Preparing for the holidays is a lot of work. Between getting ready for guests, finding the right items to shop for, shopping, and everything else – the holidays can be a challenge!
Now that my oldest child is 10, I have found some ways that make the process of holiday shopping easier. You know you will need to shop for Christmas toys 2017 – so start early with these tips!
Budget and shop year round.
The end of the year shouldn’t be super stressful and end up being a financial disaster. Try to budget for holiday shopping every month by putting away some money, and/or purchasing gifts ahead of time.
Buying gifts ahead of time can be an awesome idea – but there are downsides too. Be careful about buying things that can become outdated within the year, or that the recipient might get before the holidays. For example, I love snagging great sales on clothes or other useful items for the kids, especially when I know they can use those.
The holidays are a great time to buy toys that have an educational value. Sometimes these are things like books or puzzles, but there are lots of great toys out there for a variety of ages, from toys that help kids learn shapes and colors to toys for older kids, like STEM products.
Crafty toys and projects to keep the kids busy.
Choose some toys that can be used during your holiday break. We travel for the holidays, and on Christmas day, the kids tend to get up really early to open gifts. After that, in the dead of winter and all the stores etc. are closed, this is the time for the kids to use toys. Between trying to deal with stress of holiday traveling and everything else, we make sure that we give the kids a variety of crafts and other projects that can be done over the holidays – which is much better than the kids bickering because they are bored!
There are so many great “green” toys out there, like ones that are naturally made with wood and free of chemicals. I love picking out wood or recycled toys, which are a nice change from typical plastics and electronics.
Buy toys to donate.
The holidays are an extra special time to teach lessons about giving to others. I always involve my kids when I can, and they love picking out gifts for other kids during the holidays. After Christmas, I have the kids do some spring cleaning to also donate their gently used toys as well.