Friday, November 2, 2012

Christmas Tip: Gift Exchange

You might have noticed me briefly bringing up MOMS Club in my blog. I don't think I've ever taken the time to actually share what it is.  MOMS Club is actually an international club, and it stands for "moms offering moms support." It's for moms who don't work or just work part time. They have local chapters all over the world. Let me tell you, I love the ladies at MOMS Club. Those ladies have a unique way of being able to laugh off all the stressful things kids do, like not sleeping. I have never felt judged with them regarding my kids. If Oliver is crabby, well--Sorry! We tried to come to play time, but it's clearly not working, so we're going home now.

At the end of summer, my MOMS Club group hosted a gift exchange. I waited until now to post about it because, really, how many Christmas tips do you need to get from me in September? One was plenty.

The gift exchange was simply for moms to bring in a couple toys their kids have outgrown (or, you know, to get rid of those toys that just drive them up the wall) and get a couple "new" ones.

Like I've said before, my kids don't care if toys are new in package or just new to them. So, I figured I'd go to the exchange and try to pick out a toy or two that I could save for Christmas time. Yes, I'm cheap. Who cares?

Here are the toys I took to the gift exchange:

You might recognize that tractor, which we bought at Costco back when we had our first annual Kid's Day. Oliver kind of liked it for about a week, when he decided it was the scariest thing ever. It shakes and makes loud noises and lights up. Apparently, that's not OK. He's three, and he's still afraid of the thing. I decided that I've hung onto the thing long enough (2 years!). It's time for it to go to a new home.

I also gave away the caterpillar pull toy, which both kids have outgrown, and a Little People ferris wheel set that Oliver had received for his birthday last year. Both kids love that ferris wheel toy, but it lets out noises of creepy child laughter. As my husband put it after the exchange, "I'm glad you were able to get rid of the ferris wheel. The laughter of small children when I accidentally bump that thing in the dark will not be missed."

In return, I selected this basketball toy:

Neat, huh? I think Jo will be the perfect age for it come Christmas time. So, I stuck it up in the closet so it can make its debut under the tree in a couple months.

I understand that not everyone has a group of parents they can just trade toys with. However, if you can find just one neighbor, family member, or friend with a child around your child's age, you can probably swap a toy or two. I'm not very skilled in the art of Craigs List, but I would think you could even post an ad to swap toys of similar value with parents in your city.

Remember, just because your kid didn't take an interest in a toy doesn't mean another child won't. At MOMS Club, a two year old boy got the tractor truck from Oliver, and he loved it. An item that causes fear in the heart of one child can be another child's treasure!

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