Now that my daughter is in preschool, I rely on my stash to keep up with the demand of monthly birthday parties.
Having a gift stash has saved my hide on more than one occasion like a last minute dinner invitation, a raffle prize for a school event, or when I couldn’t get out of the house due to sickness.
I try to cap our gift dollar amount at about $15 - $20. You can save money by stocking up during a holiday sale, or look out for current sales going on at your favorite store.
I prefer to give something unique and not necessarily cater to the latest fad. I usually don’t buy clothing items for toddlers as it is hard to size appropriately, though I will keep a baby outfit on hand.
The other important thing to remember is to keep your gift wrapping supplies replenished and ready for numerous occasions: holiday, new baby, birthdays, co-worker gift, hostess gift, etc. I always have a variety of cards on hand, too.
I like to group by age, gender and person, and keep it safe by going more neutral—not every family is into war toys. That’s said, it is important to have a boy toy gifts (trains, cars and trucks) and girl toy gifts (pink or princess theme).
Below are a few recommendations to keep your stash in good shape, gender neutral, age appropriate, and ready for all occasions.
· Art supplies – canvas, brushes and paint set
· Color books with washable pen set
· Building sets – never go out of style (legos, megablocks, tinker toys, Lincoln logs)
· Baby layette outfit – I usually give a 3-6 or a 6-9 month size to make sure it will fit, and also have a short sleeve and long sleeve available for the appropriate current season.
· Baby blanket – etsy.com has beautiful handmade baby blankets
· Candle – for hostess gift or a co-worker
You can find local and affordable gift options at Target, Walmart, and in downtown Benicia there is a very cute store called Little Bird.