Lifestyle, Parenting

The Barnett Family Guide to Gift Giving

The Christmas season is here and so many of my favorite things come with it: candles, greenery, baking, parties, warm houses, and twinkle lights. But the thing that I’m really the most terrible at is gift giving. This year Jason and I find ourselves on a much tighter budget since we intentionally chose for me to not work so that I could stay home with our daughter. It’s something that we both want and that is so good for our family! However, it comes at a great sacrifice to our finances and we monthly and weekly have to trust that the Lord will provide for all of our needs. Last Christmas we admittedly didn’t spend enough time being thoughtful about our gifts for our children and bought and spent far too much on things that they didn’t need or even want. This year we’d like to rethink this.

Jason and I value gifts that are high quality in both beauty and build; we want them to fit our style and be well-made so that we can pass them down and use them throughout the years. This means that we will often have to sacrifice quantity for quality. What I’ve found over the years is that the more I strive for simple gifts (both in expense and quantity), the more we actually feel loved and thought of. I guess then that this guide is for myself! It is a reminder and a guide for me to keep my gift giving simple, thoughtful, and within our means. Not only that, but we have a smaller house (1,500 ft for five people and a dog) and we don’t have the space to hold lots of things. Keeping gift giving at Christmas and birthdays simple allows us to buy each other fewer things that we really enjoy more and can reasonably manage. Because let’s be real. I’m not a parent who likes or even wants to rotate my kids’ toys throughout the year so that they don’t become bored.

Below you’ll find a gift guide that I’ve compiled that reflects things that we currently have and love and also things that we think would make great gifts for our children. I’ve tried to find things that they are interested in, that foster learning and creativity, are beautiful, well made, and are for a broad range of ages. I’ve also included gifts of experience in each category for families on a budget and to allow for our children to be active participants in gift giving. I hope that you find this guide to be useful and that it helps to ease the stress of your Christmas shopping and finances.




1. Pottery Barn Kids Mini Cooking Set  2.Cooking Classes 3.Grow an indoor mason jar herb garden 4. Opinel Le Petit Chef Set 5. William’s Sonoma Solid Kid Apron  6.Recipe Journal 7.Odette Williams Bib Set 8. ChopChop: The Kids’ Guide to Cooking Real Food with Your Family 9.The Teamson Kids wooden play kitchen



1. CP Toys- Wooden and Steel Child-Sized Tools 2. Wooden Go Cart Kit 3. Woodworking With Children 4. Wood Carving Tools 5. Weaving Loom 6. Pottery Wheel 7. Polycolor Pencils 8. Natural Beeswax Crayons 9. Secret New York: Color Your Way to Calm 10. 20 Ways to Draw a Dress: A Sketchbook for Artists, Designers, and Doodlers 11. Wood Blocks



1. Travel Telescope 2. Wooden Microscope 3. Flower Press 4. Balloon Car  5. Kids Binoculars 6. MEL Chemistry Experiment Subscription 7. REI Kid Trail Pack 8. Animalium 9. Join a Cub scout or Girl Scout pack 10. Cavallini Natural History Insect Wrapping Paper (Frame it!) 11. Fujifilm Instant Mini Film Camera 12. Ruler Scale Compass



1. Handmade Monthly Buy-A-New-Book Coupons 2. Wild Explorers Membership 3. Wrap a blanket, a flashlight, and a notebook with pencils for a star gazing night to sketch star constellations together 4. Make A Family Summer Writing Camp 5. Plan a Sewing/Woodworking Class With a Grandparent 6. Give the Gift of Their Favorite/Special Restaurant 7. Gift a Weekend Camping Trip 8. Plan a Family Bowling Party 9. Handmade Animal Shelter Passes to Volunteer Once a Month 10. Give knitting supplies to make cancer patient hats together and gift them to your local hospital 11. DIY Cookie Jars and Baking Date 12. Handmade Video Game Coupons to Play With a Parent

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