Looking to bring the holly-jolly back into gift giving? Well, look no further than the elves living all around us. They are excited, energetic, and full of cookies!

Last week Holy Trinity held it’s annual Santa Shop. On this day our students bring a list of up to 5 people to buy for. The shop is filled with wonderful options for everyone on their list. You should see how the children look around at the possible gifts with such wide-eyed wonder and excitement. Oh, how I long for that feeling in place of the terror I experience when perusing the department stores, toy stores, and Amazon! 

Here are a few tips they shared to help reacquaint ourselves with the joys of gift giving:

It’s all about TOYS:  A pre-K student (I’ll not share her name since I don’t want to spoil the surprise) explained that last year she purchased practical gifts for her parents and siblings.  Among them: a magnifying glass, a notebook, and pens. Her strategy this year was simple.  TOYS TOYS TOYS! Everybody get’s a toy! And why not? We put so much pressure on ourselves to give something useful, educational, or meaningful. If you feel stumped, simply put on your Santa hat and go for the toys!

Don’t overthink it!  I asked a 3rd grade student how he goes about choosing gifts for the friends on his list. “You know what they like.  So get that!” Us grownups tend to second-guess our choices. Will they like it? Won’t they? He went on “Get mom mom-things, and grampa gets grampa things.” What about a friend or a pet? You’ve got it! Friend things and Pet things!

A student nearby also suggested, “If you can’t remember what they like, just get them something you like. This way if they don’t like it, they can give it back to you.” I thought re-gifting was not allowed, but according to kids, it’s always allowed if you are choosing things you would appreciate getting! So give what you would hope to receive. Chances are they’ll love it too!

TWINKLE, SPARKLE, SHIMMER:  Several of our kindergarten students chose shiny, shimmery gifts for loved ones on their lists. Get something that’s glittery or just add glitter. This is my favorite idea! Everyone could use a little more sparkle. They picked things that struck them as beautiful. Smelling the candy canes yet?

SHHHHHH!   None of the kiddos would let me peek in their gift bags, nor would they share what exactly they bought. Giving gifts is all about the surprise. Wondering what’s hiding in all of that red, green, and silver giftwrap is so much fun. Try giving something unexpected! And don’t tell what’s hiding under all those bows!

Bell’s are ringing, so get shopping! Remember to think like a kid this year. Then put your feet up, enjoy a cup of cocoa and have a Merry Christmas!