Gift for Kids Who Have Everything
What to get as gifts for kids who have everything? In this stage of life where a lot of us just want to declutter (or burn the house down…no, no we won’t be doing that), it’s hard to even start thinking about what to get kids for Christmas. The idea of ONE MORE THING coming into this house is enough to make my eye twitch, especially when I again stepped on a piece of Lego just this morning.
So what do you get for the kids who already have too much stuff? How do you get your family on board with the idea of “less”, especially grandparents who just want to spoil your kids?!?
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The Rule of Four
You could follow the traditional “rule of 4″…something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. And most years, I invariably end up with something like this.
Something They Want
There is always usually one big gift, the thing they have talked about for months, the thing they have their heart set on. For my Lego lover, it’s usually one of the “big” sets, like the Lego Creator Expert series. For my gamer, last year we traded in our WiiU and got a Nintendo Switch.
Something They Need
While I usually hold to family tradition of socks, underwear, or pyjamas from my own childhood, that covers both the “need” and “wear” parts. In the past I got new bike helmets or sports equipment. Still fun, but more utilitarian. Now I usually fill the stockings with the needs…new toothbrush, deodorant, shampoo, body wash (yep, teenage boys…)
Something To Wear
Clothes were always a staple under the tree when I grew up, and I’ve carried on the tradition in my family at every age and stage, from onesies to combat fatigues. While we’ve never been that fashion conscious, as the boys have grown, they have asked for some “name brand” clothing, like Under Armour, American Eagle or Hollister, so Christmas and birthdays are the perfect occasion to gift new hoodies, t-shirts and accessories, even Gift Cards to their favourite stores
Something To Read
The reading part has been a struggle in our family, since both my boys are not “bookish” boys, but I still manage to squeak some books into the Christmas morning haul. This year, I’ve already ordered the new Harry Potter Special Edition Box Set for under the tree as a family gift in hopes of sparking some new found interest!
But as kids grow up, gifts become less and less. Now the familiar answer to “What do you want for Christmas?” comes without a second thought…money. Particularly from my oldest, who also has a birthday in January. He’s learned if he just asks for money, and pools the resources from all the relatives, come mid-January, he’s got a relatively large sum to be spent! And usually it’s Lego (or lately, Lego-adjacent custom orders)
It does, however, make the gift giving harder. How to still give a thoughtful gift that still makes their eyes light up on Christmas morning? What to buy as a gifts for the kids who have everything?
The Gift of Experiences
I’ve started to focus my money and efforts on giving the gift of experiences. Things we can do together as a family, or sometimes just one-on-one, like date nights. The ideas can go from simple and inexpensive, like a running play date or coffee date every month, all the way up to extravagant and expensive, like a family vacation at Walt Disney World. The gift of your time can be priceless, particularly in this day and age where everything and everyone is so busy!
But the key is to really think about who you kid is, what they enjoy, what sparks their imagination and lights them up? While it might not necessarily be your favourite way to pass the time, to your child, showing interest in what they are interested in is gold. Do they love Pokemon? Try gifting coupons for an hour of playing Pokemon Go together. Got a movie buff? Give some gift cards to the local movie theatre.
Experiences to Gift
Here’s a list of other “experience” type gifts you might consider…
- tickets to a live show or concert; everything from Paw Patrol Live to Drake
- tickets to their favourite sports team games
- dinner at a “grown-up” restaurant
- plan a family game night with a new board game
- cooking classes; check for classes at your local grocery store or community centre, paired with a kids cookbook or one from their favourite chef
- membership at a local rock climbing gym, or other sports club
If you’re crafty and creative, you could print out coupons for experiences and put them in fancy envelopes. I’ve even put together a scavenger hunt on Christmas morning to extend the fun a little. Both my boys have expressed how much fun they have hunting around the house. Sometimes I even make them venture outside for their presents! (And we live in Canada!)
Postponing a Bigger Experience Gift
On a few occasions, the big Christmas gift has been a future vacation we are planning months down the road. While there isn’t a big gift to put under the tree, you can pull together the travel brochure and a few little souvenirs to build the excitement. Look for countdown calendars you can print at home. Give gifts they will use on the trip, like snorkel and mask or bathing suit. You can also gift photo albums or picture frames waiting to be filled on your return.
Get your kids in on the planning too! Sometimes surprising them is awesome (we’ve all seen the videos), but even better is letting your kids have a vote on the activities. Particularly with kids that have anxiety, or have difficulty adapting to new changes, surprising them with a vacation isn’t the best idea (ask me how I know this…). Letting them have time to wrap their heads around the idea, watching YouTube videos of rides, attractions and activities, involving them in restaurant picks, can actually help build the excitement, even more than the gift of the vacation itself.
Hopefully this has given you lots of ideas for gifts for kids who have everything. You might just find that giving the gift of experiences winds up being the favourite gift of all! Got some ideas you would add? Leave a comment below and let me know!
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