12/10/08

No-Stress Gift of Coupons!

Do you sometimes feel obligated to take a gift to everyone you know at Christmas time? Not only family and friends, but your neighbors, the kids’ coaches, teachers, music teachers … you name it?

I’ll admit that there have been times where I’ve felt obligated to give. After all, isn’t this the season for giving?

Give Year Round
We should never feel pressured, so why not take the stress away by offering something that can be actually given later on in the year?

That is why last year I put together 5 Invisible Moms. Five moms from my daughter’s school created a schedule where we took Mrs. P dinner, twice a month, for the entire school year! When Christmas rolled around, I didn’t feel the pressure to find the perfect gift for Mrs. P! We had already been giving year-round!


Kid’s Perspective
Think of the perspective of your child giving the gift. What would be something fun and easy that they could create? Or that the whole family could be a part of?

Create a Coupon
Are you already feeling rushed this season, and out of ideas and money? An idea of creating a coupon is simple and easy.

• Supplies: One good idea, paper, an envelope (and stickers or pens to decorate the envelope).
• Five minutes of your time to brainstorm, to put your idea down on paper creating a coupon.
• Have your child do the work – to make it her own. Then wrap it up and give it away!


Coupon Ideas
• One dinner after the first of the year (your child helps in the kitchen, and helps deliver)
• Stay after school and help the teacher – coupon for 5 times?
• 20 minutes of their time – for miscellaneous jobs or chores
• Mow a lawn
• 3 car washes
• Rake leaves
• One night free babysitting
• Pick up mail and water during vacation time
• 5 home baked desserts – TBA on arrival
• Dessert of the month!
• Invitation to a dinner in your home


Follow Through
The beauty of coupons is that they are so easy to think up, and to create! The downside is, you have to make sure and follow through with what you are giving. So don’t forget to mark it on your calendar, and help your child learn the importance of following through. They can also be used for any occasion!

Taking the stress off of “today” might even give the recipient something to look forward to after the rush of the holidays.

Lastly, I think it is so important to teach our kids that not only monetary gifts are valuable, but that the gift of time can also be more precious than a present.

Have you thought about coupon-giving this year?

(The very top coupon is one that my daughter will be giving her violin teacher this year!)

26 comments:

Moxie said...

This is a wonderful idea! Giving of ourselves (our time ,our talents) is such an awesome gift to give!

Donnetta (momrn2) said...

What a wonderful idea! I sure wish I had thought of this before our homeschooling days! :-)

I am going to do some thinking and see if anyone else comes to mind that we could use this with. I'm SURE there is! :-)

ValleyGirl said...

Yes! This is what we'll be doing with the couple who will become our new pastoral couple on January 1. Coupons for 12 dinners ~ either shared with us in our home, or just delivered by me for them to enjoy by themselves.

Shilo said...

I love the 5 Invisible Mom's! That' incredible!

Homekeeping Heart said...

Really great idea! I like it!

Heather said...

What a sweet idea1 It is so creative and really lets your children participate! I totally agree with teaching your children the value of time!

Betts said...

What a great idea. We try to make our gifts to teachers, so we might have to do this some tme.

Laurie said...

Thanks for such great ideas. What I really like about this is that it can be used by kids, teens, and adults!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

I love your new ideas for coupons--kids staying after school to help, etc. What a great way to help our kids be involved and of service. I also love your daughter's gift. Thanks for the renewed ideas for coupon giving.

Lora said...

LOVE these ideas! Thanks for sharing!

Smelling Coffee said...

This is a great idea! One year, we were given a coupon for one night of babysitting for each month of the following year. It was one of the best gifts we received! Thanks for this awesome idea!

Sandy Toes said...

You are so creative!! What a wonderful gift idea!!! Love love the coupons...very thoughtful!
-sandy toes

Jules from "The Roost" said...

Great idea.....I would love to get one myself! :)

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

Oh I truly love this. What a beautiful spirit of giving you have.

Geri said...

Creative idea and a great way to get the kids participating.

Jen said...

You are such a nice person. Thinking of these wonderful things....how great.

Barb said...

I've always thought this was such a great idea. Both my daughters gave a LOT of coupons for gifts when they were in college and more than a little financially challenged. :-)

Great idea, and people love receiving these.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

I really like to coupon idea.

gracy said...

What a great idea! :D I'm a violin teacher, and am always so blessed when my students give me gifts-- but at the same time, I KNOW how busy the Christmas season gets, and wonder how they find time to squeeze in a present for me! :) A coupon is perfect. I also love drawings from my student (I received one that was a picture of ME playing my violin on a stage, with the words "Mrs. Gracy" in the corner! How sweet is that!)

Christy said...

Love the idea Sandy!

I will add this to my running list of ideas!

Coupon Codes said...

This is an incredible idea for sure. I know it.

Sarah Herman said...

Sandy-
I couldn't decide what to give as a parting gift for our annual holiday party then remembered your stone coaster idea! Thanks for the great idea!

duchess said...

That's a great idea. I love the thought of spreading it out. The holidays come & go so quickly that sometimes gifts are forgotten.

mrsjones6 said...

What a great idea! Teaching our children (and demonstating it as well) to give of themselves is so important. I know that most people would rather have a coupon given with love than a gift that may seem like an obligation. This sounds just perfect for a few individuals that I needed to take care of!
Have a great weekend,
Jennifer

Raquel, The Glamorous Life said...

great ideas! my family is going to give a once a month dinner coupons to the grandparents for christma. they will come over and we will cook and play a game, wathc a movie, or just enjoy one anothers company. i cant wait to make the coupons, a little book of 12 one for each month

Tiff said...

I love this! Your ideas are exactly what I was looking for! Thanks so much for posting this!