“What should we get the kids for Christmas?” tis the season for parents to be asked that $64,000 question repeatedly by relatives and friends. To answer the question parents often ponder a few things, (1) storage space, (2) battery consumption, and (3) ones sanity, before replying with their answer.
1- Storage Space: As each year passes children seem to accumulate more toys, games, puzzles, “stuff” than one has storage space. One shouldn’t have to rent out a storage unit just to accommodate all their children’s “stuff”.
2-Battery Consumption: Ever have one of those toys/games that your child just absolutely adores but the darn thing requires 4 AA, AAA, or D batteries? Batteries aren’t cheap! In order to maintain that kind of battery consumption one might have to contact a bank and inquire about a loan!
3-Sanity: Why is it that some of children’s favorite toys and/or electronics are the ones with the most annoying and obnoxious sounds? So unbearable that one actually welcomes the sound of nails down a chalkboard.
So, what should they get the kids for Christmas? The answer is one that both children and parents will equally adore, that doesn’t require storage space or batteries, and that will have parents maintaining their sanity. The answer is the gift of an awesome and fun experience! A gift card and/or membership so they can enjoy awesome experiences! Now, one should be prepared for a little backlash when you state the gift of an experience. Why? Because most people want to wrap something up for the kids, not just hand them a gift card. No worries…just tell them to stuff it, stuff a sock/stocking! Stockings make for the perfect wrap, and they could add other small items to the stocking as well, small being the key word. And encourage them to have fun with it…why not add a fun message, have children go on a little scavenger hunt for the stocking (I did this with my brother’s gift last year and it was a lot of fun), etc.
Here are some fun messages & clever local stocking stuffer ideas:
- “I found your Achilles’ heel”: Jam-pack that sock with lots of Dun-dums from the Spangler Factory and include a gift certificate to take a tour on their trolley & buy something from the store! Website: https://www.dumdumpops.com/about-us/factory-tours
- “Be fleet of foot”: Add train tickets to go somewhere…perhaps a weekend in Chicago? Website: https://www.amtrak.com/content/amtrak/en-us/stations/tol.html
- “Time to get your feet wet”: Stuff the stocking with goggles, a swim toy, and swimming lessons from the YMCA, or better yet, a summer membership to the YMCA Website: https://www.ymcatoledo.org/
- “Foot-in-mouth”: Place gift card to Chick-fil-a in sock & add a little stuffed cow animal.
- “Sock-Hop”: Place gift card to Toledo Ballet, Mini Motions, etc. for dance lessons in sock & add shoes, leotard, and or, cute tree ornament with ballet slippers or tap shoes. Website: http://www.toledoballet.net/
- “We found your feet of clay/hidden weakness”: Stuff stocking with containers of Playdough and a gift card to attend one of the Toledo Museum of Art’s awesome classes and/or camps. http://www.toledomuseum.org/
- “You have the World at your feet”: Stuff socks with tiny items from Imagination Stations Store & include a membership…this is the gift that just keeps giving; there is reciprocity with other Science Museums. Website: https://www.imaginationstationtoledo.org/
- “Get your Sea Legs”: Add a membership to the National Museum of the Great Lakes and a few cute items from their gift store. Website: http://www.inlandseas.org/
- “Waiting on you hand and foot”: Place hand lotion, foot scrub, etc. in stocking in addition to a gift certificate for a pedicure & manicure from Beauty Bar. Website: https://www.beauty-bar.com/
- “This will knock your socks off”: Place tickets to one of Valentine Theatre’s kids’ production in stocking with a book and/or stuffed animal that coincides with the play, such as Junie B. Jones. Website: http://www.valentinetheatre.com/
Please feel free to add to the list…what are some of your favorite and/or clever ways to stuff a stocking?