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What makes the happiest holidays?

by | Nov 14, 2019 | Parenting

It’s the little things that add up to one big happy holiday.

That dreaded “holiday overwhelm” feeling can happen before you know it. Let us make it a little easier. Stop by your favorite KidSnips and check out our “Holiday Toy Shop” filled with kid AND parent approved selections of affordable favorite gifts. And for every $30 you spend on toys now, you get a coupon for $5 off a full price haircut in the new year. 

If you ask my son, who’s 11, what makes the holidays the happiest he would most likely say, “A lot of presents!” And I would smile, but feel obligated as his mom to remind him that “yes, a lot of presents are fun, but it’s not quantity that counts.” And I’m sure I would throw in the famous philosophy I grew up hearing, which is that “It is better to give than to receive.”

And of course it is better to give. We grown ups know that. We do! But oh how fun it is to receive!! To wake up to a pile of gifts with your name on the name tag.  Or a trail of presents spread halfway out into the living room, and a race with your siblings to see who can unwrap them all faster.

I don’t know about you, but I always find myself torn on these big holiday gift-giving occasions.  Did I get my son enough? Did I get him too much? Does he understand the meaning of giving as much as he seems to understand receiving?

And that’s why I have always appreciated the power of the “small but chosen with love” gift.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

True story: Every year, from the ages of 2-8, we would hang stockings for 5 or 6 of my son’s most beloved stuffed animals. But instead of “Santa” filling those stockings, my son would fill them. We’d set a small budget and go shopping so he could pick out a little assortment of things to gift his “besties.”

Of course, he always picked things that he himself might also want (Mama, do you think little ducky would like a harmonica?”) knowing that ultimately, he would be the one getting them! But the gesture of wrapping them and putting them in the stockings, and sitting with his stuffed animals on Christmas morning opening them, was a gesture of “giving” that has continued to grow as he gets older. Only now they aren’t gifts for his animals, but for grandparents, friends and classmates.

As a mom, the win was that he often opened the stuffed animals stockings first, truly experiencing the joy of “giving” before diving into his own gifts and “receiving.”

Photo by Paulo Almeida on Unsplash

Now that he’s 11, we continue this tradition, setting a budget for friends and family that he contributes to from his savings, and going shopping together. If the price is right on a popular item, I might even stock up on them for future birthdays for those same friends. (I keep a basket in my closet for “emergency gifts.”)

He sometimes combines these smaller gifts with homemade gifts or cards, excited about how they add up to a “bigger” gift.  And by spending more time on the thought for the gift than the money to buy it, he truly experiences the joy of giving to someone he loves.

Seeing the smile on their face when they open his gift and feel the thought he put into it, helps him feel what really makes the holidays happy. And, of course, it feels good to me too, watching him “get it.”  After which, of course, it’s a race to unwrap everything with his name on it!

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Great gifts that are both what kids like and that are also affordable can sometimes feel hard to find this time of year. But that’s what our toy buyer is always on the lookout for… and makes sure every KidSnips location has plenty of –a carefully curated selection of “small but chosen with love” options that take the stress out of finding the perfect little gifts for the holidays. And here’s a gift for parents: With every $30 you spend on toys now, you receive a $5 off coupon for a full haircut in 2020, including kids haircuts and teens & adult haircuts. So cross “holiday stress” of your list now and pat yourself on the back for saving money in the new year! Book your appointment at one of our 8 Chicagoland locations, and check out our Stylebook for up-to-date hairstyles and inspiration.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Note: Get a coupon for $5 off a full price haircut with each $30 spent on in-store toys/merchandise. Coupon redeemable from 1/1/20-6/30/20. Offer valid November 21st– December 24th,, 2019. Not valid with any other offers.

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