It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is already here. I love gift giving, but thinking of fun and creative gifts for all our loved ones can be a challenge. As my boys have gotten older, we’ve tried to incorporate them in the process – even when this adds another layer to the already hectic mix.
For a long time, I did the gift shopping for the Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunties and Uncles in the family and would just say it was from the boys to save time, because bringing three (this would be the first year with four) boys to the store to help us buy gifts wasn’t always the best use of our time, as we would spend more time reminding the boys we were shopping for others and not for themselves.
But then, a couple of years ago my husband thought of a brilliant idea to involve the boys in family gift giving, and it quickly became our annual tradition we plan to keep for many years to come.
All our boys have different personalities and want to pick different things for everyone. To keep the peace, we decided that we would put all our family member names into a bag and have the boys draw names for who they got to shop for. The boys would be able to shop for the names they chose and say the gift was from them.
To be budget friendly, we also set a price limit and let them pick gifts at a local discount store. They could buy one gift per family member at $5 each or choose multiple items as long as they didn’t exceed their budget of $5. The boys love the particular store we decided to visit that first year, so it made sense for us to choose it for their shopping every December. But really, you can implement this same system at just about any retail store you frequent.
I don’t know how it happened, but the first year of our name draw system, the boys each chose the relatives they happened to be the closest to – which made shopping so much more fun for them. We let them each grab their own basket at the store and we split the boys up between the two of us to help choose their gifts.
Each boy was also part of the process of checking out and putting the gifts in their own shopping bag, which they got to carry out of the store. When we got home, they were so excited they wanted to help wrap the presents and put them under the tree (we wrap and put all our gifts to others under our tree until we give them out).
Needless to say, the idea was a hit and, in the end, so much more meaningful to the boys and to our family members knowing that they chose this gift specific for them. It puts a smile on my face each time one of the boys sees the gift they gave to someone and they excitedly say “I picked that for you.”
So with Christmas just weeks away, prepping has begun and on the top of our list is planning this special trip for the boys to pick out gifts for our families. I can’t wait to see who they get to shop for and what they end up choosing to give. I know they will be taking great care in choosing the best gift and I know each and every family member will enjoy and love the present they receive.
Wishing you all the best holiday season and happy gift giving!