GREENVILLE — As December 25 approaches, children are dreaming of a Christmas morning filled with the promise of presents under the tree, and the joyful noise of wrapping paper being ripped open with enthusiasm.
Yet, the advent of the coming of noisy gadgets, colorful blinking lights, and more stuff in the toy room often has busy moms and dads trying to clear the way and make room for the avalanche that may come soon after the holidays. With the uptick of COVID-19 and wintry weather forecasts, the looming holiday aftermath of “stuff” taking up precious square footage at home is an inconvenient truth that families might face.
One way to avoid this plight might be to re-imagine the experience of “gift-giving,” taking a new approach in teaching children that “fun” doesn’t have to be enshrined in cardboard or plastic.
Often, the promise of a field trip or experience is a fun alternative, with many opportunities to explore Ohio’s landscape and history. The Darke County Historical Society offers an annual family membership for $50, which allows for unlimited trips to the Garst Museum in Greenville for history enthusiasts of all ages. Contact Membership Coordinator Carol Sujka at 937-548-5250 for more information, or email the museum at [email protected]
In Darke County, the parks are open and free to the public, with many historic places of significance which can be explored at leisure. The Friends of the Darke County Parks give families the opportunity to both support the mission and vision of the Darke County Parks, but also to meet new friends who gather regularly to assist and plan events year-round. Focal groups involved with the Friends of the Parks include the Darke County Photography Club, the Darke County Birders, the Canoe and Kayak Club, and the Old Thyme Gardners. Family memberships are only $15. For more information, just contact the Friends at [email protected]
A gift subscription to a magazine is another alternative to avoid the clutter. While there are as many magazines from which to choose which offer options for children and families, Darke County families might look to some interesting local Ohio options when choosing a subscription. Ohio Magazine, which has been publishing for 40 years, highlights the fun and adventure of living in the Buckeye State, and provides a great resource for planning family day trips and events. Family subscriptions start at just $16 per year, and can be found at www.ohiomagazine.com. High-quality children’s magazines, such as Ladybug (literary), Cobblestone (history), Ranger Rick (natural science) will generate year-round enthusiasm at the mailbox, with annual subscriptions of $22. Another interesting magazine which is sure to inspire family dialogue between grandparents, children and grandchildren is Reminisce Magazine, which offers a full-year gift for only $7.
Food gift cards to favorite local restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries are always welcomed, as are other essentials, like beauty salons (for haircuts), and online streaming services. Who among us wouldn’t like to receive a gift certificate to beloved Greenville cafés like Montage, A & B Coffee or the Coffee Pot this holiday season? Gift cards and gift certificates are always sure to make any recipients’s day a little brighter; however, be sure to check the expiration dates in order to make sure how long the opportunity may last.
As the holiday approaches, perhaps this is the time to take a moment and consider the many options we might have this year, not merely to shop for something to give, but to shop for something that keeps giving.