With Christmas around the corner, you may be suddenly becoming painfully aware of how many toys your child(ren) accumulated since last year, and you can’t possibly think of where you’ll put any more toys. While some people (like my family) do a massive toy donation at the beginning of December to clear out all the toys that aren’t being played with anymore and donating them to shelters and/or Good Will for Christmas, other families may just want to nix the toys all together this year and opt for more practical gifts.
If you don’t think you’ll have a mutiny on your hands, check out Emily Wehner, a gift guide “guru” over on TikTok, where she made a viral video about holiday gifts to give your kids that *aren’t* toys.
The first gift she recommends are Crocs, because “what kid doesn’t love Crocs,” she asks. Or what mom doesn’t like Crocs for that matter? Then she said to make them extra special, buy the “jibbitz” that you can add to your Crocs. While jibbitz sound like something your grandaddy used to cook up for a southern Sunday supper, they’re little charms kids can use to customize their shoes. Like a charm bracelet for the feet.
Another idea she had was a high-quality water bottle, because our children are the most hydrated children of any generation ever. I think we drank from the water hose once a week for hydration when I was a kid, and then if we didn’t do that we were chugging Sunny Delight or Mondos, which I guess is “water” but with 95 grams of sugar.
If your kids (or someone you know who has kids) are at the pacifier stage, Wehner says pacis make great stocking stuffers, too. And you know you’re going to lose all of them under the couch behind the bed, in the car, and at the grocery store anyway, so you can never have too many of them. Another idea was a stuffed animal, which she says is sort of not a toy, but still a toy. If you don’t already have an entire zoo of stuffed animals, she recommended the JellyCat brand for how soft they are. Wehner also recommended Warmies stuffed animals, which have beads inside and essential oils so that they can be warmed up in the microwave and used to cuddle on warm nights and provide comforting scents.
People in the comments had some amazing ideas as well, such as books, rain jackets, boots, warm blankets, a rolling suitcase for traveling, slippers and robes, and crafts.
However, my personal favorite non-toy gift idea is an experience. We ask for a zoo membership, a museum membership, an aquarium membership, and even a children’s museum membership from different family members. It’s the gift that keeps on giving every year and it gives you something to do as a family that’s fun on the weekends, or even after school.
Whether you decide to buy more toys this year, or you opt for more practical gifts, spending time with family and making traditions with your kids are going to be what they remember most from their childhoods.