When I’m choosing a gift for somebody I love, I want to get them some something they’ll appreciate and not just more stuff. I don’t want to give something that becomes clutter right after the thrill of tearing open the wrapping paper wears off.
Some of our favorite Christmas gifts to give—and to receive—are really practical. I know they won’t turn into clutter, because they’ll either be used (the bike), or used up (the art supplies). And when grandparents or others ask for gift ideas for the kids, practical gifts are the first things I mention.
My own family has loved giving—or receiving—these 9 really practical gifts.
2. A backpack. Every kid needs a backpack. We’re gifting my 4-year-old her first backpack this Christmas. It’s pink and polka-dotted and she’s gonna love it.
3. Sleeping bag. Most kids will need a sleeping bag at some point, so it makes a great practical gift. Last year my daughter loved the butterfly sleeping bag and matching headlamp she got for Christmas. If your kids are older they might want an outdoorsy sleeping bag (as opposed to basement sleep overs). Flashlights and other camping gear would be a great accompaniment, either for play or braving the great outdoors.
4. Furniture. These can be big-ticket items, so I’ve been delighted to receive furniture as gifts through the years (and my kids have, too): child-size table and chairs, a train table or bunk bed can all make great gifts. And of course, I’m always a fan of attractive, practical bookshelves.
6. Shoes. Every year I get a gift in the mail from a far-away relative: a check and a note that says, “Merry Christmas! Go buy the kids some shoes on me.” My kids love picking out their new shoes, and I love having someone else do the buying!
7. Camera. This was a big hit last year at my house.
8. Art supplies. I’m not a big fan of cluttery kits, but we love gifting and getting plain old art supplies: paper, markers, pens, glue sticks, yarn, ribbons….
10. These. All 5 of them.
What’s your favorite practical gift to give—or get?