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Make Christmas Clutter-Free with Consumable Gifts

A guest post by JessieLeigh from Parenting the Tiniest of Miracles

Last Christmas, I was bound and determined to not bring more clutter into my home. Having just recently pared down the playroom, the last thing I wanted was more, well, junk filling our house.

I decided to chose a couple of needed articles of clothing and then only gave consumable gifts. Consumable gifts are a great way to have something to put under the tree to rip open on Christmas morning, without cluttering your home or the homes of others.

Here are five of my favorite consumable gifts to give or receive:

1. Favorite treats/snacks

Think about some of the purchased treats your kids love and ask for all the time, but don’t usually make the “budget cut.” Think about those cookies your sister makes that are your son’s absolute favorite in the world! These are great things to ask for as gifts! Your kids will be delighted to have those special treats tucked in a lunch bag or for a fun afternoon snack.

Truthfully, my husband and I do this for each other, too. He adores Monster energy drinks and I love pizza-flavored Combos, but we don’t purchase them ordinarily. Christmas is a fun time to indulge each other. Even better? Once the treats are eaten, there’s nothing left cluttering up our home!

2. Fun bath/shower products

My sister-in-law once gave my children a three-pack of those “fizzy bath bomb” balls that you drop in the bath tub. My kids thought they were amazing and I was thrilled that, after three joyful, giggling baths, they were gone.

My sister and her family gave my kids little Disney soaps one time too… they brought many smiles while they lasted! Aim for small, specialty items in this category, rather than ultra-jumbo bottles of bubble bath.

3. Coloring Books/Puzzle Books/Stickers

When people ask for ideas for my children, these top the list. They are all readily available, inexpensive and cheap to ship for those out-of-staters. My children love sitting at their art table, coloring or solving fun puzzles and decorating with stickers.

What I love? When it’s done, it’s done. I’ve never had a child miss a completed coloring book that I’ve tossed.

4. Cooking Kits

My kids, like most children, love to cook. Pre-measured cookie, quick bread or muffin kits make wonderful gifts! These can be mixes you put together on your own or even mixes you just buy in the store — children will be delighted either way.

We also happen to have a hand-me-down EasyBake oven. If you, or someone you know, does too, you could also make up some fun little mixes to be baked in there. I’ve had great success with the recipes at this site!

5. Craft Kits

By this, I mean craft kits designed to make gifts for others. My kids love to make bracelets, bookmarks and magnets for their grandmas and aunties. The “gift” for them is in the fun they have doing the crafting!

Craft kits keep them happy (and entertained) for many hours and, when they’re done, the results are happily passed on to others with much pride and joy. Win-win!

Do you have any tips for cooking back on the clutter at Christmastime? Share it in the comments!

JessieLeigh is the mother of a former 24-week micropreemie and two full-term blessings as well. She is a determined advocate for the tiniest of babies, including the unborn, and a firm believer in faith and miracles. She shares about raising such a precious, tiny baby over at Parenting the Tiniest of Miracles.

photo by craftapalooza

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  • Cynthia Pitman says:

    my daughter has three young daughters, the other day she told me that the girls had way too many toys. She asked me what I thought about them taking a Polar Express Train Ride this year instead of getting them toys. I thought it was great. I got my 11 grandchildren 1 large sucker, color crayons, colored pencils and a holiday pillowcase that I made for each of them.

  • Kathy A. says:

    I love the roll of scotch tape idea! I used to work in the play therapy department of a children’s hospital. Our little patients loved to make ‘roads’ for our large hot wheels collection with a roll of masking tape. They’d start on table tops, but soon the roads wound around under the tables and chairs. When finished, they’d grab a few vehicles of their choice and hit the road! Provided hours of fun. (older kids enjoyed creating buildings along the roads with blocks, etc. And when finished… they loved helping pull the tape up. (I’d now use painters tape to make removal even simpler!)

  • Renee says:

    I didn’t read all the comments, so someone might have said this, but gum is a big hit with our toddlers! It’s a special treat for them 🙂 Also, we use christmas/ birthdays for pragmatic gifts right now too. Our kids are little, so they are beyond-the-moon excited to get one new toy. If other people ask what to get them, I suggest items like the next size/ season of clothes/ shoes. Our almost 3 year old will get a ‘big girl bed’ for her 3rd birthday (a twin mattress + box spring on the floor with new bedding). A bike at some point.
    When our second daughter was born, we asked for a toddler convertible carseat for the older one as a baby gift 🙂 we’re fortunate to have family who doesn’t mind giving these types of pragmatic gifts.

    also, books! we mostly use the library, but if there’s a book or movie the kids love to read over and over, i’ll put that on a gift wish list.

    a friend of mine gave her 4 year old 12 mommy or daddy dates – 1 for each month of the upcoming year. she did little coupons or something for each activity. ice cream date, picnic, bike ride, first movie theater, etc … simple things for just him and a parent to do. 1 of the 12 was a “big” date – a day at the ski slopes (they live in denver).

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