Have you started shopping for your holiday gifts yet? I know, we haven’t even celebrated Halloween or Thanksgiving yet, but experts are warning of a possible toy shortage this holiday season. CNN, Today and other news outlets have reported that global supply chain issues, truck driver shortages and congested ports among other factors are going to have an impact on the availability of holiday decor and toys this year. Predictions for toy shortages and increased prices with a looming reality of disappointed faces on Christmas morning can strike fear into any parent’s heart. What’s a mom to do?! With some proper planning and imagination, there can be plenty of holiday magic this year!
Here are some suggestions to prepare for this year’s holidays.
1. Discuss Why You Celebrate: First and foremost, setting the expectations for Christmas is helpful. Discussing why your family celebrates Christmas and it’s meaning to your family can shift the main focus away from gifts. It will vary for each family from celebrating the birth of Jesus, spending time with family and/or the opportunity to give back to the community. It’s a special time of year regardless of why and how your family celebrates.
2. Talk to Your Kids about a Realistic Wish List. If your kids are older, you can be honest with them about the possible shortage issues. Otherwise, you could steer younger kids away from “hot” toys that may be hard to find or at least have them request other wish list items as well. I find it helpful to give kids categories and record their wish list items in each category: Want, Wear, Need, and Read.
3. Plan and Shop Early. If you are one of those shoppers that shops year-round or early, then you are likely set and I aspire to be like you! However, it may be a shift for the rest of us to do Christmas shopping earlier than normal. It’s possible that what you see on the store shelves now may not be restocked again before Christmas. With this in mind, if you find the perfect holiday decor or gift, snatch it up.
4. Make Homemade Gifts – If you are crafty, you can make homemade gifts or hop onto YouTube and learn something new! My sister-in-law previously crocheted baby doll and barbie doll outfits for my nieces and daughters. My late brother who was an artist would surprise us with amazing mini painting masterpieces that are one of a kind. These can turn out to be the best gifts as they become keepsakes.
5. Consider Second-Hand gifts. You can check ebay, local thrift stores or an online marketplace to find some amazing gifts. When we lived in Japan, I found some Calico Critters toys and figurines at a local thrift shop for my youngest daughter and she loved them! If something is in great condition, kids won’t realize it’s second-hand. The bonus is less packaging, so it’s way more environmental and quite frankly, easier to open and begin immediate play. In most cases, second-hand gifts are considerably less expensive so another win. Another example is my friend who spray-painted their older child’s outgrown bike and gifted it to a younger sibling as it looked brand new. Their child was thrilled with their “new” bike.
6. Include Experience Gifts. This is my favorite as this option strengthens a family’s bond and creates memories. This could be anything as long as it’s special for your family.
Here are some examples of Experience Gifts:
- An Amusement park
- Sports Games
- The Zoo
- Camping (backyard or elsewhere)
- A Ski Trip
- A Concert or Musical
- And many more!
These memories will last much longer than a plastic toy that a child could easily get bored with. Of course, we still want our kids to have a present to unwrap so you could print homemade tickets and/or include items that you will need for that experience (i.e. hat and gloves for ski trip). We gifted our kids with an upcoming Hawaii trip one year so I wrapped a box with Hawaiian leis for each kid. We loved seeing their faces as they unwrapped that box and realized the surprise! Anything to make it special on Christmas morning and the anticipation of the upcoming experience adds to the fun.
7. Volunteer as a Family – This is a great opportunity to show our kids that holidays are about much more than receiving gifts. It could be making food for a neighbor, shoveling their driveway, volunteering in a shelter, etc. Focusing on others has a way of spreading joy in the world.
Toy shortage or not, I hope these suggestions are helpful and that you have a wonderful holiday season with your loved ones. It’s true that a lot can fall on a mom’s shoulders this time of year. If you need help balancing it all or considering a career change with the new year, but not sure where to start, schedule a free clarity call with me. It’s a great opportunity to discuss where you would like to see changes in your life.
It’s Never Too Late for the Life You Want.