10 of the Greatest Gifts for Kids

I’ve been thinking about Christmas gifts this year, after all, Halloween is over right? I know it seems early, but we like to budget out Christmas so we don’t break the bank in December.

It is always a challenge to balance the gift giving with materialism. We are constantly trying to figure out what is ok, what is too much and what is a waste.  We don’t want our gifts to end up in the back of a closet or the bottom of a toy box, like Woody from Toy Story, but inevitably this happens.  Seems like the older my girls get, the more expensive the gifts too.   It’s a lot of pressure trying to figure out how to manage expectations with reasonable gifts and how to keep the focus of the season in the right place.

Through the years, Stephen and I have purchased various trendy gifts for our kids.  We did the Polly Pockets, we purchased talking babies, robotic dogs, Barbies, Guitar Hero……you name it.  But there are a few gifts that have made the test of time and continue to be valued.  Some were expensive, but others not.

Here is a list of our top 10 greatest gifts that our kids have received for Christmas that have proved the test of time.

1) Wooden blocks. Grandma and Grandpa gave our kids beautiful walnut blocks that are still played with 10 years later.

2) Dress up clothes – We took a trip to the Goodwill a few years ago for interesting dress up items. These items still provide entertainment for skits and dramas.

3) Grandma’s Pajamas – My mom has made the girls pajamas for several years and the girls love their Grandma’s PJ’s.  I can’t sew at all, so these pajamas are a novelty item for the girls.  They love the fact that Grandma spent the time to make the pajamas.

4)  Drum Kit – This was an expensive purchase.  We bought a drum kit a few years back, and my middle child, who is now the drummer for her 8th grade Jazz band, uses the drums all the time.  As we always say when buying instruments, you get what you pay for.

5)  Camera – We bought Julia a camera a few years back when she was 10, and she still loves it.

6) Art supplies – My children love crafts and art. Duct tape art is their latest craft project.

7) Train set – We never purchased this, but it was a gift my husband received when he was little.  Every Christmas, the train set comes out and my kids still spend hours playing with it.  All our guests love the train set too.

8) Easy Bake Oven – My kids absolutely loved their Easy Bake Oven.  What can I say?  While they use the real oven now, the Easy Bake Oven started their passion for cooking.

9)  Ring – Upon high school, we gave our oldest daughter a beautiful ring to remind her of her commitment to Christ.  We did this with bible verses and a letter.  Julia loves and values her ring.

10) Music Box – I bought Isabel this little music box a few years back.  It was not that expensive, but she cherishes the music box and listens to the music when she is stressed.

Obviously our list is geared toward girls, but what gifts have you given your kids that you feel were worth it?

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6 Comments on “10 of the Greatest Gifts for Kids

  1. My person favorites were the classic toys (including the blocks): train, Brio Mech, Tinker Toys, Legos (We preferred the larger DUPLO as long as we had little guys in the house). The traditional board games (Monopoly, Life, Sorry, Parchisi) are games that are brought out when we want to have a family night (most recently when we were getting ready to send our son to Marine boot camp and daughter off across the country for her last year at college). Not a Christmas goes by with out books, the classics, the ones we grew up with. But as far as what our children are receiving this year? I haven’t a clue.

  2. Oh yes, I forgot about those matchbox cars. My girls loved the matchbox cars and so did I when I was little. You never grow to old for those little cars!

  3. I agree with almost your entire list! (I have boys so some of those items I have no experience with LOL)

    Crazy as it sounds, the gifts that I thought we SO worth it, so far, are the full-size toy story dolls. My boys are in love with them and they have seen the most use out of almost everything in their room. Oh and matchbox cars. Nothing beats matchbox cars LOL

  4. One year when I knew that my kids knew who Santa was; I painted three pasta bowls at a pottery place. One for each of us in our favorite color. On the bottom of the bowl was each name with a word for each letter like S…Sensitive. On my bowl, I wrote loving my kids and they all have the year on it. I brought the kids to the pottery place to add the splatter colors, my bowl has every color, my son added colors to blend with his green bowl and my daughter used red like spaghetti. We still use them.

  5. One year when I knew the kids knew who Santa was; I went to a pottery place and painted three pasta bowls; one each for my kids and one for me. Each bowl is in our favorite color and on the bottom of the bowl is our name with a word for each letter…like S is sensitive and on my bowl I wrote loving my kids. It has the year to date them. Part of the bowl included bringing them to the pottery place so they added the final touches on the bowl for like splashes. Mine has all the colors; my son’s has colors that blend with his green bowl, and my daughter had red like spaghetti.

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