The Best Present for Kids is not what you are thinking!

Do you remember what you were given for Birthday when you were nine, ten,  in your teens or twenties?  I don’t.  Do your children remember their Birthday gifts from last year or the year before?  The presents they just had to have! The Best Present that Everyone had.

If they don’t remember, if a few years later those gifts were insignificant, why do we rush to the shops and spend a fortune on presents that will be unwrapped, discarded and forgotten a month later.  This year before you do this, before you buy every toy on their Christmas or Birthday wish list, the video game, the merchandise from the latest movie, the cards from the current fad.  Consider that the best present for kids is one that will have meaning, consider a gift that may not cost much, will be fun and will last a lifetime.

What Do I give my Kids?

Over the last few years, instead of buying presents, I give my children a gift of time.  Time with me.  I give them a day of my life, a day of fun, by themselves to do whatever it is they are passionate about.  A gift of experience, time and memories. This is actually harder than buying a present from a shop yet much more rewarding.  This gift requires organisation and logistics.  It means friends or babysitters taking the siblings.  It requires putting myself out and perhaps doing something I don’t really want to.  It may mean driving a long way to fulfill their dream.  However, the joy and fun of that day stays with all of us forever.  My children still talk about their Christmas “day” present years later, because it is something special and meaningful for them.  It is something they choose, plan and look forward to.  It is time with their Mum doing whatever it is they really want to do.

What Really is the Best Present for Kids

These special days are the best in our year and often doing activities I otherwise would never have experienced.  I have had the priviledge of riding horses with my daughter, attending a Big Bash Cricket game with my son (believe me I dreaded it, yet ended up having a fantastic night.)  I have swung through trees,  slid down sand dunes, attended a musical, had a pink pajama sleepover – midnight feast and all.  I am sure this year will involve days of cricket, laser tag and horse riding. What they perceive as a gift for them, is actually also a gift for me.  It has enabled me to become closer to my children and to experience and share with them the things they are most passionate about.

My second gift to them at Christmas again doesn’t come from a shop, yet is their favourite present to unwrap.  It is a photo book of their year gone by (usually highlighted by their fun Christmas day present).  It is their individual memories.  It takes me time.  I collaborate all the pictures of their year, their special moments and experiences and have them bound into a book. Whilst again, this is harder than paying for a toy, the reward is also greater.  Throughout the year I find my children looking at them, showing their friends and talking about the adventures they have had, the highlights of their lives. Unlike toys, they won’t grow out of them, they will keep these books forever.

My children don’t have the latest Pokemon game, play station or Wii games, however they do have fun and memories.  Whilst your children may think the best present for them is the latest gift, perhaps it is because they don’t know what they could receive.  The thing that is most precious to them – a little bit of you.

Time is short.  Time is precious.  Instead of buying expensive birthday or Christmas gifts this year that will be discarded and forgotten, give your children the greatest gift of all, the very best present for kids – give them memories, give them time.  Give them you.

About Sophie Cole

Sophie is a single mum of three beautiful children, two with diagnosed disabilities and two with medical issues. Although this demands a lot of time, Sophie is dedicated to helping mums across the world who face similar issues with their kids, with a particular focus on the self-care of the mothers themselves.