When my little sister, Maryann, & I were little (before all the other sibs came into the picture), my parents were both in graduate school. Living on a students’ budget with kids is no joke, trust me, Todd & I have done it with one kid, I have no idea how they did it with two.
For Christmas one year, my mom wanted us to have a special gift & she really wanted our eyes to sparkle. But since the budget was so tight there wasn’t really much she could do.
So like any good mom, she came up with a Pinterest Worthy gift (how did she come up with this idea without Pinterest?!!) She took aÂ refrigeratorÂ box, turned it into a house. She put porceline door knobs on it, flower boxes, curtains on the windows…you name it, it was there. If I remember correctly, it was painted too.
It was the MOST AWESOME GIFT EVER.
I try to remember this when I’m Christmas shopping for my kids (for birthdays too!) Out of all the years of “things” that I’ve been given for my birthday or Christmas, this one simple card board box with some paint, a door knob or two, & some flower boxes made more of an impression than anything–well, maybe not more of an impression than that diamond ring Todd gave me 6 years ago.Â
I try not to stress out over whether or not they are getting the “biggest” monetary gift or the newest, shiniest toy that is being advertised on Nick Jr. in the mornings. Most, if not all, of that stuff is junk. Plain junk. It will sit in the bottom of a toy box collecting dust & taking up space in my already too hard to keep clean house.
I want more than anything to keep Christmas and Birthday presents substantial. If it takes me some time to make them something or if we have to have a “no battery” rule for a while, I’m fine with that. It’s amazing how a cardboard box can become something so amazing & meaningful.
Hopefully, I will be able to create such an awesome memory for my kids too. But I will definitely need Pinterest to help me along the way!
(Fortunately for Maryann, she doesn’t remember how I was your stereotypical big sister & wouldn’t let her actually play in the house… that’s a whole other post for a different time. :))
Thanks Kludgy Mom for your Idea Bank!
thats awesome! Im pretty sure my kids would love that too they already play with odd things that are not really toys LOL
brittney Most Recent Post…Christmas cheer…
Kate P. says
Don’t you love when you spend a fortune on a toy & the kids would rather play with a toilet paper tube or something ridiculous? Cracks me up every time!
Thanks for stopping by!
Karen W says
I love this! And such a great reminder to us parents during this crazy time of the year. I don’t have to spend an outrageous amount of money on my kids. Just something simple and a lot of love!
Karen W Most Recent Post…Better Than Santa
My dad once got an old refrigerator box for me, and he cut windows and a door. I thought it was SO much fun. The house you describe, with the doorknobs and flower boxes…that sounds amazing!
This is a great reminder, too. I think I take a very streamlined approach to Christmas and birthdays…but it’s hard to wrangle family to take it easy. I may just forward your post anonymously to a couple of well-meaning (but CrAzY) aunts. HA!
MandyE Most Recent Post…Kicking Off the Christmas Season: CRAFT