Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Some unique ideas for gifts for your children

Do you look around your house as this Christmas season approaches and see a lot of unused toys lying around? Do you think inwardly that your children really don't need any more toys, but Christmas is coming and we'll have to come up with a gift list? Well, here's a tip straight from "olden" days. Why not start a "hope chest" sort of tradition? Okay here is what I mean. For boys this means getting them a rugged tool box and giving them the gift of basic tools each year: screwdrivers, hammer, pliers, wire cutters, a level, wrenches, socket wrenches, and as they get older, how about a drill and extra bits. For girls this means a tool box filled with cooking tools. Fill it up with some spatulas, a reamer for juicing lemons and citrus, measuring cups, measuring spoons, a liquid measuring cup, mixing bowls, wooden spoons, food chopper, a copy of your family favorite recipes, a basic cookbook or two, grater, knives, coffee maker or tea pot, mixer, blender, food processor, etc.

Now I guess you could do these things for both boys and girls. Not trying to be sexist, but really. The men usually handle the big fix-it-upper jobs, and the women usually cook. Hey, girls could use some basic household tools like screwdrivers and hammer and such for when they are out on their own. Boys do need some basic cooking equipment when they have their own apartments. What you need to do when giving these gifts is give your sons and daughters some lessons to learn how to use their tools. Remember to teach them they are tools not toys and they will need to keep them in a safe place for when they need them.

While these may not seem like gifts they will get too excited about at first, I bet in a few years, they will be thanking you profusely that you got them such valuable things and were thinking ahead. They won't miss another toy really. Chances are you won't miss another useless toy that you end up giving away or throwing away after it breaks or gets stepped on, or lost. :)

We gave each of our sons a tool box and screwdriver set last Christmas. Now when we need to fix something, they jump up and ask, "Can I get the tools from my toolbox, Dad?" They love using their tools. They are learning skills and responsibility. They are learning to put their tools away. My dad is teaching the boys how to take apart an old lawn mower and blower and fix them up. Maybe they will be able to be used again, maybe not, but the boys are learning valuable life skills for later. They could make a career out of motor repair. These are the kinds of gifts that keep on giving. Training up your children in the way they should go. Training them for more than just the moment at hand. If you don't know how to do these things, get a manual from the library and learn together.

Something to think about. :)

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