Experiences with a Loved One
To emphasize the fact that relationships are built on a foundation of love and respect rather than who gives you the best stuff, we find that experiential gifts are some of the most beneficial. All the afore mentioned issues about being unfamiliar with unwrapping presents, equating presents with love, and feeling overwhelmed with ownership of a toy are set aside when the gift becomes quality time spent with a loved one. We were fortunate to have one family member invite the kids over for a gingerbread-house-making party (while mom got to go Christmas shopping - bonus!), and other family who took all the kids on a Polar Express ride! Here are some other ideas:
- Have the kids over for a tea party complete with real tea and cookies
- Host a cupcake or cookie baking party
- Take the kids bowling
- Take the kids to a movie
- Take the kids swimming
Parents would always love to be able to do more fun stuff with their kids!
- Gift certificate for the movie theater
- Annual membership to a museum, children's museum, or zoo
- Tickets to a children's theater performance
Gifts for the whole family help alleviate some of the pressure for the kids of unwrapping and being responsible for gifts. If there are siblings, it helps cut down on sibling squabbles about who owns which toy.
- Board games
- Tinker toys
- Lincoln logs
- Sports equipment
- Craft supplies
We never expect presents. This was true even before we became a foster family. We cherish the time spent with our family and friends, and it's our personal family policy that we never expect gifts from anyone at any time.