Holiday Shop for the Kiddos

Anne Kimball

Life on the Funny Farm

My kids are all teens now, and other than needing a lift, they pretty much handle their Christmas shopping on their own.

But when they were little? I hated the prospect of taking them all out together, and somehow helping them shop for Christmas gifts for their siblings without anyone seeing what the others were getting for them. Because wrangling preschoolers and toddlers and helping them shop for others when all they can think is MeMeMe is not on my list of favorite things to do.

Taking them out indvidually? That was a luxury in time I did not have.

My solution?

A holiday shop in the comfort of our own home.

I would take one evening to go shopping on my own, while Daddy played babysitter. I'd run out to Five Below, or the Dollar store, or Wal-Mart, and buy small gifts for each of the kids (plus Mom and Dad), plus several extras. So for example, when I had four little ones, each of them had to buy for their three siblings, plus stuff for Mom and Dad, so five gifts each. Five times four is 20, so I would buy maybe 25or 30 small gifts.

Then one afternoon I would let them play holiday shop. I would set all the items out on my bed (except the "Mom" gifts), and let them come in one at a time to shop. I'd give them a gift bag, and let them select gifts for each of their siblings, and Dad.

You could let them pay for their purchases with allowance money, or by letting them earn tickets with good behavior, depending on their ages and how you handle money with your kids.

The reason I always got extra gifts is so that by the time the last kid shops, they still have things to choose from. Any extra gifts after the last of the kids has finished shopping can go in their stockings, or can be donated to any of the programs that collect toys and other goodies around the holidays.

The process is repeated when Dad helps them shop for gifts for Mom.

The Homemade Holiday Shop works out really great b/c

*the kids don't get so overstimulated,

*they can more easily think of those they want to buy for,

*you don't have to hear "Clean-up in aisle 2" and wonder what your six year old knocked over.

Hope this helps make your holiday shopping a little easier!


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