The countdown to Christmas has begun, and we can feel the excitement in the MP family. Children spend hours cutting out toy catalogs, we get ads every week, and we feel the consumerism frenzy that rise.
But since last year, we have adapted the rules of the game concerning what Santa Claus decides to bring the D-Day...
About the advantage of "Experience" gifts for children...
Regarding toys, we've had enough of it during the first years of our parenting life between birthdays and Christmas, with their gifts from grandparents, friends, uncles and aunts, and so on. So much so that we ended up becoming minimalist with this part of our life too.
I reassure you right away: we aren't telling our children that we stop ordering gifts to Santa Claus, because we love too much the magic of this period for that.
Nevertheless, we try to teach them the benefit of an "experience" gift vs. a toy; meaning that a shared experience will remain in their memory longer than a toy that they will give up after only a few days.
Even if it's difficult to understand at their age (especially as it's still hard for some adults!), it slowly but surely makes its way with time.
And benefits for parents too!
We aren't going to lie to ourselves: we also loved to receive toys when we were kids, so we'll continue to offer some to our children. But from now on, as good Swiss, we aim for "moitié-moitié" between toys and experiences.
We'd be able to achieve this goal this year, because we have been talking to several people around us recently, and we realized that we were fairly aligned on the subject.
I advise you to try to test the waters with your family and close friends, because you'll maybe also have good surprises!
Moreover, benefits of the "Experience" gifts for parents are non-negligible:
- It makes you spend time with your children (although some parents prefer toys instead, in order to "have tranquility"... it's sad don't you think?)
- It allows you to create memories with your kids
- It does not clutter your child's room year after year!
- It avoids nervous crises like "I'm tired of tidying up your room, I feel that it's the same story every day/week/month!" (tip: read also this article and apply what's explained to your children's room)
10 "Experience" gift ideas for kids
Without more suspense, here is the list of 10 gift ideas - which aren't toys - for your children:
- A cinema abo — CHF 60 (for 6 tickets at Yverdon-les-Bains' cinema for instance)
- A poney/horse ride — about CHF 20-40 depending on the duration (in the Vaud canton)
- An introductory course to music (piano, guitar) — between CHF 300-600 for 10 courses (depending on the duration)
- A coupon for an Urba Kids ticket with some of his/her friends — CHF 12/kid
- A magazine subscription for Pomme d'Api, Astrapi, J'aime Lire or I Love English — about CHF 100-300/year
- A cooking or pastry class — around CHF 30-60
- An amusement park ticket (Disneyland or Parc Astérix in France for example) — CHF 100/ticket (hotel and transportation to add on top of it)
- A hockey game ticket with his favorite team — about CHF 40
- A fun and social board game like the Dobble — CHF 20
- A concert of a band like the Kids United — about CHF 45
With all this, you have no reason to follow the frenzy of tomorrow with the BlackFriday, and can live this day as a normal Friday. Your wallet will thank you at the same time!
On your side, do you have other "experience" gift ideas to share with us?