This post is part of a sponsored collaboration with Bloggin’ Mamas and the Florida Prepaid College Board as part of the Florida Prepaid Mama’Bassador Program. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and text are my own.
Every year I debate whether to write a holiday gift guide. The internal debate normally starts somewhere in early October when I get the first email from a company asking if I’m doing a gift guide and spans the entire holiday season until I finally just run out of time. Of course, it’s not that I’m against gift guides, I just feel that my kids have so much stuff. Too much stuff. I spent the greater part of Friday cleaning out their toy room and purging, and yet all I could think about while I was cleaning was Christmas. All that stuff I just got rid of was going to be coming right back in my house in the form of new Christmas presents from friends and family. So this year when I get asked what my kids need or want for Christmas, this is what I’m telling them…consider it my Non-Toy Holiday Gift Guide.
Tickets & experiences. My kids remember things that they’ve done more than things they’ve received. It’s almost as if they instantaneously lose interest in that toy they’ve been lusting after for months the second the wrapping paper falls to the floor. So when people ask what my kids need, I’ve been telling them movie tickets, tickets to the ice show coming in the spring, or a gift card for the circus. These are all big events for my kids. Want to do more? How about an annual pass to that trampoline place? Or maybe a seasonal pass to the zoo or a museum? These are things that will stick with them more than any toy.
Lessons. It seems like my kids want to take up a new hobby every other day. Ice skating, tennis, gymnastics, you name it, they want to learn, but all those classes can get pricey quick. So instead of that toy that will no doubt go unused, why not recommend a friend or relative give some gloves and a learn to ice skate clinic, tennis balls and some tennis classes, or a leotard to go along with a month of gymnastics? These are items that will get used as they participate in the gift. As an added bonus, the friend or relative will have lots to talk with the child about the next time they visit!
A day with you. Time. It’s the one thing that kids want the most. If the friend or relative asking what your child wants the most lives close by, recommend that they take the child to the zoo, the movies, or even just the park. I promise the child will remember it long after that toy is tossed to the side.
Education. At first, this one seems like a pricey option, but thanks to Florida Prepaid, the gift of education is actually extremely reasonable. Take the 1-Year Florida University Plan for example. The newest of Florida Prepaid’s offerings starting at just $50 per month, the 1-Year Florida University Plan allows you to purchase one year, or 30 credit hours, at a time according to your budget and timeline, without feeling the pressure of having to buy all four years at once. It even allows multiple purchasers to buy a plans for the same child, which means family members and friends can team up to help pay for your child’s higher education. A child can have up to four 1-Year Florida University Plans, essentially covering your child’s entire undergraduate education. With Florida Prepaid open enrollment in full swing, it’s the perfect gift!
Camp. Summer may be 6 months away but rest assured it will be here before we know it, and camp isn’t cheap. How about asking a friend or family member to give a certificate for a week at camp that you know your child will love. Find something that interests them – dance, gymnastics, science, horses, anything – and make a shiny certificate for it. This way your child can enjoy your gift for days or weeks instead of just a moment. You could even take pictures and send them to your child so they can see their gift being put to good use.
What’s your favorite non-toy gift?