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    OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

    I'm in search of gift inspiration for kids who can't seem to think of much to put on Christmas lists this year. What gifts are you excited about giving this year? What gifts do you have that you still enjoy and think fondly of long term, even when they are cluttering up your house?

    I'll start--excited about a few quirky used instruments my husband found to add to our collection. They are surprises for the kids, which should be fun.

    Gifts we are so thankful for and enjoy constantly: magatiles, pinblocks (the 1st grader plays with them every day), wedgits, legos, good books...

    Feel free to share for any ages and stages, I know everyone likes to discuss this because it's also helpful for birthdays. ✔️ They are so annual.

    For me? The thing I really want most this year is a glass cake stand and dome. And, maybe a copy of Paradise Regained. Maybe my kids' list making failure is a direct result of being my children! 😂

    TIA for ideas!
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
    DS 12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN - Headed to Hillsdale College next fall
    DD 10th • HLN, Latin online
    DD 7th • HLN & Home
    DS 4th • HLN & Home
    Me • Third Form for Adults, MPOA; teaching TFL and co-directing @

    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

    #2
    Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

    Our go-to ideas are books, board games, handicrafts, stem stuff, music stuff, and outdoors stuff.

    We do a lot of camping, so individual toiletries bags made the cut this year (exciting, I know. You can stop drooling now).

    Merit badge kits (workbook + needed materials). New violin stuff (rosin, a new bow, a music dictionary). I mean c'mon, Christmas is sounding exhilarating around here, isn't it? Mom even gets some new garage shelves (woohoo!).

    Also, STEM stuff that doesn't make the curriculum. Robot kit, snap circuits, electronic paper airplane kit...

    Latchhook, coloring, woodburning, calligraphy, woodworking have all made the cut at some point.

    Really though, our Christmas standard has been mostly practical stuff, and one or two really exciting things (inflatable kayaks for the family! Shhhh! Don't tell!). It has worked well so far!

    Hope that gets the creative juices flowing for your own family!
    Amanda - Mama to three crazy boys, teacher at St. Dominic Latin (FFL, TFL, 4FL, Traditional Logic 1&2), Memoria College student

    2021-2022
    9th grade - a mix of MPOA, Vita Beata, Lukeion, and AOPS
    8th grade - 8M with modifications
    4th grade - 4A

    "Non nisi te, Domine. Non nisi te" - St. Thomas Aquinas

    Comment


      #3
      Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

      I'm very split on this, this year. My middle daughter (7.5) is now a reader, so she will get a refurbished Kindle Paperwhite. My oldest (9.5) is getting a case for hers to be differentiated. The baby (1.5) got an early Beanie Boo. I'm not sure what to do for my son (4.5).
      Margaret of Georgia, in west TN – Enginerd’s wife and Mama

      2019-2020/-2021 · Homeschooling since 2011.
      Trekking along at a student self-pace...
      DD Summer 2009 · 5th/6th + BS3&4
      DD Summer 2011 · SC4/SC5*6 + BS3&4
      DS Summer 2014 · K/SC2 + SL P + K
      DD Summer 2017 · Pre + SL T
      DS Autumn 2019 • Baby

      Memoria Scholé Academy
      Blog: Creative Madness Mama
      @ CherryBlossomMJ

      Comment


        #4
        Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

        Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
        I'm in search of gift inspiration for kids who can't seem to think of much to put on Christmas lists this year. What gifts are you excited about giving this year? What gifts do you have that you still enjoy and think fondly of long term, even when they are cluttering up your house?

        I'll start--excited about a few quirky used instruments my husband found to add to our collection. They are surprises for the kids, which should be fun.

        Gifts we are so thankful for and enjoy constantly: magatiles, pinblocks (the 1st grader plays with them every day), wedgits, legos, good books...

        Feel free to share for any ages and stages, I know everyone likes to discuss this because it's also helpful for birthdays. ✔️ They are so annual.

