Classic Gifts for Girls

Classic Gifts for Girls

When it’s time to buy Christmas gifts for the kids in my life, I don’t want want to buy them more stuff.  I want to buy them gifts that will stand the test of time.  Here are 3 classic recommendations for girls:

1.  Jewelry. Cheap costume jewelry is a perennial favorite for young girls, but I’m talking about real jewelry.  My 6-year-old daughter has a beautiful, classic gold necklace that my mom gave her.  (My mom took an antique shank button she had on hand to the jeweler and had them attach an inexpensive gold chain.)

My daughter loves her beautiful necklace now, at age 6, but she’ll be able to wear it for years and years to come.  (Hey, if I could fit the chain around my neck, I’d wear it!)

Real jewelry doesn’t have to cost too much more than the dress-up stuff, so consider buying your girl something she’ll be able to wear for years.

classic-gifts-for-girls 1

2.  Books.  Christmas is an excellent time to help a young girl build her library.  Here are 3 timeless suggestions: Anne of Green Gables box set, by L. M. Montgomery.  These are classics:  you can give a box set to your 8-year-old and she’ll still be reading them 30 years later.  And then she can pass them down to her daughter–if she’s willing to part with them. (If you missed the Life Lessons from Green Gables series, go read it now!)

The Little House Collection box set, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  This 5-book set doesn’t go out of style.  I read the Little House books for the first time as an adult so I could help my 1st grader with his homework, so now I know what I’ve been missing all these years.  An excellent choice for building a young girl’s library.

The Betsy-Tacy Treasury, by Maud Hart Lovelace, contains the first four Betsy-Tacy books.  (There are 10 total.)  I’ve not yet read these myself, but so many of you have written telling me that I have to read them that I am recommending them with confidence.  Some of you are even blogging about the Betsy-Tacy books!  I’ll get to them soon, I promise!


3.  Dolls. An American Girl doll makes a classic gift (even if I I do have some reservations about the brand).  I was astonished at how many of you commented here or wrote me telling me how you were passing your own American Girl doll–the one you had as a girl–down to your daughter.

A much cheaper alternative is the Our Generation dolls from Target.  These run $17 versus $100 for the American Girl dolls, but you won’t be passing these dolls down to your daughter.

What’s your favorite classic gift for girls?

image source: flickr user jlunar

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  1. Jamie says:

    I’m a fan of books too – the Shel Silverstein books (Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, etc.) are great because they too can be read and enjoyed forever.

    As a quilter, I love the idea of giving quilts in classic patterns and colors that kids will be able to keep for years.

    I also really like the idea of giving girls knitting needles, sewing machines, their own kitchen things, etc. if they enjoy crafting or helping in the kitchen at all. Not only are those things they can use for years, but they will create a strong foundation for creativity and open the door in the future for easy ways to make new friends and possibly a second stream of income. It’s not for everyone, but many girls are thrilled.

    • Jamie,

      My mom handmade/quilted a quilt for each of her 5 kids when we got married (or for the one who never married, she gave one for her birthday). To say that they are a special treasure is an understatement. Last year she gave my husband and I a Christmas quilt that she made and we’re currently sunggling under it each and every night and it makes me think of her everytime I see it. When she is gone, I will love the fact that I still have a piece of her in her quilts.


  2. I’m one of the ones who still has both of my American Girl dolls and (should we every have kids) would be passing them down. They held up to daily play and I can’t say enough good about them! Plus, my mom made the clothes (cheaper) and I had to pay for the first doll myself (the second was a Christmas gift). The company HAS changed a lot since the “good ol’ days” when they only had 3 dolls to choose from, but the idea behind them is still great.

