The other day my 6-year-old daughter informed me of her plans to raid her father’s coin container, so she could make my Dyson dreams come true for Christmas. I strongly discouraged her thoughtful, yet immoral plan, explaining that he had already gifted me with a vacuum cleaner a few years back and that I didn’t think he had $500 worth of coins in his container anyway.
Still, the fact that my daughter actually thought of someone other than herself this holiday season got me thinking about ways parents can foster a child’s spirit of giving.
Instead of choosing, wrapping and presenting gifts to loved ones yourself, why not allow your kids to join in the fun? Here are some simple, yet thoughtful gifts that kids of all ages can help put together with a little help from mom and dad:
Theme Gift Baskets
If your daughter loves to create her own jewelry with beads and charms, then have her make enough to add to blinged-out gift baskets. Use leather and gems to create one-of-a-kind bracelets, earrings and necklaces.
Other gift basket ideas include:
Foodies: Pick a regional cuisine, such as Italian, and put together a yummy basket filled with homemade tomato sauce and fresh bread. You could also add some wine and cheese.
Animal Lovers: If the gift recipient is an animal lover, then choose some nice accessories for his or her pet. For example, if your friend has a bird, consider filling a basket with organic bird food or make a floral bird nest.
Spa Fans: Bring a taste of the spa to your gift recipient’s home by filling a basket with lotions and potions. My daughter loves choosing different oils and bath salts at Bath and Body Works for the girls on our Christmas gift list.
Kids will love getting a chance to show off their creative side by making handcrafted gift items. Work with your child to sew a simple tote bag for grandma or head to the kitchen and whip up a batch of tasty dog treats for your favorite pooch. Younger kids can help put together a scrapbook filled with photos, mementos and cool embellishments for family members who won’t be able to make it home for Christmas.