Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Getting Christmas Presents

As I mentioned in my last blog post, buying gifts for Alex is sometimes a challenge. While I’m fortunate that we have Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, Kohl’s, Penney’s, and Barnes and Noble in our town that offer a variety of items for shopping, I also do a lot of online shopping for him. When I can’t find items locally at the aforementioned stores, I often check their websites to see what I can get online. Both Kohl’s and Penney’s websites [www.kohls.com and www.jcp.com] offer a nice feature where the shopper can browse for gifts by the intended recipient and/or cost of gift. Besides these stores, I also shop a great deal online at Amazon [www.amazon.com], which is Alex’s favorite online store because of the wide variety of books, toys, games, and electronic gadgets they carry. In fact, I often suggest that Alex’s aunts and uncles get him Amazon gift cards because he has so much fun shopping for items online.

Since Alex has often had interests that were not typical of kids his age, I also have found specialty catalogs especially helpful in finding Christmas gifts for him. I have no connection with the following companies other than being a pleased customer, and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for unique gifts for hard-to-buy-for children and teens.


Bits and Pieces offers a variety of puzzles, games, and interesting gadgets primarily for teens and adults. In addition, their website also provides the helpful feature of suggesting gifts for specified recipients and/or amounts to be spent. Their website is www.bitsandpieces.com.



Young Explorers carries a wide variety of interesting toys and games for children of all ages. They specialize in educational toys and games, many of which have won awards. Their website at www.youngexplorers.com organizes its content by age of recipient and by categories of items. Alex’s favorite gifts from this company often came from the Brainy Toys or Science/Nature/Math sections of the catalog.


Toys to Grow On, whose website is located at www.ttgo.com, also offers a nice variety of educational toys and games for all ages of children. Alex especially liked the items from the “Love to Learn” and “Science Discoveries” of this catalog.


Mindware, which bills itself as carrying “brainy toys for kids of all ages,” provides a terrific variety of educational and award-winning toys, games, gadgets, and books. Over the years, I have found various items for Alex in the “Science,” “Brainteasers and Puzzles,” “Games,” and “Great Gifts” sections of the catalog. Their catalog is not only informative, but it is also appealing with its layout and photography. Their website is located at www.mindware.com.


A catalog I received for the first time this year, Museum Tour, also offers a nice assortment of award-winning educational toys, games and books that are carried in museum stores throughout the United States. Their website is www.museumtour.com. For Alex, I was especially interested in the science-oriented gifts, particularly those dealing with biology, meteorology, and astronomy.

Even though trying to find gifts for Alex sometimes requires some creativity and searching on my part, I’m glad to have found some terrific stores whose catalogs and websites allow me to find Christmas gifts that are right up his alley. Not only has he enjoyed playing with the specialty gifts, but he has also learned from them, which is an added bonus.

“You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

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