Ok, so now is the time of year when most of us start thinking about stockings & gift giving. Guilty, as charged! I really did mean to start so much sooner, but what can I say I am not a fluttering flybaby (flylady.net) for nothing! I can say that thanks to black Friday specails the kiddos are done for Christmas morning gifts. We still do stockings plus gifts from Mom & Dad for Christmas Eve. They aren't getting much from us in the way of gifts this year, I know it's hard to do, but they are lucky in that we had HUGE extended families & there is never a shortage of presents to open. They just had their birthdays & we usually have to buy all of their summer stuff ourselves. I never realized how hard it would be having birthday & Christmas so close (did I mention I am a Christmas Eve baby...duh!). I guess my parents had the same problem with me, I was never in need of warm clothing, but even here in western NY we occaisionally need shorts!!!
I have been collecting ideas for inexpensive & practical stocking stuffer ideas. I have a bunch that I am going to put into use this year.
Batteries ~ No brainer, does anything not have batteries anymore!
School and art supplies ~ I'm sure the supply of pencils & erasers is dwindling at school, now is the perfect time to restock. (of course if you thought ahead & bought when everything was on special for back to school, you could be saving yourself some money!).
Bath supplies and toys ~ It's that time of year...tossing all of last years nasty bath toys & getting new ones! If you are like me you probably have a few toys that are so gross that soaking them in bleach isn't working anymore (why do they put so many grooves on bath toys, ewww). This is the time of year I get them the nice character bubble baths, usually I buy whatever is cheapest & makes bubbles! Two years ago I found some Crayola Tub tints, this has been a fun way to learn colors for the toddler & what combining colors does for the 2nd grader (then K).
I started a tradition of an ornament, dated & with their name on it. I try to find something meaningful to each child for the year, hard to do sometimes. I can usually find one for under $2. Then I just write on it with a Black Sharpie, voila instant keepsake!
Of course they'll get the chocolates & Mom has to have her candy canes (yummy in a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, rarely do they ever just get eaten!)
I try to focus on not only cheap, sorry FRUGAL gifts but also clutter free ones. If you live near a zoo or science center a family membership would be the best gift! We will probably buy season passes to our local amusement park, it's small & very kid friendly. No clutter there & a guarantee of family togetherness!!!