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Monday, December 4, 2017

Awesome Gifts That Aren't Things: classes

I've hit that point in my life when I look around at all the toys, books, clothes, trinkets, and just... well... stuff, and I question the meaning of life. I mean honestly, it's not that we have an exorbitant amount of playthings, clothes, or household items, and the things we do have are all good, but how much do we really need? With that thought in mind, I've come up with some ideas for gifts that aren't "things" that kids will still be excited to receive!

I'm going to be sharing a few different categories of ideas over the next few weeks. Today I'm focusing on classes (or clubs, teams, groups, etc). Classes are a great way to give kids something they can get excited about because you can focus on a specific area of interest, whether it's music, sports, or anything else you can think of! Here are a few examples to consider:

*Private or group music lessons
*Community choir or orchestra
*Theater/ drama classes
*Art classes
*Chess lessons
*Foreign language classes/ tutors
*Sports teams
*Martial arts classes
*Hiking clubs
*Girl / Boy Scouts 
*Book clubs

Obviously I'm stretching the term "classes" to fit the general concept of specific, interest-oriented activities that kids can attend on a regular basis. The great thing is in many cases, these gifts don't cost any money- they simply require a time and energy commitment from you as a parent. Libraries and schools will often have classes, clubs, and teams that are free or very cheap.

I love this gift idea because it not only gives kids the gift of learning, but it shows that you care about their interests, and it is also giving them the gift of your time, whether you're doing the class with them, observing the lessons, or even just serving as their chauffeur. 

There are a couple of ways you can present this gift to kids: one way is to wrap up a paper or flyer that explains the class (but that probably won't get them very excited when they open it), and another is to give them something that they'll use in the class. Sometimes that might be a uniform or something else they can wear, supplies they'll need, or maybe a pass or badge that shows their membership. Whatever you use, having something physical to open (without adding to the clutter, which is what we're trying to avoid in the first place) can help make the experience more tangible and exciting (especially for younger children). 

I'd love to know your thoughts on this. Is anyone else looking for ways to give gifts without becoming overwhelmed with clutter? What have been your favorite gift ideas for this? I'd love to hear them in the comments below!

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