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> Christmas Gifts That Don't Clutter Your House, Give experiences and activities instead
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post Dec 6 2005, 02:44 PM
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From: Irmo
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Zip Code: 29063

The glut of toys around the house on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day is so bad that the kids often lose some of their presents... I just found some things in their closet that were never opened from last Christmas!

In an effort to de-clutter my house, save my sanity, and stretch out the fun for more than a single day, I've decided to give the kids more experiences and activities than toys this year, and I'm encouraging relatives to do the same.

What does that mean?
Give them stuff to do, not just stuff! Stuff you can do as a family is even better!

Instead of another stuffed teddy bear or game cartridge, why not give them:

Season Passes to Carowinds

Season Pass to Riverbanks Zoo & Gardens (If they've been really, really good, go ahead and register them for some zoo classes as well!)

Their own subscription to Netflix ($10 a month)

Subscription to their favorite magazines- they'll remember you every month! Consider Highlights, Turtle, Family Fun, Nickeloden

Bowling Passes or Gift Cards

Skating Passes

Movie Passes

Tickets to the Ringling Brothers Circus
Tickets go on sale to the general public December 9,
but the best available seats can be yours now -- at a whopping 20% off!

For complete details on performances in Columbia,
including the discount code you can use now,

HURRY!  This offer is only good through December 8th!

* Total ticket price includes $1.00 facility fee.

Gift cards to:

Frankie's Fun Park
Chuck E Cheese
Putt Putt
The Melting Pot or Miyabi (my kids LOVE these restaurants)
The Puppet Playhouse
The Fun Zone
Columbia Marionette Theater
Columbia Children's Theater
The State Museum
Columbia Museum of Art

Lessons and Activities:

Gymboree Music and Movement Classes
The Little Gym gymnastics and more
Swim lessons from the Swim Lessons Company
Karate or Tai Kwon Do
Dance Lessons
Art Lessons (check out the Columbia Museum of Art's lineup of classes)

A trip to the mountains or the beach or to Atlanta to see the new aquarium with whales in it!

(Those are just a few of our favorite places!)

What else can you think of? Help me expand the list! :xmastree:
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post Dec 6 2005, 02:49 PM
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I love having activities with my children around the holidays like going to see the "Nutcracker." Going to the Festival of Trees, making a Ginger Bread House, and ice skating are all fun too!
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Denise Altman
post Dec 6 2005, 03:23 PM
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I agree with this 100%. We always have issues with family excess this time of year and it really spoils the holiday. Especially of junk that they don't need.

To follow along with the above post, Iceland of Irmo is giving away free skates with prepaid lessons to start in January. Guess what's under the tree at our house?
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post Dec 6 2005, 04:21 PM
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I totally agree. Gift giving gets so out of hand. I want to by our grandchildren something meaningful, not something they will break or grow tired of quickly.

Last year we bought our grandchildren zoo memberships. This not only gave them activities throughout the year (great for a family on a tight budget) but we also go to the lights at the zoo every year together and now we can all get in for free. Since we don't have to pay for the lights, we go out to eat as one very large family.

It is really awesome.

All the families have agreed this year they would like the zoo membership renewed as their gift. Wow, this makes shopping so much easier. We now buy each grandchild one special gift and give them the family gift together.

Teenagers love gift certificates for the movies, out to eat or of course shopping.
We like to give our grown children without children gift certificates for date nights. They usually invite us on one of the nights. Of course we don't let them pay for ours with their gift certificate.

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post Dec 7 2005, 12:21 AM
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Probably the best gift I ever recieved was a weekend at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, given to us by my ex-inlaws. Now, THAT was a gift! We had a great time and went on Valentine's weekend.
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