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OK - the one thing that I get steamed up about in life is finding presents at the last minute for the multitude of kids wh odon't send out their party invitations till a couple of days before their party. I think I am mildly ADD but whatever is wrong with me, this throws me every time. I like to know what is coming up, and to suddenly be thrown into confusion by a party invitation coming home from school at the last minute always disturbs me.

So - I had a brainwave. I know roughly how many parties DD gets invited to in the course of the year. What if I get a big box of basket-filler type gifts and then as the parties come round, we can just fill a container with whatever gifts we feel appropriate at the time. We keep a present drawer for family presents etc, so this would be an extension of the same thing. OK, so most of them would end up with the same or similar thing but would that really matter?

Any thoughts? And any ideas for what would go into a basket for a 5-7yo child? And alternatives to baskets for cheap containers?

hoggie
 

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Since we are 30+ miles from the nearest town with abundant shopping, we often run into this problem also. Every year, on the day after Christmas when we are "bargain hunting", we pick up several (lots) of those character bath sets, non-Christmas looking toys, and other items that can be pulled out of the box when those invitations come. We get some girl gifts, some boy gifts, and some gender neutral gifts. I find it difficult to buy gifts for a child that I don't really know, so these seem to do alright. What kid doesn't like bubble bath or a bath sponge shaped like Nemo?
 

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I think your idea is excellent! I do the same thing for all ranges of ages when I find things at a great price. Then when I get 'surprised' or have overlooked something I need a gift for, I can run to that 'treasure closet' with the gifts to pick something out. For example, one year I found brand new hardback books for $1 (novel) so I bought 3 for future gifts.

Do you use gift sacks for these occasions?
 

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Shepherd - I don't use anything yet. I have only just come up with this and am trying to think of what to use to put the gifts in. I sort of thought that if I could come up with a useful container then it could be part of the gift itself. If not then gift bags could be a good alternative.

So far for fillers I have come up with art/craft stuff, bath stuff, stationery.

Karen - Our nearest "decent" shopping is about 25 miles, and about £90 worth of plane fare away :rolleyes: So when these last minute invitations go out, everyone is trying to buy gifts at the same small newsagents :shrug: But I know what you mean - when you don't know the kid it is really hard. For those friends who really are friends and we know well, it is easy to buy something when we see it but for the others :shrug:

hoggie
 

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What about the big tins that so many things come in these days...dog biscuits..popcorn...they are large metal cans with a removable lid...kids could keep and re use to keep their treasures in or Mom may have a use for them somewhere.
 

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hoggie said:
Our nearest "decent" shopping is about 25 miles, and about £90 worth of plane fare away :rolleyes: So when these last minute invitations go out, everyone is trying to buy gifts at the same small newsagents :shrug: But I know what you mean - when you don't know the kid it is really hard. For those friends who really are friends and we know well, it is easy to buy something when we see it but for the others :shrug:

hoggie
Hoggie, I don't know where you're from but it sounds like it's not the U.S. AND it sounds like your idea is wiser yet with the situation you explain above. I usually pick up most things when they're on sale for a great price... and often make it more inexpensive items so I can put a few to several items in a bag or basket for the gift recipient.

A couple years ago I started wrapping Christmas gifts in holiday print material that I'd get on sale after Christmas the previous year. The first time was when I had something too difficult to wrap so I used some burlap I had and tied it with red velvet ribbon. I liked the idea so the next year, I sewed aprons for a couple different people and had a couple other things for them, which I wrapped inside the apron. It was fun and very unexpected. Their reactions were great to see.

I pick up baskets when I see a neat looking one at Goodwill or elsewhere as long as they're inexpensive. I clean them up and put them in the 'treasure closet'. Thruout the year as I think of something to make, or find that perfect gift for a family member or friend, I place it in the basket they'll get at Christmas. Keeps me better organized as I get ready for Christmas, and they look forward to their new basket filled with goodies.
 

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two words : dollar tree :)

Little girls in that range love dressup makeup, dressup jewerly, glittery anything, stickers, coloring books with crayons, bubble blowers

Boys love little action figures, fake guns, coloring books with crayons, stickers too, that's all I can think of for the boys.

Hope this helps! :)

Kat
 

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What a great idea!! My DD gets invited to alot of parties too, and it seems to come when we are tight for money.

If there is a birthday around the warm weather, how about a shovel and pail for a container?

Also Kat's idea is great...................you could get one of those paper mache boxes that need decorating, and put craft supplies in it, and the child could decorate thier own jewlery box.
For boys, maybe a box that they can paint /decorate for tools or cars??
 

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Our "Everything's a Dollar Store" has adorable gift bags, boxes, tissue paper, wrapping paper and ribbons all for 1$. They have everything from food to cleaning supplies and everything in-between! (do you have something like this??) Just last week I took g'kids there to spend their earned money. They purchased foamy blow darts, Nerf football, basketball, they got sunglasses, buckets and shovels, puzzels, cards playing, crayons, paper, pencils and boxes to store stuff in.
 
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