Outside-the-Box Christmas List Ideas 2016 : Four Little Monsters Blog
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Outside-the-Box Christmas List Ideas 2016

by EJ on 12/14/16

Congratulations to all those who have finished their Christmas shopping. I'm not one of you... Christmas shopping isn't my favorite thing to do and I'm really not keen on crowds, battling other shoppers for this year's top items and all that. We're definitely close to finishing up our online shopping so the season's gifting panic is almost at an end.

Since before Thanksgiving, I've been hearing what toys are already out-of-stock and what toys you can get for a million dollars more than what they were originally priced at. I've seen letters from Santa, explaining why he couldn't fulfill the arrival of certain popular items, shared back and forth on Facebook. This year, I'm pulling the toy ads from the kids' view. Forget that! My kids' have very defined interests and hobbies that we can pull ideas from, without having to resort to the must-have mentality of Christmas shopping season. I told them to give the elves a break and think outside-the-box, so those poor elves don't have to make the five millionth whatever it happens to be gizmo.

If this sounds good to you, too, then there's still time to encourage your kiddos to expand the horizon when it comes to their Christmas lists. Forget the Hatchimal, and think more creatively! Ditch some of those must-have items of the year and let's hatch a new plan. Here are some ideas straight from the Four Little Monsters crew:

1. Art & Creative Building Craft Sets, Models

I'm an artist by profession, so I suppose it's only natural that my kids are obsessed with anything art-related. Creating art and building crafts is a great stress-reliever and amazing for expanding minds. There are so many craft kits out there and there's something for every personality. Whether your kiddo is into jewelry making, car and vehicle model building, clay or marker art, you'll find that most craft stores carry a huge variety of art sets and kits. You can always count on great coupon sites like RetailMeNot.com to provide you with an excellent 40 or 50% off in-store coupon most days, too. Craft stores usually run great sales this time of year as well.

Have a kid that's into Star Wars or Ghostbusters this year? They've got build-it models for that, too!

2. Favorite Movie & TV Show Accessories

You can find every accessory imaginable for any movie or TV show fan. From Stranger Things Funko Pop Action Figures to Harry Potter phone cases, a simple search online can provide you with a whole host of movie and TV show gift ideas. There's Etsy for awesome handmade stuff in this arena, too, but you have to be careful of each shop's turnaround time.

3. Bedroom & Nursery Decorations & Accessories

Winter is a great time to redecorate the kids' bedrooms. Dress up any space with custom painted nursery wall letters, hanging canopies, themed wall art and more. Coordinate new bed sheets and blankets with a new room theme. Add an over-the-door basketball net for in-room play.

4. Get smart with science experiment kits. 

Kids love experiments, especially messy ones. Choose from dinosaur fossil dig kits, Smithsonian science kits, motor and robot-building kits, circuit and electricity kits, magnets, crystal growing and terrariums. Last year, the monsters received several high-quality microscopes with pre-made slides which has since provided hours and hours of curious fun.

5. Polaroid-style Cameras Are Back!

We are excited to gift a FujiFilm Polaroid Camera to one of our kiddos this year (as in, our Snapchat, selfie-obsessed seven year old). I'm sure she'll use up all the film in an hour or less, but hey, I think she'll really enjoy the camera. These are on sale all over the place, too, in a ton of cool colors. We got a fantastic deal on one of these. You do have to keep buying more film, though.

What are your go-to outside-the-box gift ideas this year!? Tell us in the comments! Happy shopping!

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