        For me? The thing I really want most this year is a glass cake stand and dome. And, maybe a copy of Paradise Regained. Maybe my kids' list making failure is a direct result of being my children! 😂

        TIA for ideas!
        My kids are 5 (almost 6)-9. They love anything crafty. My oldest is eyeing the Smithsonian “science” kits. All the kids love manga-tiles. (Have you seen the new 3D “Qubix” ones?). I need to look at pin blocks and wedgits. My niece asked for office supplies one year! We also use money people give us to buy memberships to museums. We rotate them.

        My husband and I treated ourselves to a fancy coffee maker on Black Friday. (Nespresso). The kids are enjoying the steamed milk frother!
        Christine

        (2021/2022)
        DD1 8/23/09 - Mix of MP5 and MP6 (SFL, Birds, R&S 6 Math, Language Arts with Grandma)
        DS2 9/1/11 - MP4M
        DD3 2/9/13 -MP2/MP3

        Previous Years
        DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, SC 5/6, MP4 + FFL and R&S Math 5, MPOA Fable
        DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2/AAR/Storytime Treasures), Traditional Spelling 1, SC5/6 Year 1
        DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1

        Comment


          #5
          Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

          My kids are into Extreme Dot to Dot, origami kits and paper, and any kind of science or art kit. I like these kinds of things that they can work on quietly and individually when we need them to.

          I'm driving my relatives crazy. So far I've been offered a Nintendo and electronic Super Hero readers, both of which I've declined in favor of more wholesome (IMO) activities. I don't think my MIL was impressed when I asked for a set of the Primary Phonics readers, and I know those won't be as exciting to open. I'm trying to keep a balance of purely "fun" and more practical/ educational types of gifts. So, she's getting the 5 year old the readers and also a nice set of Star Wars Legos.

          It's so exciting to have fun toys to open, but honestly, how many of our kids need more of that stuff around? I already feel like my boys' bedroom is overflowing with toys that rarely get used. And I hate feeding that present greed that is so easy to get this time of year. But on the other hand, I love to delight my kids and lavish good things on them in celebration of the greatest Giver and Gift of all! It is a hard line to walk...

          Comment


            #6
            Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

            My oldest just had a birthday and asked for Monopoly Cheaters Edition. It is so much fun! Think regular Monopoly but everyone is trying to cheat and catch everyone else cheating. For those who love order, there are rules to the cheating. You can only cheat in certain ways at certain times throughout the game. We played for 3 hours the other night, no one got bored, all the people played, and only my 7 year old needed a little help.

            Books, fishing equipment, scooters, gift cards (movies, trampoline parks, and bowling), NFL fan gear, legos, and hunting gear are the items on kid’s lists.

            My list will likely be considered boring, gift cards for clothes.

            Husband wants hunting stuff and a couple dumbbells.
            Joyfully, Courtney
            DS14, DS12, DS11, DD9

            Comment


              #7
              Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

              Originally posted by Angela View Post
              My kids are into Extreme Dot to Dot, origami kits and paper, and any kind of science or art kit. I like these kinds of things that they can work on quietly and individually when we need them to.
              Have you seen Querkles coloring books? My big kids love these. They are pretty cool!
              Katie

              DS 17: Senior!
              DD 14: 10th
              DD 10: 6th
              Twin DD's 8: 3rd
              Mix of MP, Co-op, TAN and traveling the U.S

              Comment


                #8
                Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                Love these ideas!

                My boys don't really have anything in mind to ask for aside from Legos - "Surprise us Mom!". So in addition to a few Lego sets, we got them a few Playmobil sets (castle and treehouse and a few smaller people sets to go with them). Lots and lots of games. The 8 year old is now getting old enough for some of the more fun games from my own childhood like Battleship. He also really enjoys the individual brainteaser games like Kanoodle. Marble run for the 5 year old and an additional Snap Circuits set for the 8 year old. Balance bike for the 3 year old. We already have oodles of magnatiles (which they love) and so.many wooden trains, but those have been hits in the past.

