Tired of the same old holiday practices and concerned about the season’s overemphasis on commercialism? Get creative and give a unique gift to your children and loved ones this year. These holiday gift alternatives are sure to put a smile on anyones’ faces.
Adopt a dolphin
How about adopting a wildlife animal? I’ll bet your kids would love to become the proud, new adopted parents of a dolphin or an other beautiful creature in the wild. The Oceanic Society conducts valuable scientific research on free-swimming dolphins in the Bahamas. The proceeds are used to fund essential field research equipment and protect dolphins worldwide. Another option is the World Wildlife Fund, which offers adoption programs for over 100 species worldwide.
Special day out
I actually wanted to write this article because this is a favorite holiday tradition for my own children. As a busy single mom with three kids, getting time alone with my kids individually is very challenging. Having an entire day with them individually takes some real planning. Every year, instead of big presents, we give each other “presence”. They each take turns planning an entire day with me one-on-one.
I started this practice a few years ago when I noticed how materialistic Christmas was becoming for us. My kids are blessed to have grandparents, step-grandparents, aunts and uncles who shower them with material gifts. I wanted to create a tradition that was more meaningful for me personally. Turns out it is for them, too. So our pre-holiday conversations are not so much about, “What do you want for Christmas?” but about, “What will we do for our special day out?” We talk about different scenarios and usually end up with some fun surprises on the actual day. It’s just as much fun talking about the day and planning it as it is experiencing it.
Name a star
For several decades, the International Star Registry has been naming stars in the cosmos for decades. What a great gift for a child or your sweetheart! You will receive a certificate personalized with the star name, date and coordinates. Not to mention the feeling of receiving a gift that will last as long as there are stars in the sky. Even better is this adorable little stuffed animal from Amazon that comes with access to a NASA website for tracking your star. Here’s a nice review from a grandparent:
These toys are soft and adorable! On top of that you’re giving them a real star! How cool is that? Half of my grandkids are now planning to be astronauts! They use the Nasa site to check on their stars and usually end up widening their search. The teens and preteens really enjoy the game site. In addition to all this a portion of the profits goes to children’s charities. I have rarely been happier with a gift I’ve purchased.