toy a year to toys for tots and I give a donation. He picks which toy. It makes him realise how much he has. We have been doing this since he was 3. I feel like we should give back in some small way.

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