‘Tis the season… to put a smile on your child’s face… but that smile doesn’t have to break the bank!
Belt tightening has become a way of life in our world. During this holiday shopping season, how can we stretch our limited budget and still give our children a wonderful Christmas? At Impact Thrift we’ve put together a list of suggestions and alternatives that might help you stretch that gift dollar even further…
Purchase one big thing instead of many big things. If your children are like mine, their list includes a tablet computer, a guitar, a new laptop AND a gaming system! Rather than getting all for everyone, purchase one large item and a variety of smaller items and accessories that may not even be on their list. And, perhaps that one large item becomes a family share gift!
Focus on a dream. Create an individual themed basket of books and items that focus on your child’s interest or a dream. Does your daughter love sports or science? Is your son fascinated by surfing or trivia? Would they love to travel? Pick out a nice basket from our Bric-a-Brac Department and then head over to the Book Department! E-readers maybe be all the craze but you can’t beat a hardcover book for 90 cents or a paperback for 35 cents! Fill in with items that might complement your book selections as we did in our world traveler basket pictured above! The cost of this entire basket (including the basket!) was under $12!
Put together a kit of the supplies to create something fun! Craft projects provide many hours of entertainment and foster creativity and teamwork. Kits are available for beginners in so many different combinations… they can learn to knit, bake, work with wood or pottery or start a collection. Many retailers are willing to spend time with you gathering the items to create your own kit! Maybe knitting needles, some yarn and a beginner book, or a made-from-scratch cookie baking kit? The possibilities are endless!
Along those same lines… Give the gift of learning a skill! Do you or a friend or neighbor have a skill you can share and teach? Perhaps offer hours of lessons to each other’s children in music or photography, swimming or drawing. Just ask around. Whatever your child’s interest, someone is out there willing to teach!
Give the gift of time. Your kids may have created an elaborate wish list, but chances are they won’t tell you that what is truly most important to them is spending time with you! Create an appointment with your child, set aside time on a daily or weekly basis to focus on something together. Perhaps play an old fashioned board game (we have a weekly Monopoly battle in our home), read a book series together (maybe on that e-reader) or explore your area through a hiking game such as geocaching… The time spent with your children now will reap benefits in years to come. It’s the small things kids remember, like spending time with you!
But perhaps most importantly give yourself a gift… give yourself a break!
Part of the challenge of the season is realizing that we can only do what we can do. Can we buy them everything on their list and stay out of debt? No. Period. Make the decision today not to feel guilty. Of course, that’s easier said than done… but try. You will be happier…. and a happier YOU makes for a happier family!