Some Favorite Holiday Gifts!

Today, our focus is on the act of giving gifts for our family members, although I want to say right away  that my favorite gift  is a gift that “gives” to our children but the physical results may go to someone else. Please consider volunteering, buying  gifts for, or helping in any way someone or an organization who needs help around the holidays.  This might be the most important part of the holidays, and I think is vital for teenagers who should be moving into a stage of love for all of humanity and a sense of responsibility to help others.  Many teenagers I know have their basic needs met and some of their “wants” too, (and don’t really need more “stuff”) but instead need to start to penetrate the meaning of generosity, giving, and love for humanity.

That said, we are talking about gift-giving today, and I would love to hear everyone’s favorite holidays gifts for different ages, and also to hear what YOU want for a holiday gift.  There can be many traditions around gift-giving depending upon religious and cultural backgrounds.  I have readers from all over the world and it is always fun to hear about gift-giving traditions in different countries!   Many of the  households here in the States involved in Waldorf Education exchange simple gifts, some spread gifts out throughout the Twelve Days of Christmas, some spread out gifts all the way from St. Nicholas Day to Candlemas!

Here is a run-down on just a few of my favorite gifts:

For Dads and  Moms:  coupons for massages,  folks who knit might like special yarn or plant-dyed felt or yarn bowls, woodworking supplies, art supplies, gardening supplies, books on any special topic of interest, equipment for exercising/hiking/skiing/kayaking, an overnight getaway with spouse/friends if the children are old enough! Please chime in with some fantastic ideas for fathers especially!

For Waldorf Homeschooling Parents especially:  Any of the wonderful Waldorf homeschooling books that are difficult to afford during the school year, art supplies.  Gift certificates for “time to plan” LOL

For tiny children under the age of 7:  open-ended toys, play silks, clips, a special doll, outdoor toys for older children in this age range such as a balance bike or a rocker.  For more suggestions further broken down by age,  see this post on holiday gifts for children and keeping things reasonable! or the popular post  Toys, Toys, Toys where things are really broken down by age for this Early Years group.

For children ages 7-10:  I love games.  My new favorites are Ocean Labyrinth and Shadows in the Forest.  Other ideas include craft kits, knitting supplies, crocheting supplies, embroidery, good art supplies, beeswax, candle making and decorating kits, toys for outside play – slack lines, bikes, a trampoline (!!).  Dollhouses, castles, little wooden figures.

For children ages 10-14:  Games, books, art supplies as mentioned for ages 7-10, outside play toys such as stilts or a unicycle or more advanced bike, musical instruments, experiences outside the home with memberships to places of interest, coupons for dates out with a parent alone.   Many children in this age bracket also are in the height of Lego play so whilst that is plastic, I think it is realistic that many children would like that!

For children ages 14 and up:  I still like games, books, and art supplies; tickets to concerts or the opera or ballet; coupons for dates with a parent alone; experiences or memberships to local museums, nature centers or other places of interest; some teens are interested in more musical instruments; puzzles;  gift certificates for a class they want to take or for supplies to support their favorite hobbies.

Can’t wait to hear all of your ideas!

Blessings and love,
Carrie

 

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6 thoughts on “Some Favorite Holiday Gifts!

  1. Hi Carrie. Thanks for this post. It has been a struggle coming up with ideas this year. I relented and the 12 year old boy is getting an old fashioned bb gun… from Santa. Yes, we still have Santa which is complicating things. Santa is also bringing clay and wooden clay tools. We’re getting him a grown up push scooter. The husband has been out of work since April so that’s another factor. I am anxious for Santa to stop coming. Any ideas from anyone on moving the transition along? I remind my guy not to talk about Santa with the boys on his hockey team. Boys this age may not be so kind as his close friends (who are very understanding.) Many blessings in this wonderful, dark time. Mary Lynn

    • Hi Mary Lynn!
      In our house, Santa always did stockings and something small…so I am wondering if transitioning to that kind of thing might help? I got gifts from Santa all the way through college in my family because Santa is just a spirit of surprise and fun but generous doesn’t have to be big..
      I am betting on some level he probably knows the “physical Santa” is not real, but that the spiritual side of Santa lives largely in him.
      Love and hugs,
      Carrie

  2. Hi Carrie. Thanks for this post. It has been a struggle coming up with ideas this year. I relented and the 12 year old boy is getting an old fashioned bb gun… from Santa. Yes, we still have Santa which is complicating things. Santa is also bringing clay and wooden clay tools. We’re getting him a grown up push scooter. The husband has been out of work since April so that’s another factor. I am anxious for Santa to stop coming. Any ideas from anyone on moving the transition along? I remind my guy not to talk about Santa with the boys on his hockey team. Boys this age may not be so kind as his close friends (who are very understanding.) Many blessings in this wonderful, dark time. Mary Lynn

  3. Hello Carrie! I appreciate your ideas and links 🙂 We do the 12 days of Christmas and this year St Nick left a note, somewhat enigmatic, that there would be 12 days of experiences. This was the result of not wanting to rack my brain over “things” to buy and to not spend lots of money. My children have enjoyed musing over this note from St. Nick and I’ve really enjoyed planning it! Instead of getting things, we will do things together! I have prepared materials for doll making for one of our days– all the materials and directions wrapped beautifully and we will spend our day(s) making those dolls. Another day there will be a map to a “superb sunrise spot”, cocoa mix, new warm socks and undershirts. We’ll take the hint and wake up early the next day to climb the hills for a beautiful sunrise warm in new undershirts, socks and cups of warm cocoa. Another day the gift will be seasonal novels, baked breakfast goodies (by me) & a note suggesting to stay in bed with PJs (everyone) and read! I’m looking into horse drawn carriage ride in the mountains for a truly special experience and then there are other ideas for the days in between, like plain silks I bought online and natural materials I’ve collected outdoors for home dyeing. A whittling tool and wood my husband and I collected will be the experience for another day…
    I’m so grateful for the breakthrough idea! I expect this to be a tradition 🙂 We had a death in the family so we’ve been in NC. So glad to come back home from a very difficult trip east and see your blog full of inspiring messages. Sheila

    • Dear Sheila.
      My sincere condolences regarding the death in the family. I hope you take time to rest and heal and reflect. Enjoy the connection and warmth of those Twelve Days of Christmas. I love your experiential ideas! 🙂
      Blessings and love,
      Carrie

  4. and most importantly, spending what is most precious thoughtfully– our time TOGETHER.. which is finite and more valuable than anything else in this world. This season of Christmas can help remind us of these special gifts..and more…

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