Now don't get mad at me, I know it's only November and that we need to give Thanksgiving it's time. I'm excited for that too. But if you are a family on a tight budget like we are then you understand that we cannot wait for the three weeks of Christmas time to prepare. While I'd love to hit Toys R Us and clear the place out in one grand shopping trip, we don't have that kind of dough. Especially not all at the same time.
And truth be told, it gives me hives to think about organizing a Black Friday bonanza. Hives.
If your kids or grandkids are littles like mine, they are going to love Christmas with or without that $200 over-priced quadrillion piece pink castle. So I vote for without and instead of suffering the indignity of being trampled the day after Thanksgiving, I will pick up a few things for them to open along the way at discount/closeout stores.
But I am so excited about another idea I had. Boxes. More specifically, boxes of awesome amazing-ness. And I thought I'd share my ideas here. Just in case you were looking for some. Little kids are pretty into instant gratification. Of course it's our job to help them understand that the world doesn't always work that way. But on Christmas morning? Pshhhh. Life lessons can wait. It's Christmas, dudes! What better day is there to just let your kids dive right in?
And so I offer you a list of alternatives to that Lego kit that just might keep you in the black this Christmas season and make your Christmas morning super fun and stress free for the little people in your life.
Here we go...
2. Ballroom Blitz: The music box that rocks your socks off! Dude, a harmonica. You need to get a harmonica. We paid six bucks for ours. Then go to the cheapskate section of the toy aisle. You will find recorders for a dollar and little tambourines and drums for dirt cheap. You can even make your own musical instruments for the box. Here is a site with some really great ideas for making your own.
3. That big item that you can't afford: Start searching Craigslist for it. So many people are making room for the incoming Christmas gifts by selling off the stuff they no longer want or need. I'm talking about the Little Tykes kitchens, bikes, art centers and train tables, man. Stuff people cannot sell on eBay without paying out the nose for shipping. Bonus: You don't have to put it together! Spit shine it and it's ready to go.
4. Bath Time Bonanza Box: You know what are stupid expensive? Bath toys. Do you know what is super amazing in the bath tub? Glow sticks, colored shaving cream and bubbles. Other stuff for the box? Body crayons, those cheap colored plastic measuring cups and bath fizzes. I plan on having this gift in the bathtub waiting for them and they can open it right before they take a bath. Like a bonus present. That way they can have the instant gratification of actually using it.
5. Creative Cats Craft Like Crazy Box : Just fill that baby with all the awesome craft and artsy things you know your kid wants to play with. Don't forget to include a plastic table cloth or a cheap shower curtain to use as a creating mat! The important thing to remember if you do a craft box is to let them play with it. So you may want to have them open it last so that you can blend the morning right into some art time all together. Maybe even take that opportunity to make some art for any family or friends you will be seeing later in the day.
And finally, remember that people are donating things like crazy to thrift stores right now! Perfectly awesome toys that are already put together and out of the package are just waiting for you to come along and give them a new home. Imagine a Christmas morning with no packaging! Wouldn't that be kind of a dream? No slicing your fingers on sealed plastic or trying to find the screwdriver to free a toy from its prison while your kid screams at you. And of course beyond protecting your fingers and sanity there's the added bonus of less waste for the landfills. Win. Win.
Do you have an awesome box idea or a money saving idea? I want to know about it!
Share it here.