Stocking stuffers are a dilemma for a lot of us. We get our kids the regular gifts under the tree, but what to fill those stockings with?
Underwear and socks are certainly necessary, but not really exciting. A ton of candy is not ideal either. And since most of us are budget conscious, we don't want to spend a ton of money, since we already purchased the other gifts. Plus, would it be too much to ask if the stuffers didn't have to be homemade, but would still be memorable and were helpful and practical to boot? And big. Some of those stockings are huge!
Enter The Best Stocking Stuffer Idea Ever. I'm serious, I love this idea.
One of our jobs as parents is to prepare our kids for the real world. To teach them skills, and help them get ready to fly. Most parents I know take this job pretty seriously, and often have their kids help them fix things around the house, learning as they go.
But I also remember my dad getting frustrated on numerous occasions about someone using his tools and not putting them back. And then kids go off to college with skills, but no tools, because they always used Dad's.
One Christmas several years ago, we gave our children (above the age of 5 or so) a tool bag. It was on sale for $7, if I remember correctly and a bag takes up less space than a tool box. That year, and every year since then in their stocking, our kids get one tool: a screwdriver and bits, measuring tape, work gloves, pliers, wrenches, etc. Most tools are relatively cheap and they take up a lot of room if they are still in the packaging- fill that stocking up! We don't get them top of the line stuff because obviously, kids are kids. But we do get them decent tools that should do good, basic work for them.
Here are a few helpful ideas on how to do this:
It really is a beautiful thing: my kids look forward to this tradition every year, there is no fighting over whose tools are whose, Dad's tools don't get lost, kids feel SUPER important getting our their own tools and using them- and they are more likely to show initiative and practice. All of this helps them become independent adults.
But best of all, at the end of their time in our home, they have a complete set of tools that they can use throughout their lives. When they pull out their tool bag to fix something, I hope they will remember the times they worked with their dad, and remember what a wonderful man he is and what he taught them.
Something that is useful, prompts memories and will last a lifetime without costing a fortune in time or money- now THAT is a great gift.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
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