With Christmas just around the corner, many parents are already starting to wonder, and worry, what to buy for their children. Television commercials entice kids with the latest, newest, must-have expensive toys and gadgets and there is a lot of pressure to buy those toys. After all, it is natural to want to see a child’s eyes light up with joy when he or she unwraps presents.
However, what if the budget is already straining and might just break if we buy the expensive toys? There are ways to provide a joyful, meaningful Christmas for kids without overspending.
Before you even step into the stores, plan wisely for financing Christmas presents. If you will use a credit card, compare them first and choose one with the lowest interest and best benefits, such as cash back. Many retailers are also rewarding consumers who use their own in-store cards
Decide on the main present for each child. This present will be the one you think they will most enjoy, and may be the costliest. After determining this, look for a less expensive substitute. For example, if your child wants a particular doll, a scooter or a technological gadget, look for knock-offs. This won’t work with everything, but in some cases, you will find a sufficient substitute. If you cannot find a substitute, find a similar toy.
Remember that kids have a short attention span when it comes to most toys. That expensive item he or she wanted may interest them for a week, but may soon end up at the bottom of the toy box and forgotten. Classic items that call on a child’s creativity, such as art supplies and building blocks, last longer and are things a child will return to for play over several years.
Choose the secondary gifts. These can be inexpensive but fun items such as boxes of crayons and colored markers, small stuffed toys, building blocks, foam balls, foam dart games, and miniature toy cars. Visit discount stores for these toys. You may be surprised at the variety and the low prices at some of these stores.
Now consider broader, more meaningful gifts that will have a longer lasting impact. A great example of this is children photography the entire family can enjoy. Portraits and specialty photos can add a wonderful sense of unity and holiday spirit. My family always likes to add in a few goofy ones for a good laugh.
Above all, remember that what your child will remember most when he looks back will not be the expensive toys you bought him; rather, it will be the relationship you had. Make it one he or she will cherish, filled with love, with laughter and quality time.