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While the focus of the holiday season shouldn’t be on gift-giving it is still a big part of our celebrations. Trouble is all those new toys bring a lot of stuff into our homes. Here’s a list of clutter free Christmas gifts to let you give freely and keep the number of toys manageable!
Everywhere I turn I see advertisements for Christmas gifts.We don’t watch television, but the ads are everywhere. They are in flyers, in our mail boxes, magazines and newspapers. There’s even a deluge of gift-buying guides in our Pinterest feeds.
And it’s only the beginning of November.
But Here’s the Problem
Stuff weighs us down.
Clutter is suffocating.
It’s more to clean up and it’s more to organize
Too many toys can be overwhelming for children. I know, because when I drastically reduced my boy’s toys they really felt the benefits.
From talking to parents at the library I get the impression that most families have more than enough toys. We don’t need any more stuff. We are drowning in stuff.
But Christmas is a time of gift giving
It’s an opportunity for family and friends to show their love for each other with gifts.
But do we really want or need more toys?
Call me Grinch if you want, but the whole situation has me wondering if we need to do things a little differently year.
How about if we find a way to give gifts and yet keep our homes free from an overwhelming amount of stuff?
Instead of more toys, your kids will get memorable experiences with you. Sound good?
Secret Tip: I have focused on clutter free gifts for kids in this post, but many of these ideas can be adapted for adults too!
11 Clutter Free Christmas Gifts to Give Your Kids
- Outings: Our boys loved going out on special outings as a family. Their favorite place to visit was the water park at the West Edmonton Mall. A family day pass would delight them. If you want something to wrap pop a couple of tickets into a gift envelope.
- Memberships: Local attractions such as zoos, museums, art galleries, aquariums, and botanical gardens often offer seasonal passes for families. This is the gift that keeps on giving through the year.
- Library Card: I have worked in a library for six years now. I can tell you that younger children are always thrilled when they get their very own library card. This is the ultimate clutter free gift. It will get your kids books, movies, audio books, music, and magazines and none of it stays in your house permanently. You can always pair it with a cute book bag and a promise to visit the library at least once a month.
- Gift Certificates: My boys love gift certificates. Gift cards to their favorite restaurant or iTunes cards will prevent the clutter creep.
- Subscribe to a Kid’s magazine: Kids love getting mail addressed just to them and you’ll be building their reading skills too. A few ideas: Highlights, National Geographic For Kids, or Discovery Girls. When you are finished with the magazines donate them to an organization that helps families or children.
- Classes: Do your kids have any interests? Classes are a great way to encourage children in their hobbies. It also lets them know that you pay attention to them and what they enjoy.
- Events Tickets to a play, concert or sports event are really exciting and make for great memories!
- A donation to a charity: Has your child raised money for a cause that is close to their heart? Have they expressed concern about wildlife or children in need? Why not make a donation to a charity in their name? My favorites are Kiva and Linked Through Love. These charities don’t have high administrative costs, so you can be sure that most of the money donated will actually go to those in need.
- A Year of Dates: Your kids want to spend time with you. That’s why I really loved the idea of A Year Of Dates from Let’s Explore. What you do is to give your children an envelope for each month, with a special surprise date inside. Things like shopping for and cooking a recipe of the child’s choice or going on a nature hike. Totally brilliant right?
- Monthly Treat Club Choose something your child loves to eat or do and create a monthly club. It could be a cookie, craft, special snack, or movie of the month. Every month they receive a different treat to enjoy. By the way there is no rule that says these have to be homemade. Many store bought cookies are really good. You know the kind that are too sugar laden/expensive to get everyday, but are perfect for an occasional treat.
- Coupons: An envelope of coupons that your children can “spend” at any time is always popular. The two favorites in our house was a week without chores and a batch of favorite cookies. Other ideas include choosing what’s for dinner tonight, a favorite breakfast, and an extra story at bedtime.
Here’s a sneak preview
Download your coupon book
- Download the coupon book. You’ll get the printable coupons, plus join my bi-weekly newsletter! Just click here to subscribe and enter the library. (Want to write your own coupons? I’ve included a sheet of blanks that you can customize.)
- Print. On card stock if possible, but paper will be fine.
- Cut out the coupons you want to include in the book.
- Staple A couple of staples on the left side should hold everything together
But What About Family Members Who Want Give Gifts?
Do you have family members who just love to shower your kids with gifts? We don’t want to deprive anyone of the joy of giving and yet we want to keep the clutter in check.
That’s why I was pretty excited to stumble upon the So Kind Family Registry.
A way to ask for gifts that will keep my home free of an overwhelming amount of toys and stuff. YES PLEASE!
In a nutshell So Kind registry is an alternate gift registry. You can build wish lists that encourage the giving of homemade gifts, charitable donations, second-hand goods, experiences, time, and more.
Check out this sample wish list for a family. One of their items is a plea for help to organize school papers
Another one is to donate a book to their local library. I love that idea!
YES! That sounds like my kind of Christmas!
What will you put on your list?
Check out my Simple Christmas Pinterest Board
What do you think? Do you want more fun and less stuff? Will you get on board with a clutter free Christmas? What ideas do you have?