Christmas comes but once a year… and many of us take that opportunity to shower our kids with stuff. They’ve been asking for months; they’ve made list after list; they’ve given us those sad eyes, and we gave in. It seemed like a good idea. They looked so happy for a few minutes. But, then, the newness faded, quickly in some cases, and now there are all these things that we’re trying to find room for in our already full house. 

Sound familiar? It’s because it happens all the time. Maybe it’s about seeing your kids’ eyes light up when they open that thing they wanted. Or maybe last year felt lean and now you can go all out. Perhaps it’s just habit that’s been ingrained in us from years of commercials. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t have to be that way…

Kids are not going to remember very many of the “things” they get, but they sure will remember the fun things they did with you. With memory-making in mind, here are five great experiences you can give the kids in your life without breaking the bank. These all come with the bonus of getting to know the fabulous young people in your life better and allowing both of you to be more mindful during the time you spend together.

Five Things to Give Kids this Christmas

  1.  A dinner date once a month.  Let them pick the restaurant (yes, even if they pick something you wouldn’t.) More than one kid? Take them separately if you can. You will learn so much about them with some solid one-on-one time.
  2.  A trip to their favorite park. It might not seem like much to you, but to a kid a guaranteed trip to the best play structure in the neighborhood is priceless! 
  3. A day at the zoo/aquarium/amusement park/carnival/beach… whatever they enjoy doing!
  4. A class focused on something they are passionate about. Whether it’s cooking, computers, or dance, there is something they would love to learn more about! Check out your local library, home improvement store, or restaurant for some possibilities.
  5. Give them lessons. Do you knit? Sew? Bake? Paint? Are you talented at woodworking? Guitar? Swimming? I would bet a whole lot of money that you are good at something that a child in your life would love to learn. 

What is one memory you have of an experience someone has shared with you? Let us know here or on Facebook!