The previous year, I wrote an article entitled “Christmas On a Budget” describing how I budget my money meant for Christmas expenses like buying gifts. Christmas is about two months away and once again, some planning and budgeting is necessary.

Of course my children have been thinking and planning in advance what they would like to have as a Christmas present. They have already come up with gift ideas that are within the set budget.

Giving non-material presents

Actually, this year I plan to teach them that presents do not necessarily come in the form of material things. They can instead request for “non-material” gifts like spending special time with either parents, a picnic at the beach, a treat at their favorite fast-food restaurant, etc.

For parents, they can request the following from the children:

• Babysit for 2 hours
• Make a simple meal
• Do the laundry
• Clean the windows

• Mop the floor
• Clean the garden
• Run three errands
• Keep quiet for 2 hours
• Water the plants
• Feed the pet

The above are just some examples and you have to ensure that any request is age-appropriate. For example, an older child may be able to prepare a simple meal and mop the floor but not a younger child.

Everyone can select or come up with what “non-material” things they would like to have for Christmas and write them down on separate redeemable cards. Everyone can then select a few cards each and present them as a gift.

My eldest 10 year old son said he can prepare simple meals for me and plan to give me three gift cards which I can redeem anytime. Once Christmas is over, you may still have a few gift cards to redeem which is something nice to look forward to in the coming New Year. Enjoy!

Read other articles by Jacquelyn at on parenting matters and on solving marriage problems.

    5 replies to "The best Christmas Present"

    • Niche Topics

      Great article! Thanks for sharing.
      Its the thought that counts when comes to giving 🙂

    • Christmas Elf

      I love how creative these ideas are! These are definitely some of the best Christmas gift ideas I’ve heard that will save a pretty penny. Of course for kids who expect gifts the transition might be a bit rough, but hopefully they will appreciate it in the end.

    • Jacquelyn

      Hi mtsen,

      I understand what you mean! My kids would sometimes complain,”Why do I have to go to school?” Even being terribly sick and staying home is definitely better than going to school!

    • mtsen

      my kids don’t need any materialistic gifts, they just want me to take them off the school system …. 🙂

    • LOKE

      This article is a nice one. Nowadays, children should be taught like that so that they will not be too materialistic in future…

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