I was going to post about how we deal with gift giving and receiving in our house after L's birthday and just discovered this timely post on the subject over at The Magic Onions.
For L's birthday we made all of L's gifts. My husband made her the marimba and a wood doll bed and my mom knitted clothes for her doll. A close friend made a quilt and pillow for the doll bed.
Over the last few years I've been able to train all of our family members on what appropriate gifts are and usually can recommend gifts for close family. A good option I find is getting them to pay for a class that L would like to take like swimming or dancing.
We invited L's whole Montessori preschool class to her birthday party so there were a lot of people. We put on the invitations to please bring a donation for the foodbank instead of a gift. This took away the pressure on us but also on the guests.
Look at all of the donations we received!! L and I gathered them up and took them to the foodbank after her birthday. We got a tour of the foodbank, learned about how it all works and got a list of items they are always short of for next time.
I think this was the perfect time to start this tradition while she is still young enough to not question it and we'll carry it on now for every birthday. L got more than enough gifts from her family and it's a great for her to learn about giving and sharing. I also think we'll put together a small donation for every birthday in our house.
Luckily for me I love to do crafty things so I always have something homemade for gifts that we give. Whenever it's one of L's friends I try to involve her in the making of the gift such as a necklace or card.
With Christmas looming and L's birthday over I need to get myself organized to start making all of the Christmas gifts.
What do you do about gifts for your littles for Christmas and Birthdays?