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I know we are just entering October but it’s mad how quickly Christmas creeps up on us (and is pushed upon us). Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of Christmas and the fun and excitement that goes with it. Having a 4 and 5 year old certainly adds to the magic of Christmas.
This week, I was in my local supermarket and my four year old pulled me to see something….. the first Selection Box of the year! (I can guarentee, last year’s selection boxes are well gone in our house before 2015 began!) My daughter reminded me that Santa brought her one. For a second I thought ‘surely I didn’t let Santa leave MORE chocolate for my children on Christmas Day’ and then I remembered that she got one when Santa visited a weekly club she attents, so I said, ‘Yes, you’re right, you got that at ….club’ to which she replied, ‘and when he visited our estate’. She was right, she received two selection boxes from Santa last year and her sister received three! I’ve nothing against selection boxes but I do have a problem when my children start to think that it’s normal to eat chocolate every day and I know I’m not the only parent who feels strongly about this.
So, if you’re organising a Christmas party this year, can I help you think outside the ‘Selection box’ and tell Santa to bring an alternative gift for the children? I know many Christmas parties work on tight budgets but there are certainly fun stuff that Santa can bring that cost about the same price as a selection box, will last longer and won’t result in obesity and rotten teeth!
As those who follow my blog know, I am involved in helping organise two Parent and Toddler Groups and every year Santa makes an appearance. The kids who come are aged between 0 and 4 and we usually have a budget of less than €3 per child. Over the past three years he has brought bubbles, hard back Christmas story books and wooden castanets. We have to choose items that parents can do with their younger children and older pre-school-ers can still enjoy. All three have been really well received. In my daughters’ montessori school, they have received books, which still come out regularly to be read.
If your party is for older (Primary school aged) children, then here’s a few suggestions I think might work that won’t break the bank.
1. Whoopee Cushions. What child doesn’t like making rude noises?! Whoopee Cushions work as gifts for both boys and girls and you can usually pick them up for less than €2. I sell them here for €1.50. Once the child has got tired of sitting on the cushion themselves, they will play tricks with family members throughout Christmas, no doubt.
2. Fling it – Paper Swords. I am a big fan of these retro toys. It is basically a long piece of paper rolled up and attached to a stick, However, it doesn’t take long to master the art of flicking it to get the paper to stretch out for approx 2 meters and roll back automatically as quickly as it shot out.
You could purchase all these for less than €3 per child and I’ve lots of other toys Santa could get in my pocket money range on my website, so check it out for inspiration and ideas.
And, if your budget is greater than €3 per child, then your options increase. Get Santa to give a book, a puzzle, card games….
If you need to buy in bulk, start early. Often shops don’t stock large quantities of items but if they are given notice, they can order them in for you (and they may even be kind enough to offer you a reduction for purchasing a large number). I only keep small quantities of items in my online shop but if you decide to shop from me, I’ll do my best to ensure you have the amount you need, at a price you are happy with – so get Santa’s elves to drop me an e-mail.
I’m really excited about the upcoming Christmas season and although I appeared a bit disgruntled about the number of selection boxes my girls received last year – the reality is that I ate most of the chocolate (and they were too young to notice!), so I can’t really complain about that!
Enjoy the run up to the season and I hope, if you are organising a children’s Christmas Party, that this little blog will have given you some inspiration.