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Please, No Toys this Christmas {What We Want Instead of Toys}

Please, No Toys this Christmas {What We Want Instead of Toys}This year I’m saying, “No toys, please.”

In the third grade, my parents saved the LA Times clipping of my letter to Santa. That year, I asked for world peace and for the safety of my family. I know, it was a hefty request. Though I ended up with a purple bicycle with a banana seat and a basket, I will always have world peace on my list.

Today, with a daughter of my own, I’m constantly asked what she’d like for Christmas. We’re in the middle of a move, and seeing all of our accumulated stuff from the last ten years has changed my perspective on gifting this year. I would love to ask for the same thing I asked for nearly thirty years ago. However, I know family and friends will still want something to give. Instead of requesting the latest “it” toy of the season (or world peace), here’s a list of things I’d love for my child to receive this year.

Food (and Food Experiences)

No Toys, Please: 5 Alternative Gift Ideas for My Daughter

Kid food is inevitable. However, it’d be great to have a gift-giver plan a meal that we cook together. Or take her to try a new cuisine that we haven’t explored with our child. A CSA subscription would be a wonderful way for us to continue making food an adventure, as well. She (and we) would enjoy any gift involving the appreciation of food and the simple act of sharing a meal together.

Practical Stuff

No Toys, Please: 5 Alternative Gift Ideas for My Daughter

I enjoy playing the role of “Fashion Stylist” to my mini style icon. Since most of her clothes and shoes have been gifted to her, I can happily say that I can’t take all the credit. It would be amazing to receive more pajamas, or my personal favorite – socks! Additionally, gift cards are handy for daily use items, like groceries and ice cream, of course!

Learning Activities

No Toys, Please: 5 Alternative Gift Ideas for My Daughter

Art, music, or swim lessons for my child would be fantastic! Any opportunity to learn something new is a gift that keeps on giving. If a few lessons lead to a lifelong love of whatever the activity is that enriches her life, I’m all for it!

Books

No Toys, Please: 5 Alternative Gift Ideas for My Daughter

My wish is to continue to instill a love of reading in my daughter. I love to see her enjoy the illustrations, and I look forward to her telling me about how she’s been transported to far off places. I also can’t wait for her to believe in wondrous things. If not magic and Santa, I hope she can immerse herself in science and the things that I marvel in on a daily basis. I want her to be curious, and books are a great place to start. The books also don’t have to be new. I enjoy perusing through second-hand bookstores and finding books that have been loved by others before.

Spend the day together

No Toys, Please: 5 Alternative Gift Ideas for My Daughter

Maybe you could teach my child how to use an abacus. Perhaps you can go on a hike and explore the native flora and fauna. You could visit a museum, play games, get crafty, or watch a movie with us. These are the things that I remember and cherish most about my childhood. We didn’t take lavish vacations, but rather we spent time with family and friends. My cousin and I laugh and reminisce about rainy weekends spent staying in reading books from bunk beds and watching movies. More recently, a holiday tradition with my nieces involves cookie baking and Buddy the Elf. Spending the day together and making memories are truly the best gifts.

Seriously, No Toys

I love looking at the holiday catalog for The Land of Nod and walking through the toy aisles at Target. I also know that my child loves to play with laundry baskets and empty boxes. The holidays aren’t about toys. My gift is the way I get to watch her face light up when she sees family and friends gathered together. I just hope that she learns to appreciate non-traditional gifts and that I made the request of “No toys, please.”

Please, No Toys this Christmas {What We Want Instead of Toys}

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