an un-gift holiday gift recommendation for kids



Some of you who read this may think I am the meanest mom in the world. That’s OK. My kids have already accused me of the same. Those same kids who have 12 aunts and uncles and two sets of grandparents who shower them with gifts each Christmas and on birthdays and at various times in between.

Thankfully, both families now use Kris Kringle/Secret Santa which helps a little, but the pile of Amazon boxes under our Christmas tree is still positively decadent. So this year, the WanderDad and I decided to take the opportunity presented by holiday gift-giving to help our boys to develop a social conscience.

The Seattle Times recently reported startling increases in the number of people using local food banks. The line outside the food bank near my house has grown significantly over the past few months. With this in mind, I researched charities which focus on helping children and families such as Save the Children and UNICEF.

Unfortunately, although donating to these charities is pretty easy, it’s not very child-friendly. BigB is eight, he still needs a present under the Christmas tree and the excitement of opening it on Christmas morning. A little discouraged, but intent on my mission, I kept searching and I found the WWF Adopt-An-Animal program where gift donations come with 12″ soft toys. Perfect.


CAM has chosen to support Tree Frogs and BigB Snowy Owls (I suspect there’s a little Harry Potter influence there). After their initial horror at their crazy parents suggesting “no Christmas presents”, they’ve totally come around to the idea. The cute, plush animals definitely helped. Worth considering for your guy or gal?

Subscribe to this blog using RSS, email or follow me on Twitter.
Add to Technorati Favorites



Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • StumbleUpon
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
This entry was posted in Passports with Purpose and tagged , on by .

About wandermom

". . .life is short and the world is wide" - Simon Raven I'm not sure I've ever consciously planned a trip based on this sentiment, but it definitely influences my subconscious! I've been traveling as frequently and widely as possible since I finished school. And I love it. I love the research, the planning, the fervent packing and the curiosity of exploring somewhere I've never been before. My husband & I are both Irish - as in born-in-Ireland. But we live in Seattle. We have two boys: wild, boisterous, regular boys. So, since becoming a Mom, I've been a WanderMom. Given our slightly-unusual family situation, routine "visits-to-Grandma" are international trips requiring passports, 10hr-flights and (oh joy!) airport transfers. I have rants, raves and opinions about how, where & why to travel with kids (start them as young as you can, I say!). I hope to learn even more by researching topics which other wandermoms may be interested in reading about on this blog. Passports, pacifiers, diapers and gameboys at the ready - off we go! Contact Info: Email Michelle: michelle (at) murphnduff (dot) org

7 thoughts on “an un-gift holiday gift recommendation for kids

  1. Roberta

    I think that’s a great idea. I try to instill into my 3 (almost 4 yr old) the importance of giving. I do however, let him have his toys (we buy minimal) and for each one that comes in, one has to be donated. Be it an old or new one. It works for us, especially as his birthday is in December and we are overwhelmed with gifts.

  2. Claire

    With DonorsChoose you can get gift cards (or maybe just emails that you have a gift…). That lets kids go in and contribute to a project that they think makes sense…My older son didn’t give a boy a birthday gift a few years ago, as that child said “no really, I don’t want anything, take what you would spend on me, and give it to someone who really needs it.” Of course all the other kids bought this boy a gift anyway (and my son felt bad that he hadn’t). DonorsChoose (or some other choice mechanism) would have been a way to have this boy feel like he still got something and “got to give”.

  3. carole@hippostoes

    That sounds like a wonderful idea. We plan to do something like that when our son gets a bit older (he’s 21 months now). I think it is very important for them to understand that it isn’t just about them. Good for you for sticking to your guns!

  4. wandermom

    Thanks for the support everyone.
    @Roberta: I’m impressed. Good for you starting so young.
    @Claire: thanks for the DonorsChoose reference, I’ll keep that in mind for future.

  5. Debbie Dubrow

    This is a great idea. Since my kids are little, they have no expectations about what they should get for Hanukkah, and we’ll keep it that way as long as possible 😉 They get tons of presents from grandparents, so I buy them a few books and call it a day.

    This is going to be a tough year for our local independent toy store though, and I’m considering buying a few more things than I usually do. Maybe I’ll sock them away for a rainy day…

    This year, we’ll also have a family outing to buy a few presents to give to kids who aren’t so lucky.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *