With so many gift-giving opportunities during the upcoming holidays, parents can feel overwhelmed. Most kids already have too many toys. Most families really have too much stuff. Now it’s time to buy more?!? As the holidays approach, how can we rethink gift-giving?
Therapists at Child & Family Counseling Group have a few suggestions…
Inda Brink, LMFT recommends…Declutter
Find the toys and other items the kids have lost interest in. Pull out the outgrown or disliked clothes. Pick a charity to donate to! CFCG recommends two wonderful organizations for high quality used, unused & new items:
1. Kinship, Foster & Adoptive Parents Association in downtown San Jose for http://kafpa.org/
2. HopeThrift with locations near downtown or in Willow Glen, among others https://www.hopeservices.org/.
It’s easier to let go of something knowing that it will go to kids who really need them, or to support a great cause!
Perhaps you know of another charity whose mission you like? Support them with a donation, and give yourselves the gift of room to breathe!
Angela Dube, LMFT recommends…Mess free markers
Crayola Color Mess-Free Coloring Activity Sets: The markers and stamps only work on the special paper. This means no messes to clean up! Sets come in their own cases to keep supplies in one place. This toy is wonderful at home, and perfect for traveling in the car or on a plane, too!
Beth Proudfood, LMFT recommends…A few fun high-value items that don’t cost much
For young children, save clean food boxes to use to play “store.” A large appliance box is also a great gift. Cut a door out, add a window and voila! Playhouse! The gift of a bucket and assorted paint brushes may not seem exciting at first, but just add water and let the kids “paint” the house, patio or sidewalk. Lots of fun here in California on a clear winter day! Encourage imaginative play with a doctor kit and a box of bandaids. Or add to the dress-up collection with a superhero cape or a tiara.
Dawn Wingert, AMFT recommends…Time
Give each child the gift of special one-to-one time. Let your child or teen choose what to do together, so long as both of you are interacting together: cooperative or competitive games, lunch and a movie, going on a walk or a hike, jump rope contests, anything that would be fun. Go screen-free for a few hours or even a day. Consider presenting a special certificate good for a specific length of time, then help your child plan the event during the school vacation.
Marté J. Matthews, LMFT recommends…Subscriptions
Magazines encourage reading. Try Lego Magazine for 5-9 year olds:
https://www.lego.com/en-us/life/magazine or Kids Discover Magazine for 6-14 year olds https://www.kidsdiscover.com/ or another magazine about a topic of interest to each child.
Have a few artsy craftsy Makers in the family? Try BoxOfMaking.com and support a local small business!
Mealkits encourage exploration with food. Try RaddishKids.com or Eat2Explore.com or MyLittleSous.com for new flavors with familiar foods and a fun way to explore cultures from around the world.
We hope you’ll have fun and try out a few different ideas this holiday gift-giving season!