Ti’s the season to teach the kids it really is the thought that counts

Christmas shopping is an event all in itself.  People prepare themselves like a gladiator about to enter the coliseum.  They spend hours and walk miles to find that perfect Christmas gift in the right color or in the right size.  They enjoy the endless noise of Christmas carols and 12 different renditions of the same songs blaring over the mall’s PA system while cash registers hum and the cries of “who’s next” fills the air.  Tis the season for shopping!  Unfortunately, kids of all ages seem to feel that a good gift has to come from a store.

Kids have been bombarded with toy advertising for years.  They see what’s available on television and feel they need to get that.  Their friends talk about the same toys and all of a sudden that toy becomes the “must have” for Christmas and as a marketer that sounds like music to my ears.  As a parent, it tells me that the kids are missing out on the whole idea of gift giving.

My favorite gifts have and will always be handmade; unless it’s parked in my driveway then I’m fine with that.  And although I can appreciate the time and effort it takes to go Christmas shopping, I really appreciate the time and effort someone has taken in creating a one-of-a-kind gift with their own hands.

Over the years I have kept almost every handmade card or gift my kids have made.  I still use the pencil holders and Popsicle stick business card holder my kids made for me over 10 years ago.  It’s a constant reminder that they spent time and effort to create something just for me and that is very special.  When they see it now they tend to cringe but I tell them that I really like it and its staying just where it is.

Encouraging a kid to make a gift is not just an easy way to save money; it teaches them that creating something takes effort, imagination and time.  It won’t look like it came from a store but that’s the beauty of the gift.  You just can’t buy something from the mall that says “this is from me.”

Our website has a lot of great gift ideas that kids can make such as cards, bookmarkers, fridge magnets and more.  If you need to buy something why not pick up a simple picture frame and decorate it?  Encourage the kids to make gifts as stocking stuffers.  Incorporate their photos into the craft for that extra personal touch.  Show the kids that gift giving IS more than just about spending money.  It’s about showing someone that you care.