7 Cheer-Saving Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas for Christmas 2021

Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas

So it seems like alternative Christmas gift ideas are going to be the way to go for Christmas 2021.  All our potential presents are not currently in Santa’s workshop, but instead sitting on some ship in the ocean.

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What are we supposed to do to ensure we get amazing gifts that our children love in time for Christmas?!  

Well, I have you covered.  

Here are seven alternative Christmas gift ideas that will bring a smile to your child’s face….and a sigh of relief to you!

7 Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas

Swap with a Friend

Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas

You’ll need a friend with kids about the same age as yours for this one.  Pull out any toys that your kids are over.  Hopefully they’re in decent shape. 

Have your friend do the same thing. 

Wrap them up, and gift them to your kids!  They will have no idea that it didn’t come right from the North Pole!

Use What You Have

Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas

This strategy works particularly well with very young children.  Probably three years old and under.  Definitely two and under.

A couple weeks before Christmas, put away any toys your child hasn’t touched in a while.  

Package these gifts, and you are good to go!  

Shop Stores You Don’t Usually Frequent

Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas

You might be surprised by some stores that carry toys.  

Believe it or not, stores aside from Target, Walmart, and Amazon still do exist. I know.  It’s hard for me to get out of that bubble, too.

Think things like craft stores, the dollar store, and even some old school department stores! 

You can read here for a comprehensive list of 12 places to look for toys, aside from the internet.

Christmas shopping this year will certainly look different, but don’t count out these treasures!  Just call ahead to make sure they have some toys in stock!

Shop Alternatively

Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas

Great alternative Christmas gift ideas can still be found in alternative shops!  Try checking out places like Facebook Marketplace, Etsy, Ebay or neighborhood consignment shops.

With Etsy, I especially like that you can message a seller, before, during and after a transaction.  If you have any concerns about availability or shipping dates, you can ask about it before you even buy!

Places like Ebay and Facebook Marketplace can be especially helpful if your child has their heart set on one particular gift.  Chances are, that another small child had their heart set on it last year, and now it’s ready to make its way into your home!

Buy Tickets

Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas

Look up local events happening near you.  Check out children’s plays, ice skating shows, musical performances or sporting events that you think your child would love.

If you want a physical gift to go with it, you could get an outfit or accessory to go with the tickets.  Maybe a dress for an outing to a play, or a team jersey for a local hockey game!

Gifts for the Home…for Your Kid

Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas

There’s a certain kind of kid that gets just as excited about a new set of sheets as she does a new toy. I know, because I have one.

Of course, this isn’t every kid, but maybe there’s something your child uses everyday that would be exciting to have replaced, upgraded, or just spruced up!

Think things like kids’ plates, toothbrushes, or bath towels.

Again, I know not every kid will get pumped for these things, but some certainly do!

And these are great options if you’re having a hard time finding toys!

Membership Gifts

Alternative Christmas Gift Ideas

Memberships have been around for a long time. But they have been becoming extremely popular as gifts in today’s wild world.

Most annual passes to zoos, museums, amusement parks and other attractions pay for themselves in as little as two visits.  

These can get pricey, but if you think of it as two family days out, with the option to go as frequently as you want, the price tag may be a little more manageable to swallow.

Again, you can purchase physical gifts to go with the special membership. You could purchase water bottles, t-shirts or other merch from the attraction of your choosing. 

You might even consider some new sunglasses or sneakers that could be worn for the outing!

Do Yourself a Favor

Avoid asking your child what they want for Christmas this year. I know it’s unconventional. But if they get their heart set on something that is stuck on one of those cargo ships, disappointment is sure to ensue.

Rather, you can focus on the reason for the season.

You can still talk about the fact that gifts do come on Christmas, and how we get gifts for others.

Just try staying away from being overly focused on one particular gift, at least for this year!


Stay on top of gifting with these alternative Christmas gift ideas!  These just may be the way to manage gifting this year. 

Share this with a mom who is stressing over those gifts stuck in the North Pole!


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