Need some inspiration for gifts to buy the kids this Christmas? Or perhaps you’re looking to rein in the gift giving with more practical presents? “Something You Want” is a simple little rhyme that helps to get your gift giving into perspective! Whether you stick to the whole thing or just take some of it for inspiration, we’ve got some great ideas for the kids’ Christmas presents.
Something you want
This is the easy one! Just take a gander at your child’s Christmas wish list, find something that’s a bit cheaper than the Mona Lisa and won’t cause your neighbours to call noise control and you’re all set.
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Something you need
With a new school year starting after the holidays, don’t feel like it’s a cop-out to purchase a few essentials and wrap them up for Christmas. A new pencil case, colouring-in pencils, a school bag or lunch box can be personal enough to get away with them being gratefully accepted on Christmas Day.
The ‘something you need’ present is the practical one, so don’t be fooled by the kids demands that they “neeeeed” that new video game or the latest sneakers. They might NEED a new beach towel or duvet, a BYOD for schoolwork or sports gear. Imagine Christmas didn’t exist and think about what you would spend your budget on for them first – that’s what they need.
Something to wear
Try to avoid opting for a bulk pack of 20 tighty whities or a billion hairties that YOU will be picking up off the floor until Easter. Consider a party dress, funky socks, sunglasses, togs, wetsuits or sunhats. They’re still practical ideas but with a hint of fun, especially as summer holidays start. Dressups also fit the category if you would rather not buy more clothes.
Something to read
Reading is by far and away the most important academic skill that your child will learn. Of course, kids could care less and the prospect of unwrapping a book on Christmas Day isn’t going to appeal to every kid, so keep it fun. Interactive books are great for keeping little ones busy while they learn. For a special storybook that you can read together or independently, New Zealand authors are by far and away the best (we’re not biased at all!). You can’t go wrong with Hairy Maclary, The Little Yellow Digger, Wonky Donkey or anything by Margaret Mahy, Joy Cowley or Maurice Gee. Instructional books on how to draw or play a musical instrument, books based on favourite movies, or biographies about someone that inspires them also make great gift choices.
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Something to make
This one will really get you thinking! Kids who enjoy crafts are pretty easy to shop for as stores like Whitcoulls and Spotlight stock a range of craft kits. You can also find science kits for the inquisitive kids. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, you could purchase the materials and provide them with the instructions on how to create something. The crafts section of our Christmas Activities, Christmas Ideas and Activity Finder has lots of ideas.
Kids who love to cook (or those who are keen to try) might love a cookbook along with a kids baking set including utensils, bowls, apron, etc. Our Christmas Food and Cooking for Kids section has lots of recipe ideas.
For the budding gardeners, wrap up some seeds, gloves, a trowel and a pot and see how green those thumbs are!
And somewhere to go
Parents who have done the whole present thing over and over again absolutely love this option. Instead of something material, give your child an experience. Some ideas include:
- A term of dance, gymnastics, horseriding or martial arts classes – discover classes for all kinds of activities in our local directory, The Spot
- A multi-trip ticket to the local pools
- A cinema gift card (include enough for the popcorn!)
- A zoo pass (check out the attractions at Auckland Zoo or Orana Wildlife Park)
- A day pass to Snowplanet
- Concert or sports match tickets
If you want to keep the budget down, make up an itinerary for a full day of things that they love to do – bushwalk, picnic at the park, swim at the beach, etc. Commit to a date so they can count down the days and bring along a friend or the rest of the family.
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A few things from Santa
This is the option that allows you to add a few little things from the jolly man in red. Many parents nominate the stocking stuffers to be from Santa while the big ticket items come from family.