Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What to Give Baby for Christmas

Shopping for a baby's Christmas gift may be a mixture of a very easy task and a quite difficult one! On one hand, they surely don't "have everything" like some people we shop for, but on the other hand, you don't want to duplicate things that were given for a birth gift, shower gift, and so on.

One good idea to get your thoughts moving toward what the parents may appreciate most is to just ask them. In my own case, my parents asked me about a gift for my daughter's first Christmas and I happened to need a high chair. That was their gift for the baby and it worked out great.

As I am thinking back to that Christmas all those years ago, I recall that two of my brothers who were unmarried at the time joined forces for another really great baby gift. They gave a huge box totally full of baby food and baby cereal since she was just beginning to eat solids during that holiday season. That gift was so appreciated and obviously left a huge impression because I still think of it when I am remembering gifts that were given that year.

Another idea for a baby gift is something that commemorates the fact that it's baby's first Christmas. I have an ornament for this purpose, but I wish I would have found a few other things back then. I think it would be fun to decorate with those things each year now.

If you want to give clothing as a gift, be sure to choose sizes that are bigger than the baby will need at the moment. Chances are that the parents already have enough outfits for the present, but spring clothing in a size or two larger will probably be greatly appreciated.

Blankets are a nice choice as well as diapers. Babies go through a *lot* of diapers and any help parents can get in this area is usually much appreciated. For another fun gift, consider helping to start a library by giving a few great starter books for babies and toddlers.

Other ideas for fabulous and appreciated gifts for baby:

(1) A bank with starter change. Find a great bank; they come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Maybe you will find something to represent a first Christmas or something to match the baby's room decor. Maybe it will be just the customary "pig." Whatever it is, it would be a nice gesture to start the savings by putting a few dollars' worth of dimes and quarters in it as a starter.

(2) A gift certificate to a brick and mortar or online baby store. If you simply don't know what would be needed or appreciated, allow the baby's parents to choose the gift with a gift card or certificate.

(3) A teaching baby toy. Unless you are shopping for a newborn, remember that there are some great regular toys and crib toys that help to teach something. Baby's first Christmas doesn't mean that baby is just a few weeks old, he or she could actually be 11 months old and quite ready to enjoy some neat toys.

Another gift I remember from my daughter's first or second Christmas was a soft cloth doll. She loved and played with that for a long time. Make sure there are no parts (eyes, etc.) that could come off and that the package is marked for age appropriateness.

(4) A hand-crafted gift. If you are a crafty person in any way, think about making baby's holiday gift. I tried my hand at making a baby quilt for my nephew and it turned out really great. No matter what it is that you can craft, chances are that there is something you can do for a baby.

If you cross-stitch, try a cloth birth announcement. A woodworker can make a toy shelf or small book case. A knitter can make a baby blanket or socks. This category is totally unlimited and ranges from a crocheted afghan to a personalized story or poem from a writer or a personalized song from a composer or songwriter.

(5) A financial gift. This one won't be something that many people may choose, but giving a savings bond is often an appreciated gift. It won't mature for many years, but parents put the child's bonds into a safe place and then when the bonds become mature in the proper number of years, it is often very appreciated. Of course the wisdom in this kind of gift is that they cost less than they will be worth at maturity.