                I'm getting my husband 3 Tolkien books for his collection - Beren and Luthien, Children of Hurin, and The Fall of Gondolin. I usually get him a pair of Smartwool socks every year as well. I am getting a new reproduction cross-stitch sampler to work on in all of my copious free time, and hopefully a new tea kettle and some Harney & Sons tea.
                Central Ohio

                2021-2022
                5th year homeschooling - 5th year MP user
                DS 10 - MP 5A
                DS 8 - MP 2
                DS 5 - MP K

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                  IÂ’m checking out that Monopoly game. I really can not stand to play Monopoly but my kids LOVE to play. This game sounds a bit more exciting

                  Our gifts this year will mostly be experiences. They get plenty of gifts from relatives! Our family gift is tickets to For King and Country and a weekend at Great Wolf Lodge. And that pretty much bleeds the budget dry. So the rest will be “coupons” from my husband and I to the kids for dates with each of them, and a calendar with many days blocked off over the next several months so they can redeeem the dates. It’ll be simple things like go for coffee/hot cocoa, go see a movie, go to lunch, go on a hike.

                  Some things that my crew have mentioned to asking relatives..my son wants more shop items like a grinder, wood burning and branding kit. My older daughter just wants more books (although IÂ’m having trouble finding quality books that she hasnÂ’t already read??) and art supplies, my 8yo wants canvas and sketch books, and my twins (all my girls actually) want more baking supplies like fun molds and such.

                  For my husband and I, we are getting our septic system updated and having a water softener installed. Ha!
                  Katie

                  DS 17: Senior!
                  DD 14: 10th
                  DD 10: 6th
                  Twin DD's 8: 3rd
                  Mix of MP, Co-op, TAN and traveling the U.S

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                    Originally posted by Katie View Post

                    For my husband and I, we are getting our septic system updated and having a water softener installed. Ha!
                    I can scarcely think of a more heartwarming gift than a fully functioning septic system. It's the little (expensive) things!

                    Also, the Smartwool socks!! Yes, I had forgotten to add those. One pair a year gives you a pretty good collection.

                    Thank you so much for the brainstorming help and keep it coming, friends!
                    Festina lentē,
                    Jessica P

                    2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
                    DS 12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN - Headed to Hillsdale College next fall
                    DD 10th • HLN, Latin online
                    DD 7th • HLN & Home
                    DS 4th • HLN & Home
                    Me • Third Form for Adults, MPOA; teaching TFL and co-directing @

                    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                      Our stockings will be filled with warm socks for everyone! Plus slippers for most (I couldn’t wait that long!). Our way of saying welcome back to the north, gang 😆. My guys both need warm pjs too - but again, not very exciting, more of a necessity.

                      Aside from those, we are in the same boat as many - wanting to share the joy of giving gifts, but not wanting more “stuff” to accumulate - toys (have tons); books (no more shelf space); clutter (argh!).

                      So I go through the following sort of check list:

                      ——what things need replacing, because it doesn’t feel like “adding” that way (new play piano for one, a new purse for another, and a baseball cap and basketball for a third)

                      ——what might help things be better organized (two girls will get a very nice jewelry box to share - which will help their dresser top a great deal)

                      ——what someone might like to “do” (musical instruments, sheet music, and classes at the park district fit in here);

                      ——things that naturally get used up (coloring books and gel pens for everyone this year).

                      Hubs and I are tougher. We would definitely do septic and call it a present! We have that same practical vein. But I did a few things through Shutterfly for him this year since he actually wants photos of us in his office now. (It was a privacy/safety issue before, but now he is in an actual office building).

                      Nothing fancy here, but should be fun nonetheless.

                      AMDG,
                      Sarah
                      2020-2021
                      16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                      DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                      DS, 17
                      DD, 15
                      DD, 13
                      DD, 11
                      DD, 9
                      DD, 7
                      +DS+
                      DS, 2

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                        Lots of fun ideas!

                        Just before Christmas, we are traveling, all 5 of us, to NC to be with family, my sister and her family and my parents. It's warmer there, so can that count as a vacation/experience trip?

