Kids Don't Care About the Packaging

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The Christmas my daughter Addie was almost 3 years old was a great Christmas. I know we paid way under $100 for her Christmas but she had a big Christmas.

How was that even possible?

You see, kids don’t care about the packaging. Or at least most kids don’t. All they see is the gift of a toy or item they did not have before.

Before I move on, let me clarify. I am not saying in any way to be cheap with your children. I am saying that if you are looking to save money, not go into debt at Christmas, and still give your child a great Christmas, there are ways to do that. (Be careful when using this method with children that are not your own. Unfortunately, many adults do care about the packaging….)

That year, I “shopped” eBay for months ahead of time because I wanted her to have a nice little collection of classic Disney movies. Because we had a VCR at the time, I was able to purchase quite a few movies for about $3 each including shipping and handling.

I also went to a consignment shop and found a kitchen set for $15.97 that came with pots, pans, and some food items.

My other shopping technique is to shop clearances throughout the year. I stash away the gifts I find until Christmas. (I’ll have to start wrapping them when I bring them home once my kids catch on to my system)

My daughter did not inspect her gifts to see if they were right out of the box. She did not check the movie covers to see if they were brand new or not. She loved what she had gotten because it had been given to her, and it was something she did not already have.

As long as our children see from us that the packaging does not matter, it will most likely not matter to them.

This year, I have already purchased items for my children. Most of my items so far have been from the clearance rack, but I have picked a few things up through Amazon (at discounted prices without shipping!) and something up from a consignment shop (with the help of my sister) for Addie. It is a set of small toys that are part of a collection that my daughter enjoys but does not have herself yet. This set of over 20 pieces was only $5.50. These are great to use as stocking stuffers and also as items for her to earn after she earns so many points from doing her chores.

Yes, my children will receive gifts that I have purchased from a “real” store and is in its original packaging (because I have found awesome deals), but to us, that is not the most important thing. Knowing that our children have had a wonderful Christmas and we have not gone into debt in the process, means more to us.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. My ex’s family had a tradition that we continued (even after the divorce) of setting up a large present the night before so the kids could see & play with it when they woke up. (train set, doll house, etc)

    I also tend to theme out the Christmas presents each year so there was never any letdown. So we’ve had Shrek, construction, Cars etc themed holiday presents (& scavenger hunts with unwrapped presents) & my children have said they enjoy that more then my family’s stiff formal everyone dress up & wait your turn style. (Which takes forever with a large family, lol) This helped make the leaner years just as enjoyable as the plentiful too & kept some sense of normalcy throughout & during military moves (which seemed to be around holidays for some reason for us).

  2. These are great ideas! I also shop throughout the year and look for clearance items and sale items. Sometimes our local thrift shop has an “all you can stuff in a bag” for $15 or $20 sale and I always try to hit that one! You are right, kids don’t care about the packaging, just what’s in it. My kids are a bit older and I worried about whether they would figure out my system too. Acouple of years ago I decided to put items for Christmas/Birthdays in regular boxes and write a random code on the box, like WP4 or XRV. Then, in a separate notebook I would write the code and list what was in it. The boxes are stored in my storage room with everything else. So far they haven’t even thought of looking in them. They think it’s old clothes or stuff for donation. Anyway, I love your columns and insight! Thank you!

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Hi, there! I’m Heather Bowen, and I am so glad you’re here.

My passion lies in helping homeschool moms balance marriage, motherhood, homemaking, and homeschooling all while remaining sane!

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