I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

A Toilet Plunger??...$1 Store Gift-Giving

$1 store gift-giving tradition-The Unlikely Homeschool

"A toilet plunger for Nana for Christmas??...SURE...she'll love it!"  I say to my wide-eyed tot as he eagerly plops a residential-grade plunger into the cart.

A toilet plunger...a box of wiggly eyes...a diploma display frame...a bouncy ball that flashes light as it bounces...

All have been considered potential purchases for our annual BUY A GIFT FOR GRANDMA AND GRANDPA night.  

It has always been one of our favorite Advent countdown activities.  It began from our desire to provide an opportunity for our children to give NOT JUST RECEIVE gifts, but has evolved into inexpensive Christmas entertainment for all the adults involved.

A few days before Christmas, we pack the Littles in the van and make a trip to the nearest $1 store.  Each of the kids choose one member of our extended family to purchase a gift for, we let them loose in the store (figuratively speaking, of course), and watch as they search for the PERFECT gift for their chosen loved-one.  

My husband and I offer NO input.  But instead, just push the cart up and down the aisles listening as our kids rationalize why Nana might need or want a headband with a gigantic toucan hanging from it.  

$1 Store GIft Giving Tradition-The Unlikely Homeschool

As the years have passed, my older two children have become more aware of what items WOULD or WOULD NOT make for a good Christmas gift for someone, and so their choices are less humorous and more practical.  

To complete our gift-giving fun, we roll out a stretch of newsprint and create one-of-a-kind wrapping paper masterpieces to wrap up all our dollar store treasures.

Come Christmas Eve when our extended family is gathered 'round for an evening of togetherness, the kids excitedly pass out their  purchases.  

Over the years, we have learned that nothing brings a smile to Nana's face...or everyone else's, for that matter...quite like a toilet plunger...

or a pack of Pop Rocks...

or a gigantic pair of clown sunglasses...

or a...


  1. We do something very similar. Grandma is getting an air freshener this year!

    1. That was a runner-up this year. But my daughter made a last-minute change just before heading to the register.