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5 Gifts to Give Instead of Toys This Holiday Season

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5 Gifts to Give Instead of Toys This Holiday Season

Thank you to SoKind Family Registry and The Motherhood for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Everywhere I turn friends and family are talking about decluttering their house and getting rid of stuff. We’re doing it too. It’s amazing how much stuff 2 adults and 4 children can accumulate in 7 years.

Stuff weighs us down.

It’s more to clean up.

Clutter is suffocating.

With four kids and homeschooling, we have a lot of toys and educational supplies. We have a lot of stuff. We don’t need anymore stuff.

But Christmas.

Christmas is a time of gift-giving.

It’s when family and friends show their love for each other by showering them with gifts.

After spending much time on getting rid of stuff, the thought of Christmas started to make my eye twitch.

Even if each child only gets two toys, that’s eight new toys that are being introduced into our house.

EIGHT.

I realized we needed an alternative.

Something that would allow family to show their love for our children, but would also help keep our home free of an overwhelming amount of toys.

That’s when I learned about SoKind Family Registry.

SoKind Family Registry is an alternative gift registry that helps families reduce the clutter. Instead of more toys, your kids get memorable experiences and things they really enjoy.​ 

I was impressed as I perused their site. You can build wish lists based on experiences, homemade and secondhand goods, as well as practical things you need. It’s a great way to manage the influx of clutter that comes in with the holidays.

What can you add to your SoKind Family Registry?

Christmas Presents 5 Gifts to Give Instead of Toys This Holiday Season

5 Gifts to Give Instead of Toys

1. Time. With four children in the house, one on one time is a premium. While we try to take each child on one on one outings, even if it’s just to the store, we could be more intentional about this.

2. Memberships. Local attractions such as zoos, museums, aquariums, and botanical gardens usually offer seasonal passes which provide significant discounts for families. We’ve noticed that after paying for  one-time tickets for our family, the family passes aren’t that much more expensive. This provides entertainment throughout the year.

3. Experiences. Whether it’s a family vacation to Walt Disney World, touring the battlefields of Gettysburg, or learning about sea life at the ocean, experiences can lay the foundation for a life of learning. While I can’t tell you about every single toy I received as a child, I can tell you about our family vacations to Washington DC for the 4th of July, visiting the Statue of Liberty, Arlington Cemetery, flying for a weekend getaway to St Louis, visiting San Francisco, and experiencing the Redwoods first-hand.

4. Books. I can declutter toys and clothes like a pro but books are another story. I love books and typically fall into the “You can never have too many books” category. Books make great gifts for children and adults alike. Books can take you to faraway lands. They can teach you new skills. They are unlike any other toy. The key to bringing in books is that when you bring them into your house, you have to regift some that you have. It’s a rule.

5. Gift Certificates. We love gift certificates. It can be gift cards to local restaurants, clothing stores, books stores. The possibilities are endless. Soon we are going to start giving our older children gift cards while we are on vacation for their souvenir money. It’s possible that they will spend it all on junk that won’t make it home. It will definitely be a learning experience for everyone involved and hopefully teach them responsibility.

This.

Less stuff.

More experiences.

Awesome.

We already limit the gifts we give our children to something they need, something they want, something to read and something to do. But we wanted to extend this to our family as well.

Creating an online wishlist was easy.

We sat down as a family and wrote down ideas, much like we would any Christmas Wish List. I entered the descriptions and links to where the items could be purchased, and it was ready to share with our loved ones.

The kids loved being involved in the list making. I enjoyed knowing that we reduced the amount of stuff that was entering our house.

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Jillian @ Food, Folks and Fun

Sunday 22nd of November 2015

I love #3 giving experience usually lead to memories that last a lifetime!

Jesenia

Saturday 21st of November 2015

I loathe clutter. So I love it when my kids get books, gift certificates or memberships as gifts. This is also what I like to give others for Christmas and birthdays. Less is definitely more. Thanks for sharing!

Emily

Saturday 21st of November 2015

What great ideas!! I love giving things that aren't toys.

Gloria M.

Sunday 8th of November 2015

Wonderful suggestions! But, may I add kids' magazine subscriptions? Educational magazines (like Kids' National Geographic) are great reading materials to keep around the house. I like them because kids can keep up with current events, have resources for those pesky school projects and reports, and are perfect for doing required reading homework.

Whitney at Beauty in the Mess

Sunday 8th of November 2015

YES! I LOVE that idea! It's also a great way to talk about the mail system. I know my kids enjoy getting something just for them in the mail. Thank you for reminding me about that!!