There are two things kids look forward to most Christmas morning- getting stuff they want, and opening stuff…period.
Rather than filling the landfill and emptying our wallets by buying a bunch of “filler presents”…you know, the gifts you buy just so the kids will have more to open…why not set aside things we were going to give them anyway and wrap up those?
Your kid may be desperate for a new pair of pants – can she wait a few weeks and open them Christmas morning? The robe hook for her bathroom door? The box of hand-me down clothes you’ve just received? All are gifts.
And what about the everyday necessities we automatically buy for our children that they take for granted, like extra school supplies, socks, picky-eater cereal, granola bars? These, too, can be wrapped up and presented as the gifts they authentically are.
No, none of these gifts will be our children’s favorite to open, but that’s not the point. They will enjoy the act of opening them, and then get really excited when the few “real” special gifts emerge. And, rather than be left with a bunch of stuff they will never use, they’ll be left with a bunch of stuff they will simply use.
This may seem like “cheating” to you, but ease your conscience. The youngest children won’t know the difference, and the older ones are old enough to turn it into a family game (is this a “want gift” or a “need gift?” ) and start learning a valuable lesson: anything given to them for free IS a gift, and should be enjoyed and appreciated.