Thursday, October 19, 2006

Toys For Christmas

We are entering my favorite time of the year. I love holiday time. I enjoy decorating and baking my family’s favorite holiday recipes and also shopping for special gifts for everyone on my list. Now that our family is expanding to include grandchildren this is even a more magical time of the year for us.
When our own children were toddlers we did not have a great deal of money to spend on toys for Christmas. I tried to get something special for everyone, but we also needed to include practical items as gifts. This meant that stocking stuffers usually included socks and underwear instead of luxury items. We also bought other clothing items for the children. Most of the toys for Christmas that our children received were from their grandparents. This worked out well because it gave the children something to do during the holiday time that was spent at the grandparent’s houses.
Now that we are the grandparents and have more financial resources we are the ones that get to shop for and provide the toys for Christmas. I have to admit that the toys have changed greatly since our children were young. Everything is either electronic or battery operated. This year when my husband and I went to find gifts for our children and their families we decided that we wanted to give them more than material things, we wanted to give them a means to spend family time together. Instead of buying toys for Christmas for the youngsters and clothing or other items for the adults we decided to make family gift baskets. Our three children were very close when they were growing up, but jobs, children and community activities have made it difficult for them to spend much time together as adults. Their children enjoy playing together when we get together at holiday time. We decided that it would be fun to have a full family time together as a water park. We booked reservations for all or us and had the water park send us confirmations for each family. We also bought a board game for each family as well as a card game. We placed the reservation confirmation, the games and microwave popcorn in a big basket. We also put in a gift certificate for a chain delivery pizza place.
On Christmas the children were very excited about having the full weekend together planned for them at the end of January. We told them that we were also coming along so that we could baby sit in the evening so the three couples could go out for dinner together. This was a great idea and received very well. I do not think any one missed not getting toys for Christmas.