Tuesday, December 5, 2023

The Christmas List

The Christmas List: 

A Post of Possibilities

If you have children or you are like me with a gaggle of grands, this time of year can be a challenge. What do you possibly buy for the under thirteen crowd? 

I know a lot of people give money. That's okay, but if you are looking for a gift to wrap, I offer this post of possibilities. And you can use it for this year or next.

When my three daughters were young, we lived on a tight budget. That can be tough at Christmas. It is one reason I started shopping all year round.

Every year I bought each of them 

  • ·     some sort of art or craft, 
  • ·     something musical, 
  • ·     a book, 
  • ·     something to challenge their thinking skills, 
  • ·     something collectible.   


This is how it worked: If I was out and about in January and came upon a sale of a craft kits, I would sort through them, looking for something suitable for at least one of my girls. 

If an author came to my school, I would purchase an autographed copy of a book for each of them. As items went on sale in one of the categories, I would buy them, often wrap them, and put them away in my gift closet (an old chest of drawers I salvaged for such a purpose).


I think you get the idea. 


It worked for us. My kiddos always had a decent Christmas without the stress of last minute shopping nor the drain of funds in a single month. Of course, we often added other items to the gifts under the tree, but the stress wasn’t there.


When I started this practice, I had never heard of Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. In fact, he first presented the notion that people think and learn in different ways a few years after my third child was born and long after I had put this notion of shopping all year long by categories. 


Gardner’s early theory suggests there are “seven ways of knowing.” 


Linguistic-This one has to do with words. Reading, writing, riddles, word games, and so forth. ("Hmm...perhaps a book?")


Logical/mathematical-This one has to do with reasoning, logic, problem solving, and numbers. ("Maybe something to challenge their thinking skills?")


Musical-This one is about rhythm, song, listening and making music. ("Imagine that!")


Bodily/kinesthetic- This area applies to sports, dance, and movement.


Spatial-This one is where we find drawing and painting and puzzles. ("Did someone say something about arts and crafts?")


The last two in his early work were Interpersonal and Intrapersonal ways of knowing.

Unwittingly, we were hitting four of Gardner’s seven ways of knowing with Christmas gifts.


The girls didn’t always get what was “trendy,” but they always had a great Christmas. The gifts fed their hearts, minds, and souls. And apparently, helped them access those different ways of thinking and learning.


The Something Collectible? Well, that made them unique.


Allison collected porcelain dolls.

Danielle collected music boxes.

Kendall collected …everything. I eventually narrowed it down to “Cherished Teddies” and added to her collection each year. 


Allison still has a few of her treasured dolls. 

Danielle still has her music boxes.


Kendall held onto her Cherished Teddies for quite a while before making a killing on them at a yard sale. (Of course she the one who went into business.)


And if you are curious about the theory, you can find a pretty good article for parents and grandparents HERE: 


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