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Musical Memory | Renee Cook

Good Rejoicing Practice + Gift Guide for Kids

Published about 1 year agoΒ β€’Β 2 min read

Happy Thanksgiving and Advent and Holidays and all the things! I hope you've been able to take some downtime the past week to be with family & rejoice with gratitude this year. The kids and I just finished reading a biography of Joy Ridderhoff, a missionary who travelled around the world, pioneering the first efforts to record the gospel. Time and again, she encountered trials of various kinds, unsure of how she would take the next step. Yet, she proclaimed, "Rejoice in the Lord, always!" When troubles came, she declared it, "Good Rejoicing Practice." Ha! We all loved that phrase & decided we're going to start intentionally notice when we have hard things and call it "good rejoicing practice."

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Whether your Thanksgiving was the full-of-thankfulness kind or the it's-a-hard-season-of-life kind, I hope you get some good rejoicing practice in this month.

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I had the chance to practice rejoicing (and patience πŸ€ͺ) when I enlisted my kids to help make a couple dutch apple pies one afternoon last week - it was actually really fun, but patience-trying none the less.

On a different note, let's talk Christmas gifts.

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I really debated about whether to share a gift guide with you... On one hand, eh. Our kids don't need stuff, they mainly play outside with sticks 10 months out of the year, and they don't need help fighting the standard entitlement attitudes of 21st century American life.

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On the other hand, I know most of us buy at least a Christmas gift or two for our kids & I personally prefer to spend money & time on gifts that actually get used for a really long time. Add to that, our grandparents graciously ask for gift ideas every Christmas & birthday. I figured you might be in the same boat so I decided to go ahead and share a gift guide.

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If it's helpful, great. If you've already done your Christmas shopping - ignore it and save it for another occasion. Goodness knows we don't need more pressure to buy all the things

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While I enjoy picking out and thinking of good gifts for people, I’m also a kinda-sorta-minimalist when it comes to extra stuff to clean and manage. And, I do not like the entitled attitudes that come with giving kids loads of presents. So, we keep Christmas & birthday gift giving to our kids intentionally restrained. Now a days, here's what we do...
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Birthdays – usually one bigger item and a couple small things that reflect what the child is interested in.

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Christmas – usually one bigger wishlist item per kid, a book or book set of sorts, something smaller, and a few stocking stuffers. We sometimes do a family gift too.

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That being said, between our 4 children, nieces and nephews, and sweet friends, we have bought a lot of kids’ gifts over the years.

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All my gift guide suggestions are based on the things that have been used extensively in our own home and gifts I've given other kids.

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I could go on and on with gift ideas for moms, dads, grandparents, handmade gifts, etc. (haha I do really love giving meaningful gifts!) But alas, I just limited this post to kids gifts... mainly 1-10 year olds, although there are games, books, and art supplies that'd be fun for any age!

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I broke the post into categories too for easy browsing too -

  • Toys kids actually play with
  • Pretend play things
  • Little kid art supplies
  • Big kid arts & crafts
  • Games & puzzles
  • Best books & book sets to give
  • Active Gifts

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If you're stuck for some gift ideas that will actually get used for years and years, check out my kids gift guide.​

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xo and happy shopping!!

-Renee

Musical Memory | Renee Cook

My weekly emails encourage homeschool moms in teaching young children at home with practical tips for real-life homeschooling. Get ideas for simple, engaging, and effective teaching strategies. PLUS tons of short & sweet learning songs... I wrote the only homeschool memory work program that is 100% set to song and homeschooling families with K-5 kiddos LOVE it!

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