Is your house being overrun by Christmas gifts that are toys, and you’re tired of the grandparents always giving them too many each year? Here are some meaningful gifts that aren’t toys that your children should be receiving this Christmas!
Picture a Christmas! Your favorite Christmas. What do you see?
Do you see a small apartment with a pre-decorated tree perched atop a coffee table?
Are you sitting alone with the television watching a marathon of “A Christmas Story” and picturing the holidays of your childhood in dress-up clothes while you sip hot chocolate and nibble on butter cookies from a tin?
Or…..do you see family and friends gathered together in their best dress-up clothes, taking turns opening their presents which are often toy gifts for kids while everyone watches and encourages them to open faster?
Is a child at the center of this attention, opening gifts and then being told to open another and another until they are too tired to play with the toys they received?
Looking for toy gifts for kids ideas for Christmas? Get them here!
Do some gift receivers purse their lips with dissatisfaction and push the not-so-great gift into a corner to be forgotten on their way out? Or do they vocalize their discontent amidst all the presents that they didn’t get that one gift that was out of everyone’s spending budget for this year?
Are you sick of Christmas gifts from grandparents to kids that aren’t meaningful but are just more toy gifts for kids?
My ideal Christmas
Hi everyone, I’m Natelle.
I like to picture something in between. As I keep telling anyone who will ask, all I really want for Christmas is time with family and friends.
I love thoughtful gifts that say “I thought of you” even if other people think a bag of M&Ms is not an acceptable present or a vacuum cleaner (which I will ask for if that is what I need).
Trying to avoid having Santa be the source of toy gifts for kids? Learn how to do Santa traditions without actually doing Santa!
Christmas gifts that aren’t toys I want my kids to get from grandparents
I also love to watch my daughter open gifts, but I prefer she not have so many toy gifts for kids that she doesn’t get a chance to enjoy each one as she opens it
To avoid this, read our post on how to keep Christmas Day from being overwhelmed by toy gifts for kids.
I love watching her eyes light up when she receives a new friend. I also love how she hugs her new stuffy or action figure to her heart and then begins helping them walk, introducing them to friends and family, and sitting them down to tell them a leisurely story.
She can’t do that when people are recording her joy and pushing more gifts on her like an assembly line.
My Christmas Gift Philosophy
I see posts about the four gifts of Christmas–one to wear, one to read, one to eat, and one for fun (or one they want or one they need)–and wish I could suggest that policy to family and friends without them getting upset.
And I want them to understand that I don’t want to dampen their fun.
I want the joy to come from the time together not a million beautifully wrapped toy gifts for kids under a glittering tree.
So I am hoping loved ones read this post and get the real messages from it:
- I love to spend time with you.
- And I love our Christmas traditions, particularly the edible ones.
- I want my daughters to enjoy time with you far more than they enjoy receiving gifts.
- Physical gifts will never compare to intangible ones, so save some pennies and just prepare to spend time together.
My Non Toy Gifts Suggestions for Christmas from Grandparents
If you feel you have to purchase a wonderful gift for my children, here are some perfect gift ideas about what I would really want them to have. Please limit this to only one and not toy gifts for kids!
Family Memberships to Museums or the Zoo:
- A non toy gift that keeps on giving—memories and learning experiences as a family.
- Bonus if the giver joins in for some quality family time!
Gift Cards to Kid-Friendly Restaurants:
- Treat them to their favorite meals with gift cards to places like McDonald’s.
- Let them pick out their own yummy delights with these best non toy gifts!
- Kids love a heartfelt creation, be it a knitted scarf, a scrapbook, or homemade cookies. One idea is this DIY Felt Car Mat You Can Customize.
- Because handmade non toy gifts carry a special touch of love.
Complementary Items for Favorite Toys:
- If they adore a certain doll, kids love a cute outfit to expand the fun too.
- It’s a thoughtful addition to their beloved playtime companions and the best non toy gifts.
Certificates for “Big Kid” Activities:
- Laser tag, mini-golf, or even kid-friendly mani-pedis for a touch of grown-up fun.
- Experience these best non toy gifts that bring excitement and adventure.
Magazine Subscriptions – Educational and Inspirational:
- Monthly doses of knowledge or inspiration tailored to their interests.
- Learning becomes extra fun with a surprise in the mailbox!
Educational Items: Puzzles, Books, Art Supplies:
- Engage their minds with puzzles, captivating books, or artistic supplies.
- Foster creativity and learning in a fun way with these best non toy gifts.
Educational and Inspirational Music:
- Build a playlist of educational and uplifting tunes that kids love for playtime and car rides.
- Music that brings joy and knowledge into their world.
Photo Keepsakes from Shutterfly or Similar:
- Create personalized non toy gifts like magnets, photo books, or other keepsakes.
- Turn cherished memories into tangible treasures that kids love.
Lessons to Learn Musical Instruments:
- For older kids, enroll them in lessons for a musical instrument they’re curious about.
- Kids love these gift ideas that nurture a lifelong love for music.
Outdoor Equipment for Family Playtime:
- Older Kids love soccer balls, frisbees, or a family-sized picnic blanket.
- Encourage outdoor fun and bonding.
Family Board Games:
- Classic board games or new ones that promise hours of family fun.
- Turn game night into a cherished tradition with these non toy gifts.
Educational Movies or DVDs:
- Curate a collection of educational and entertaining movies.
- Learning while having a cozy movie night at home!
Whatever you decide to get my children, please know that I am grateful that you love them, too.
Christmas gift suggestions that aren’t toys from siblings
It’s important for siblings to give gifts to each other. You can have your kids use these free printable Christmas Gift Giving Notebooking Pages to make their lists on what they want to gift and receive from their siblings.
