Buying Christmas gifts for single parents may seem like an overwhelming task, especially if you have never been one. As a single parent, I can tell you that the gifts listed below are great gifts for any single parent that you may know.
GPS (Global Positioning System):
These nifty little virtual maps can be mounted on your windshield and provide direction to any place that you may need to get. Not only do they give you a visual on a screen, but you can also have a voice that tells you where to go, turn by turn. Not only can you find your way, but you can find banks, ATM’s, restaurants or even local churches. For a single parent, a GPS system can mean getting to your son’s soccer game across town on time when you have no clue as to where you are going. It can also mean finding the fastest way home when you child had a little too much ice cream after the game and he isn’t feeling so well. GPS systems range anywhere from approximately $99.00 to approximately $399.00 depending on make, model, screen size and place of purchase. You can find GPS systems at most major retailers and online.
Many people believe that gift cards are the easy way out of buying Christmas gifts, however, for the single parent, this isn’t true. Single parents tend to be on a stricter budget than a family that is bringing in more than one income and they may need things more than they may want things. Gift cards to local grocery stores are always appreciated as food is a staple that must always be considered when children are involved. Gas cards are also appropriate to give the single parent as they are generally the only person that is taking their child to school, soccer, karate and to visit relatives. Gift cards can be purchased at a number of different places including but not limited to grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, retail establishments and clothing and shoe stores. Monetary denominations can range from just a few dollars to thousands of dollars. Single parents will be thankful for any gift card they receive as this allows them to focus on the things that are needed and won’t have to worry about how they will be acquired.
Memberships to Warehouse Stores:
A membership to a warehouse store such as Costco or Sam’s Club is a great gift for a single parent, especially for those single parents or have younger children. With a club membership, single parents can go and buy in bulk the things that they use the most. Not only are they able to stock up on the necessities, but they are also able to save a bit of money. If you have children that are still in diapers, you can buy them to last a few weeks as opposed to a few days. If you have a finicky eater that wants nothing more than spaghetti and apple juice, then it become simple to go into a warehouse store and stock up on those foods. If you have a child of any age, large containers of washing detergent and stain remover is always a blessing. This gift will be something that can be enjoyed year round and is sure to be used time and time again. Membership prices depend on store, promotions and type. Please see your local warehouse store for more information.
Faux Gift Certificates:
Although this gift may sound a bit juvenile, it is actually something that is very thoughtful and helpful. Faux gift certificates are those that you make that offer services such as babysitting, house cleaning or running errands. Time is very important to single parents as they never seem to have enough, and offering to help when needed is something that will not be soon forgotten. Whether running kids to school or a friend’s house, trying to make dinner or trying to keep the house clean, the tasks at hand can at times become overwhelming and many single parents are not willing to ask for help. However, if a gift has been given that offers time that otherwise would not be had, there is more of a chance that a single parent will take you up on the offer. These certificates can be used for a variety of services and should be created by a person who will truly take the time to help the single parent as they have said they would. Do not use this as a gift idea if you do not tend to follow through.
Although cash is a monetary gift that many single parents would appreciate, the gifts I am talking about are more along the lines of “donations” that would help to pay utilities, car payments or a mortgage. Because many single parents have learned to only depend on themselves, they are not apt to ask for money to help cover expenses, especially those expenses that are necessary. Many single parents juggle bills from one month to the next and are always paying bills at the last possible moment. If you are willing and able, inform the recipient that you are going to put money towards certain expenses that they may have. You can call the companies directly, if you feel the need, but you will more than likely need the account holder present for the funds to be credited to their account. Single parents will be grateful that an expense is now partially or fully covered and it will help to relieve some stress, which is always important to a single parent. This gift can range from small to large depending on the denomination of funds that you wish to contribute.
All of the gifts listed above will be greatly appreciated by a single parent and many of them can be used more that once and over the course of the whole year. It is often times more important to a single parent to receive practical gifts than to receive random gifts that they may or may not enjoy.