    My Little House set (the very first books I read on my own when I learned to read in K-garten) has 9 books – if you can find the larger set, even better! My set is so ragged, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! 🙂

    Finally! I have three necklaces that I treasure, one little golden pinecone from my dad when I was in junior high, a real pearl necklace from the hubby for my 22nd birthday, and a diamond drop from my mom (the diamond came from my grandmother’s wedding ring). All three are treasured and special and I would highly recommend giving something along the same lines to your daughters as a life-long memory. But you know what? It doesn’t have to be expensive. My favorite fall pin came from my grandmother when I was about 4 – a little Pilgrim girl from Hallmark (cost: about $1.99 at the time) that she said reminded her of me. She’s long gone, but I think of her each time I wear it.

  3. Julie says:

    We always give our kids a book for Christmas, and have now started collecting some of the really good series of books to read to them. One of our used bookstores had the Chronicles of Narnia boxed set in paperback for $15! I am hoping my oldest will enjoy the Little House books with me once we’ve finished our travels through Narnia.

    As for dolls, I like the Corolle brand. They have nice baby dolls, and they have dolls that look like younger girls, too. I think their Les Cheries collection are designed to look like about a 7 or 8 year old girl. They are smaller than many other dolls, but I like their 13″ size. They don’t seem so overwhelmingly big to me, but they aren’t “fashion dolls” either. I’ve not seen one in person, but have heard good things about the dolls from Girls n Grace. They are more along the lines of the American Girl dolls.

  4. Sara says:

    If you can get a set of the classic Little House books, it would be much better. In the past few years they’ve dumbed them down and they’re not the same! Melissa Wiley (check out her blog) wrote some of the books about Laura’s grandmother, and she was angry enough to stop working on her series because of what they did to the originals.

    But I otherwise agree with your choices! In the movie department, I would get classic MGM musicals and other old movies. My daughter teaches middle school now, and it’s shocking how few of her students (and friends!) don’t know about these great, old movies!

  5. GeekLady says:

    Legos, in whatever style they’re interested in. I always loved the castle legos best.

    Craft kits/supplies. Cross stitch, latch hook, surface embroidery, crochet/knitting, sewing, drawing & painting supplies… I never had a year when I didn’t get something like this. Some were big hits, some weren’t. But then my dad read aloud to us every night and we were allowed to do quiet things like this while we listened.

  6. Audrey says:

    These are great suggestions! I got some fun jewelry that looked grown-up when I was little, and it made me feel very special!

    Thank you for the mention of the Betsy-Tacy books, too. 🙂

    Besides these things, I think some of my favorite gifts were creative ones. For example, one year I got a box filled with all kinds of baking mixes, a heart shaped pan, patterned muffin liners, and some frosting mixes. I had fun with that one well into the new year. Another one was a box filled with a scrapbook, papers, stickers, hole punches, and decorative scissors. These gifts don’t have to be expensive, but they can be a lot of fun. My godfather also got me a soap making kit, a candle making kit and some other kits throughout the years. I really enjoyed those, too.

  7. These are perfect ideas, and were all my favorite gifts when I was small. 🙂

    Gifts that encourage creativity were also some of my favorites: sewing kits, a small lap loom (I made a purse and a doll pillow with it), knitting supplies. Another favorite gifts that I played with for years was a lap harp. It was easy to play and makes the prettiest sound!
    (This is a link to the same lap harp I have–but not mine– on ebay.)

  8. As with anything, it depends on the girl! My grandmother gave me jewelry every year growing up, despite the fact that I almost never wore jewelry, and definitely not anything like the kinds of things she gave me. It was frustrating to me that she clearly didn’t pay any attention to me as an individual or she would have noticed I never wore any of the things she gave me. Now I’m an adult and I still don’t really wear jewelry–only my wedding ring and a simple cross necklace that was my great-aunt’s. These are all good suggestions, but make sure they seem to fit with the interests of the girl you’re giving them to!

  9. Cathy Heine says:

    I start a charm bracelet for my nieces and grand nieces! It’s a forever gift. And you can add something each year.
    It’s time to get my Christmas charm bracelet out and start wearing it!

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