Every year for both birthdays and Christmas gifts we do things pretty simply. Simply doesn't necessarily mean 'cheaply', because if we're only buying or making 3 items per child, we want them to be high quality. This post is about what we got for Lukka for his 8th birthday a few weeks ago, in case you have a child with a similar personality and are wondering what to get him or her for thoughtful gifts.
I am 95% sure my biggest Love Language is gifts, which mean I love getting gifts, and I spend a lot of time thinking about and finding a thoughtful gift for others. We like to keep the gift boundaries this way: Something to READ, something to WEAR, something to PLAY WITH. Although the lines blur every so often, boundaries help me scout out the best idea for the individual, and keep it within a normal budget.
hike at Quarry Rock
The photo above is Lukka's something to WEAR. It's a hydration pack that I knew not only he would love, but is so, so practical for him and our family at large. I bought it at a garage sale for $25 with the tags still on it, and it's an Axiom brand. The closest thing online to it I could find was this.
We are starting to go on harder and longer hikes and bike rides with the kids, and this hydration pack is the perfect size for Lukka, and roomy enough that he could grow into it and use it for a number of years until needing to size up. He can fill the water bladder himself (and was very proud to figure it out) and fill the rest with snacks. We love that he can now carry his own water and snacks without us shouldering the load.
working with blueprints and pieces
Lukka's book, or something to READ, was found on deep discount as well, at a homeschooling swap. It was also brand new and on sale for $5! This book is normally about $17 at Chapters, so I was pretty happy to find such a perfect gift for him for such a cheap price. The book is a mix of blueprints for projects, tips, information about the machines you make, and a container in the back of the book for all those pieces (see above).
Lukka loved this gift as well and said a few times, "this book is perfect for me". Gotta' love that match! I was struggling to find a book he'd like that wouldn't be completely over his head or under his skill set with technology/building and that wouldn't cost $35 or more. This was such a great find and it helps me keep my perspective on thrifting: come with no expectations and you're pleasantly surprised.
Celestron 70 mm Travel Telescope
This was the biggest gift of Lukka's, his "PLAY" portion, even though a nice telescope doesn't really get played with, it just gets used, and sometimes infrequently for the price tag. All together, these three items cost us about $100. Because we don't buy the kids gifts throughout the year, and we keep their parties to a frugal minimum, we feel that buying quality, lasting gifts is a good investment.
Lukka had been asking for a telescope for about two years, though he really narrowed doing his desire this past year (for example, throughout the years he's generally asked for about 10 items, this year he asked for 3 from parents and grandparents). We got him this telescope from Amazon after reading a lot of really good reviews. He's already used it many times and we're very impressed with what kinds of detail we've seen on the moon. He enjoyed taking it to his great-grandparents in Peachland and sharing it with them, as well. This is a gift that I think he will also grow into and enjoy for years, maybe even decades, to come.