Friday, December 9, 2011

Unique Christmas Gifts for Children: Quality Time

The past two weeks I have been posting some alternative Christmas gift ideas for children.  Art & craft supplies and role-playing or dress-up attire are just two holiday gift suggestions that move beyond the "play-with-me-once-then-toss-it" that seems to be the case for many toys.  At least that seems to be the case for us.

I have found that my children--though very young--would much prefer spending quality time with my husband or me or with their grandparents or cousins, even if it's just playing on their swing set, than to receive a new toy from them.  The interaction and special attention they receive not only makes them feel loved, but also boosts their self-confidence, improves the familial bond, and creates lifelong memories.  

Another unique Christmas gift idea for the child in your life, then, is to plan and spend a special day together. 

What to Do?
1. Consider the child's interests.
Perhaps the child has a fascination of animals or marine life, why not plan a trip to the zoo or aquarium?  Or do you have an avid stargazer?  Why not an outing to a local planetarium?  Many girls love to be pampered.  How about having a "Spa Day" at a local salon and getting manicures and pedicures while catching up on what's going on in their lives?  If your city has a local sports team, what about getting some tickets and catching a game together?  I have many fond memories of going with my family to watch the Atlanta Braves play as a child and look forward to taking our own children to baseball games when they get older.

2. Consider your budget & be creative.
You can still spend special quality time with a child and be frugal.  Instead of going to a planetarium, why not set out a blanket in the backyard, set up a telescope, and spend some time looking at the heavens together?  If you don't want to drop a couple Benjamins at the spa, do manis and pedis in the comfort and privacy of your own home.  If a trip to the diamond isn't possible, but your child loves baseball, plan a "Baseball Day": Go to a public baseball field and throw and hit a few, go out for hotdogs and ice cream afterwards, then head home and watch a game on TV together.  It's not the money spent that counts; it's the undivided attention and time spent doing something together.

3. Other Ideas
  • Dress up for tea at an English tearoom or have a tea party at your house
  • Visit a children's museum
  • Attend a live theatrical or orchestral performance or get out your instruments and jam together
  • Visit a local farm or dairy
  • For the book lover, go to a poetry reading or explore a library or bookstore new to the child
  • For the outdoor enthusiast, go hiking, biking, or canoeing in a nearby national or state park 
  • Visit an art museum or have an "Art Day" at your house & pull out the art supplies to sketch, paint, and draw together
  • Get your GPS, and go geocaching!
  • Spend the day together on the lake or at the beach
How to "Wrap" Your Gift?  So, you have a great gift idea, now what?  It would be nice for your child to have something to open for Christmas, even if it's just an envelope with a little somethin' inside.

1. Make a Gift Certificate.
Get your creative juices flowing and make a coupon or gift certificate redeemable for "One Special Day at the . . ." (fill-in-the-blank).  {If I were creative at all, I would've created a lovely PDF coupon for you to use.  Alas, I am not creative, but here are some cute ideas I found on Pinterest.}

Source: via Keri on Pinterest


2. Create a gift basketIf you want to give your child something more than a gift certificate, consider putting together a gift basket filled with some of the accessories you're likely to use on your special day together.  Then, stick in a coupon or card explaining what these items are for.  Here are some great examples I found on Pinterest to spark your imagination:

A Spa Basket, complete with slippers, bath scrub, eye mask, & lavender sachet

Source: via Allison on Pinterest

 A Beach or Lake Basket with bucket, shovel, bubbles, sunglasses, and toys

These are just a few ideas of different ways to show the children in your life how much you love them.  It's easy to buy a present, but with a little more effort, you can give your special little ones something unique: a day alone with you.  What a treat for both of you!  Not only do they have your undivided attention, but the two of you can go at your own pace, enjoying the attractions and each others' company without interruption.  

Nothing is more meaningful to a child than the precious moments we share with them, making memories that will last a lifetime.  

Consider the gift of quality time this Christmas; it's the gift that keeps on giving!

Have you ever given the gift of quality time?   What did you do?  How did you "wrap" it?

Blessings to you and yours!



  1. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas! Great for Christmas but I think we'll try some for upcoming parent-kid date nights too. Thanks!

  2. Good idea! I think you could do any of these ideas ANY time of the year.

  3. Great ideas! I love the gift of time more than anything. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading more of your ideas!