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Thoughtful Gift Ideas :: Experiences, Memories and Heirlooms

Thoughtful Gift Ideas: Experiences, Memories and Heirlooms :: Vintage Kids | Modern World Blog

Pinterest has always been my downfall…I’m not gonna lie.  If you don’t have a pinterest account, then good for you!!  However, I personally believe it to be one of the most wonderfully fantastic, helpful, fun and  life-sucking inventions of the last few years!

I’ve been spending a good chunk of time over on there lately as I start to brainstorm some ideas for our holiday gifts for our four kids.  We celebrate Hanukkah (more on that to come!) as well as Christmas, so our kids go into Holiday-goodness overload right about Thanksgiving time!

We are keeping things simple (as simple as possible!) this year.  I’m tired of having clutter around the house – not because it’s annoying (and takes up space and never seems to be put back in the right place), but because it has little value. 

Do we really need 7 coloring books when we have rolls of craft paper and drawing pads?  Do you really play with those 43 trucks and why do we have 27 teddy bears?  (This doesn’t happen at your house?? Oh…..)


This year, I’m being much more…strategic…shall we say, about what kinds of gifts that we’ll be getting for the kiddos. Here are some ideas and thoughts I’ve been working on for this year, as well as some suggestions that you can pass on to inquisitive relatives that need gift ideas!

Give experiences:

something your kids will enjoy and -bonus- you can be sneaky and they might actually learn something from it!

  1. Zoo memberships

  2. Museum passes

  3. State Park passes

  4. Tuition – cover the cost of a dance lesson, music lessons, or let your child explore a new hobby and find someone who gives lessons locally.

Give Memories:

I remember distinct events in my childhood; who was there, what we were doing, where we went, and what we did.  I don’t remember what I got for Christmas in 1989.  Start building memories – not toy collections.

  1. Spend the night at a hotel (with a pool of course!) and maybe even order room service!

  2. Look into some of your local attractions that you’ve always meant to do – and then pre-order tickets and really DO it!

  3. Gift certificate for the kids’ favorite restaurant (then turn it into a “date night” with your kids)

  4. Concerts or Sporting Events

  5. Build something together (purchase the supplies and go all out…a fort? doll house? train set?  It doesn’t matter – just do it together)

Give Heirlooms:

Don’t be afraid to give less quantity and higher value.  That doesn’t mean that we need to spend oodles of money at holidays – far from it.  It simply means that what we DO purchase is of the highest quality so that it will last and so that our children can pass it on someday.  Obviously some of this will be adjusted for age, but 1 or 2 high quality items will far outweigh 8-10 lower quality items.

  1. special dish/drink ware for each child – we love stainless steel bentos, wooden ware and bamboo flatware

  2. book sets/anthologies – we love this gorgeous leather bound Little House on the Prairie set and The Anne Series

  3. vintage quilts/bedding – you can find these at antique stores, or look for something like this for a girl, or this for a little boy

  4. artwork for their bedrooms rooms

  5. sets – kitchen sets, art sets, train sets, etc. (Toy collections aren’t bad.  However, 37 toy collections can be overwhelming and annoying.  Choose something that you can build on slowly)

  6. buying larger size items?  Go with wood instead of plastic so that it lasts longer.

What ideas do you have for creative gifts (and cutting the clutter) this Holiday Season? Still looking for ideas?  

 updated, but originally posted Nov. 12, 2012 

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