                        We splurged and got a wonderful digital piano (please, no one be shocked; it has weighted keys with hammer action and no it's not a "real" piano but it doesn't weigh nearly as much as the behemoth we had to give away free that couldn't be tuned! ha). Phil and I are having a ton of fun playing the piano again, and my daughter is enjoying practicing so much. We got it early to enjoy music for the Christmas season!

                        I'm having trouble coming up with "experience" gifts for my sons who are college age, but we will all go to Winterfest at Kings Island in Cincinnati, which was a ton of fun last year.

                        We keep trying to declutter and embrace quality over quantity, but we still have a long way to go! I enjoyed reading all your ideas. I bought the board game Katan for the family. Has anyone played it? I really don't know a whole lot about it. I hope it is good!

                        Blessings on all your family gatherings!
                        Carlyn
                        Carlyn D.
                        DD- 14 yr. old has used Memoria Press Classical Core since K; 9A currently
                        DS- 22 yr. old college graduate
                        DS- 22 yr. old college student
                        Both sons graduated May 2016 from high school after homeschooling since preschool. :)

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                          Settlers of Katan is a great game. Buckle down for a long session when you get it out and figure out how to play. Playing is much more fun that figuring it out. Does anyone have the junior version? Thinking of getting that for little guy who often gets excluded from the older kid games. 😔
                          Festina lentē,
                          Jessica P

                          2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
                          DS 12th • AP Latin online, DE Calculus & Physics, HLN - Headed to Hillsdale College next fall
                          DD 10th • HLN, Latin online
                          DD 7th • HLN & Home
                          DS 4th • HLN & Home
                          Me • Third Form for Adults, MPOA; teaching TFL and co-directing @

                          Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                            Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
                            Settlers of Katan is a great game. Buckle down for a long session when you get it out and figure out how to play. Playing is much more fun that figuring it out. Does anyone have the junior version? Thinking of getting that for little guy who often gets excluded from the older kid games. 😔
                            We do not Catan (jr or regular, but we love the jr version of a ticket to ride.
                            Christine

                            (2021/2022)
                            DD1 8/23/09 - Mix of MP5 and MP6 (SFL, Birds, R&S 6 Math, Language Arts with Grandma)
                            DS2 9/1/11 - MP4M
                            DD3 2/9/13 -MP2/MP3

                            Previous Years
                            DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, SC 5/6, MP4 + FFL and R&S Math 5, MPOA Fable
                            DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2/AAR/Storytime Treasures), Traditional Spelling 1, SC5/6 Year 1
                            DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: OT: Gifts worth giving; gifts worth having...

                              Originally posted by Nerdmom View Post
                              Our go-to ideas are books, board games, handicrafts, stem stuff, music stuff, and outdoors stuff.

                              We do a lot of camping, so individual toiletries bags made the cut this year (exciting, I know. You can stop drooling now).

                              Merit badge kits (workbook + needed materials). New violin stuff (rosin, a new bow, a music dictionary). I mean c'mon, Christmas is sounding exhilarating around here, isn't it? Mom even gets some new garage shelves (woohoo!).

                              Also, STEM stuff that doesn't make the curriculum. Robot kit, snap circuits, electronic paper airplane kit...

                              Latchhook, coloring, woodburning, calligraphy, woodworking have all made the cut at some point.

                              Really though, our Christmas standard has been mostly practical stuff, and one or two really exciting things (inflatable kayaks for the family! Shhhh! Don't tell!). It has worked well so far!

                              Hope that gets the creative juices flowing for your own family!
                              We didn’t grow up with a dishwasher so one year we got dish towels for Christmas. That was a bit *too* pratical for my 12 year old self. 😂

                              We are big on experiences. Last year the grandparents paid for 6 months of a YMCA membership so the kids could swim through the winter. One year we had a staycation and visited some local places we hadn’t been to yet. We’re thinking about ski lessons for them this year but are waiting to see if there’s snow. A few books, board games and puzzles round out the gifts around here.
                              Last edited by VAmom; 12-04-2018, 07:09 PM.
                              Heidi

                              For 2021-22
                              dd- 6th
                              ds- 3rd
                              dd- 1st
                              ds- adding smiles and distractions

                              Comment

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