Here are some delightful Christmas non toy gifts ideas for the little ones who steer clear of the toy overload:
Cookie Decorating Kit:
- A fun kit with pre-baked cookies, colorful icing, and festive sprinkles.
- Turn the kitchen into a sweet holiday workshop are great gift ideas!
Personalized Storybook Adventure:
- Create a storybook where your kiddo is the main character.
- A personalized tale they can cherish every bedtime.
Art and Craft Supplies Set:
- The treasure trove of crayons, markers, and sketchbooks are good gift ideas.
- Encourage their artistic side without adding more toys.
Movie Night Basket:
- Their favorite DVDs or a streaming gift card paired with popcorn and cozy blankets.
- Movie nights just got an upgrade as!
Karaoke Microphone for Little Stars:
- Older kids love a mini karaoke microphone for some homegrown performances.
- Get ready for these gift ideas of adorable sing-along sessions!
Space-Themed Bedroom Decor:
- Bedding, sleeping bag, posters, or glow-in-the-dark stars for a cosmic room makeover.
- Transform their space into an intergalactic adventure with these gift ideas.
- A beginner’s telescope for budding astronomers is a fun gift.
- Explore the wonders of the night sky together with these gift ideas.
DIY Craft Kits:
- Friendship bracelet kits, paint sets, or DIY ornament materials.
- Let their creativity shine with hands-on crafting with these non toy gifts.
Child-Friendly Cooking Set:
- Mini utensils, aprons, and a simple recipe for a cooking adventure.
- Whip up some delicious memories in the kitchen with these non toy gifts.
Kids Magazine Subscription:
- Subscribe to a magazine tailored to their interests—dinosaurs, animals, or superheroes.
- Monthly surprises that make learning extra fun are best gift ideas!
Remember, it’s all about creating joy and lasting memories. These non toy gifts are not just about what’s under the tree, but the laughter and love shared during the holiday season is the perfect gift.
Christmas gift suggestions that aren’t toys from parents
Here’s some heartwarming Christmas non toy gifts ideas for the kids that are more about experiences and special moments:
Family Cooking Classes:
- Plan a fun cooking sessions together—complete with mini-chef hats!
- These non toy gifts and quality time rolled into one, plus a delicious result.
DIY Craft Day:
- Gather up the glitter, glue, and paints for a DIY craft extravaganza.
- Create masterpieces together and make cherished memories.
Personalized Movie Night:
- Design a cozy movie night complete with their favorite films with these non toy gift ideas.
- Don’t forget the popcorn and snuggles on the couch!
Ice Cream Sundae Bar:
- Set up an ice cream sundae bar with all the toppings are another great non toy gift ideas.
- Let them build their dream dessert—it’s a sweet treat and a fun activity.
Karaoke Party at Home:
- Transform the living room into a stage for a family karaoke night.
- Silly singing and lots of laughter guaranteed so you cannot go wrong with these non toy gift ideas!
Tickets to a Show or Event:
- Gift tickets to a local play, concert, or sports event.
- A special outing they’ll remember long after the holidays.
- Create a storybook where they’re the hero of the tale.
- A bedtime story with a personal touch.
Indoor Camping Adventure:
- Set up a makeshift indoor campsite with blankets, a sleeping bag, and fairy lights.
- Camping out without leaving the comfort of home!
Music Playlist Collaboration:
- Work together on a playlist filled with their favorite tunes.
- Family road trips just got a whole lot more musical!
- Roll out the dough and let them customize their own pizzas.
- A tasty and interactive family dinner.
Starry Night Stargazing:
- Head outside for a night of stargazing.
- Bring blankets and hot cocoa for a cozy celestial experience.
Family Talent Show:
- Host a talent show with each family member showcasing their unique talents.
- A night of laughter and applause!
It’s all about crafting those special moments during the holiday season. Here’s to a Christmas filled with the great gift of love, laughter, and unforgettable family adventures!
This Christmas, think beyond toys and discover the joy of giving non-toy gifts. Whether you’re selecting a gift for a child or an adult, there are countless options that can bring smiles and create cherished memories. Make this holiday season truly special by choosing gifts that reflect your love and thoughtfulness.
You may also want to check out our other Christmas posts:
- 10 Legitimate Ways to Have a $1,000 Christmas for FREE
- Why We Don’t Do Santa (and What We Do Instead)
- 4 Ways to Never Pay Full Price for Gifts Again
- The World’s Creamiest, Most Delicious Hot Chocolate (in a Crockpot!)
- 13 Gifts I REALLY Want My Kids to Get for Christmas
- How to Keep Christ in Christmas All Through December
- How to Keep Presents from Overwhelming Christmas | Alternatives to Minimalist Christmas Gift Ideas
- 8 Unique Christmas Traditions to Make the Holiday More Meaningful
- 19 Easy Christmas Gifts Kids Can Do
- 17 Simple Christmas Crafts for Kids to Create
- 34 Festive Finger Foods for Christmas Parties that Kids Will Love
- 9 Free Educational Christmas DIY Printables & Games for Kids
- 18 Christmas Main Dish Recipes
- 6 Christmas Caroling Treats
- Indoor Christmas Decor Ideas
- Free Christmas Printables for Kids
- 43 Christmas Recipes for Baking
- Christmas Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
- Family Activities That Aren’t Food or Presents
About the author
This post was written by our good friend, Annabella Ordena. You can check out her blog here.
If you like these ideas of Christmas gifts from grandparents to kids that aren’t toys, please share them on Pinterest!
You may also like these five family Christmas activities that are not food or opening presents.