Christmas Less Cluttered: A Gift Guide


I’m going to say up front that I LOVE giving gifts!

Having a baby was a great excuse to roam Toys-R-Us as an adult, and my husband and I truly enjoy giving our kids the things they want when it is within our means. Our kids have the added bonus of being the only grandchildren on both sides of the family. Our parents and extended family all enjoy giving gifts each season!

While wonderful, the result is a home FULL of toys…..which is great, but my husband and I both have a serious aversion to clutter!


Each season, we actively purge the toy collection by trashing or recycling things that are broken, donating gently used items, and selling some larger ticket items to put towards something new.

So when we put together our shopping lists for holiday gift giving, I try to make sure that there are “experience” ideas as well as consumables – things that can be enjoyed and don’t leave any clutter!

Here are some gift ideas that won’t leave you needing a new organizing system after the holidays:

Memberships & Passes – Here in the Detroit area we have a ton of great places to take kids on a regular basis that offer membership passes! The Detroit Zoo, Michigan Science Center, The Henry Ford & Greenfield Village, The Ford House, and Sea Life Aquarium for starters. Plus awesome indoor play places that are great to burn energy at in the winter like Jungle Java, Detroit Kid City, Air Time, or Rochester Play. Check Groupon for great options at the best price.

Classes – Maybe your child has been wanting to try dance, gymnastics, martial arts, or music?

Gear – Is your kid already involved in an activity? Maybe they need new equipment! Balls, shoes, gloves, skates,  or boots make great gifts!

easels-372847_960_720Art & Craft Supplies – Crayons, Pencils, Paper, Paint, Brushes, or Craft Kits all make great gifts.

Tickets – Movies, Plays, & Concerts are all great ways to share a fun experience with your child. Check out Groupon here too!

Subscriptions – Kids LOVE to get mail with their name on it. Magazines are great, but you can also indulge in a regular craft kit with Kiwi Crate or spoil your favorite Lego enthusiast with a Pley subscription (it’s like Netflix for Legos, they send you the kit of your choice, build it, then break it down and send it back to get another one. All the fun, and no worries about where to store all those little plastic bricks!). For the older builder, Tinker Crate has great options. For your little reader, keep the books coming from Owl Crate or Gift Lit.

bathtimeBath Time Fun – Color tabs, bath crayons or paints.

Snacks – Each year, my sister makes the best snack baskets full of amazing homemade cookies, snack mix, seasoned crackers, and nuts. It is always much anticipated by both the adults and kids! My kids are big fans of getting Nick’s Sticks grass-fed beef sticks in their stockings, along with bags of my caramel popcorn, and a few pieces of chocolate.

“Needs” – Things like new bedding, furniture, or other bedroom upgrades like a new paint job, rug, or beanbag. Nice clothes and shoes or a watch are especially great for slightly older kids.

“Date Night” – Gift an IOU of a special night out! Kids love spending time with their favorite people – sharing an ice cream, a meal, or watching a movie. My oldest especially appreciates this now that she has to share our attention with her little brother!

readingA Getaway – Even if it’s just a day trip or a quick overnight, kids enjoy getting away as much as adults do! A one night stay in a local hotel can be a fun mini-trip, just order a pizza and spend some time at the pool! There are also great family destinations within a few hours drive like Great Wolf Lodge, Kalahari, Thunder Bay, Zehnder’s Splash Village & Double JJ Ranch.

Books – You can’t go wrong giving books!


What are your favorite gift giving ideas this season, what would YOU add to this list?

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Hi! I'm Erica, mom to two awesome kids, wife, certified Natural Health Educator, and small business owner. I'm a perpetual student, and currently halfway through a 4 year program to become a certified traditional naturopath. I recently opened Nature's Wisdom in Saint Clair Shores, which houses a natural remedy shop and my natural health services. Outside of work and family life, I'm an avid yogi, amateur photographer, bookworm, and I love making time for my best girl friends. I was raised in the Detroit 'burbs, and now enjoy sharing my love of the city with my kids and husband (a Flint native) - You can find us exploring the flavors of Eastern Market and fishing on Belle Isle most Saturdays!



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