No more f’ing stuff. Holiday shopping for kids who have what they need

g8oopghaday-markus-spiskeIf your house is like mine you navigate a Lego minefield and dine amongst art supplies. You sniff stuffed animals for cat pee, refold unworn sweaters and search fruitlessly for the dice of a thousand board games.

We don’t need any more stuff.

Yet the season of giving is steamrolling towards us. Our house features both eight nights of Hannukah and a visit from Santa. This means we are overcome with 9 days of wrapping paper and stuff to store and ignore.

This year things are going to be different.

With the exception of two Wii games and a six pack of socks every gift we are giving will be an experience.

I hit Groupon to get some ideas and some deals, and then looked a little closer to home. Here are twenty gifts my kids will be getting this year. None of which require batteries. Some of which are even free.

These cost some cash…but perhaps we would have spent it anyways.

  • Nerf battle for six.
  • Tickets to Star Wars.
  • An hour of snow tubing.
  • Sponsoring an animal in danger of extinction.
  • Upgrading to Sketch it Pro.
  • Having a star named after you.
  • Donating to your favorite Minecraft Youtuber so you get a higher rank. Whatever that means.
  • Giving a book to your school library in your name.
  • Giving you $25 to donate to a cause of your choosing. Which might or might not be your brother. (Like last year.)

The best of the bunch (free for you and me.)

  • A weeknight sleepover.
  • Getting to sleep in the big bed.
  • Ice cream for dinner.
  • A week off of contributions.
  • Breakfast in bed.
  • Bringing a friend skiing.
  • Two hours of your mom’s time to teach her Pokemon.
  • Having both parents watch Ant-Man with you.
  • Camping in the yard with your dad.

I can’t say I’m looking forward to everything on the list, but I will appreciate not having to clean up after any of them.

This post was previously published on Parent Co.

Published by

Anna Palmer

Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble,, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at

11 thoughts on “No more f’ing stuff. Holiday shopping for kids who have what they need”

  1. I’ve been thinking of doing a post like this for a few days. You have inspired me. I want to literally throw away the (3) ugly clear bins of crap toys my boys dump out onto the floor daily.
    Enough with the “stuff” or “shit” as I call it!

    I seriously love the $25 donation You should be proud of how inventive they are. Lol

  2. LOVE! We are doing this too! So tired of the consumer bullshit nonsense. My kids are too old for Santa. 2 will be gone in a few years. We’re doing stuff together this year. That’s the gift. Experience life! We’re lucky to be able to get out in the world and experience life! Yeeha!

  3. I love this list! We have done a couple of these things — but not annually. When he was nine, my now 15 year old asked for movie tickets for him and his three male cousins (on “my” side of the family). He wanted to see a movie with them over Christmas vacation. This has become an annual event and the four boys, now ages 15, 16, 21 and 24 go out for pizza and a movie. The first year was tough to schedule but has become an afternoon to which all four cousins now look forward.

    I may steal a couple of the other items off this list. Thank you!

  4. looove this. I have been toting this mantra to all who give to my kids for years. All of them do it except my mom, but she’s gotten so much better after 14 years than the first few. When you have to drive home and not be able to see out the windows of the car..WTF!! One year we had to go back for more….You Rock.

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