09 December 2016

10 Gift Ideas For Kids That Have Nothing to do With Toys

When I think back to the holidays growing up, very few memories actually center around gifts. Sure, I remember getting some pretty cool things along the way like my Commodore 64 computer {I’m really showing my age here} and a Nintendo play station but honestly what I remember most about the holidays and my life as a child and teen revolve more around the memories of traditions, family and faith. Now that I’m an adult, I can look back and see that those “gifts” are the ones that really stuck with me and helped to shape the adult I am today. To me, those “gifts” of traditions, family and faith are invaluable. 


Now that I have a child of my own, I’ve started thinking about these things in how I raise our daughter and the impact it will make on her life which got me thinking – what “gifts” can I give to Maddy that she will never forget? What “gifts” can I give her that will impact her life forever and help to guide and shape her into a responsible, kind, strong and courageous girl and woman?


To that end, I’ve come up with a list of 10 “gifts” that are most important to me that I plan on giving my daughter for the New Year and moving forward in her life. 


Now that I have a child of my own, I’ve started thinking about these things in how I raise our daughter and the impact it will make on her life which got me thinking – what “gifts” can I give to Maddy that she will never forget? What “gifts” can I give her that will impact her life forever and help to guide and shape her into a responsible, kind, strong and courageous girl and woman?



1.        Contentment. The desire and urge for more and more is strong and such a slippery slope. One of the best gifts we can give our children is the appreciation of being content with what they have.


2.       Challenge. It’s so important to me that Maddy knows it’s okay to dream big and set high goals for herself. I want her to know that anything is possible if she’s willing to work for it and work hard to overcome obstacles that may arise. 


3.       Affirmation. Sometimes one word can make a huge difference in the life of a person, especially a child. One of the best gifts we can give our children are positive affirmations of their place in our families and world. Tell them how much you appreciate them and keep telling them. 


4.       Determination. One of the biggest determining factors in a child’s success is the size of their will. How will I help to shape my child’s determination in the things she learns and does, especially the challenging aspects of life?


5.       Imagination. The world is changing at the speed of light every day and the ones who are thriving in our ever-changing world have vast and incredible imaginations. I always want Maddy's spark of imagination to light her path. 





6.       Optimism. Pessimists do nothing but drain the life out of life. They do not change the world. Optimists do.


7.       Unconditional Acceptance and Support. We can raise our children with the ideals we think are important but as they grow into adults and begin to have minds of their own, they make their own choices on how to live their lives. I want Maddy to know that I may not always agree with her choices, but I will always, always, always support her and love her unconditionally. 


8.       A Sense of Humor. Life can be hard. Knowing how to laugh, especially at yourself, is important. 


9.       Affection. A while back, I watched a young boy who looked to be around 8 years old try to get hugs and kisses from his father. The father was not much into being affectionate and at one point said, “You’re too old for hugs and kisses. Now go play!” Hearing those words nearly broke my heart. As humans, one of our greatest needs is affection from those we love. The human touch is a powerful and healing tool. I never want Maddy to think she’s too old to receive physical affirmations of love from me. 


10.    Room to Grow and Make Mistakes. Kids are kids. They are messy. They are unorganized. They can even be nasty little devils. IT’S OKAY. Give them permission to be little, to explore, experiment and make mistakes.  


None of these gifts are any that can be bought, but really, that’s the point. What “gifts” would you like to give your child to help them with their life journey?


Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.

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