It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Simply brilliant

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. If it’s inexpensive, even better!

For about two years, my children’s favourite toy was the “Doctor Box”. I know I’ve talked about this before. No, I don’t know why it was called that. It was just a shoe box, filled with a dozen or so small non-toy items: clean pill bottles, measuring spoons, a funnel, small scraps of shiny fabric, some oddments of wee bits of hardware… The games this odd assortment of stuff engendered were wide-ranging and never-ending. Every so often I’d top it up with a new item or two, as items were lost, broken, or worn out. Two years this thing lasted. A shoebox of stuff that most people would call “junk”.

Here’s another application of the same principle: A couple of years ago, my friend Cindy (aka Darcy’s mom), was giving her sister gift suggestions for Cindy’s two (lovely, LOVELY) children.

“Don’t spend a pile of money,” Cindy told her. Just go to Value Village and buy a heap of dress-up clothes. Throw them in some sort of container — a toy chest, a plastic storage bin — and boom! Done!” Cindy, a busy woman, likes to keep it simple. “Boom! Done!” gifts are totally her style.

Apparently the sister did just that, and on Christmas day, Darcy and his little sister were thrilled to receive capes, skirts and shirts, beads and gloves, aprons and hats, scarves, and necklaces. That was two or three years ago, and the kids still enjoy playing with it.

Years of play, for less than $40, probably. (Forty dollars buys a LOT of stuff at Value Village.)

Is that not brilliant? I think it’s brilliant.

How about you? Any super-simple, super-inexpensive, super-long-lasting gift ideas out there? What’s a fabulous gift you’ve received, or given?

December 11, 2009 Posted by | Christmas, crafts | , , | 6 Comments