Christmas for a 1 Yr Old-toys?

Updated on December 17, 2014
G.D. asks from Detroit, MI
18 answers

My nephew turned 1 this month. He lives in another state so I sent toys to his home. The family is planning on flying here for Christmas. It will be the first time I meet him!! I've sent gifts throughout the year for different occasions, but couldn't afford to fly there for his christening.
I would like to get him a savings bond or something along those lines for Xmas. It will be easier for them to take home, and with his bday just passing I doubt he needs more toys (I'll still have a small gift for him to unwrap). I've been getting negative feedback about savings bonds-too hard to cash, have to pay taxes, no good if something happens to child, etc.
I don't know if mom has a bank account for him, and she doesn't elaborate well on any questions I ask her. What would you mommas recommend for a gift at this age?

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So What Happened?

Thank you soooo much for the responses so far. I was surprised by the amount if naysayers. My son recieved savings bonds from my aunt (who worked in the banking industry) when he was one or less and it was much appreciated! I just know between her family and ours this boy has enough toys!! I have two other nephews who are autistic and I put money in their bank accounts-because it's there for any medical or eqiptment needs. But for tge little one I would prefer something that will have more value someday. Thank you also for tge coin idea. I'll weigh all my options at the bank. He will still get books (my passion) but I've already sent toys and clothes (and books-but you can never have too many, right?).

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answers from Los Angeles on

One year? How fun.
I would give these kind of gifts at this age (you can give more than one
if you can ....financially)
-savings bond
-$20 in his savings acct if you can
-toy that attaches to their car seat
-soft blocks
-nightlights & blankets

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I like the idea of savings bonds the problem is that they are all electronic now and you have to get SSN's, etc. It is actually kind if a bummer. I wanted to get my friends son one for his 1st birthday but getting that type of information (and giving that info) is a little scary (identity theft, etc.)

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

Bonds are not hard to cash - just check the series & maturity date. My son got several at birth, and others for his bar mitzvah. Some matured at 7 years (so from age 13 to 20, they achieved their full value), others take more like 20 years. But this child is only a year old so the funds will be available before or during college.

The nice things about them are that they can't be spent on a whim now, and they are worth usually twice the face value. The child doesn't need a bank account - bonds aren't cashed now, so they go into the safety deposit box, where they sit. As hard pressed as parents may be now for funds, they will be more hard pressed when college costs loom. Usually when kids cash them in, they are students and their income is so low that they aren't paying taxes anyway. We never had any problem at all. They are worth very little is someone wants to cash them in early, but that's the whole point of a bond - it can't be used now to buy diapers or toys. If they hold them past the maturity date, the bonds continue to accrue interest. I have cashed in many - my own and those for my son (done with him). It takes 5 minutes while the bank teller does the calculations, so I have no idea why people say it's hard.

You do need a social security number - if you don't have the child's, you can use a parent's, but at some point, they need to provide the info. So that means you have to get them to agree and participate.

Otherwise, just give a check, which is worth exactly what you pay for it, vs. a bond which is worth twice your purchase price. I do think a lot of people are familiar with bonds, and many don't understand long term savings anyway. So if you feel the value of your gift is not appreciated, skip it.

I think it's absurd to say that something is "no good" if something happens to the child. The same could be said of a puzzle you give them, or a toy train. But it's nonsense to think that cash or a bond lose their value. They become part of the child's estate, which reverts to the parents in the absence of a will. If none of us gave gifts because something might happen to the recipient, the gift and greeting card industry would have collapsed long ago.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Go with the savings bond. Not sure who is telling you they are hard to cash, taxes etc. they are not meant to be cashed right away. they are meant to be put away for the childs future. My children have all received savings bonds. And we have given many many of them as gifts. You pay half of the face value up front and then they mature over the years. if you try to cash them early you do take a hit but if you wait til they mature then they double in value. as far as if something happens to the child you can put the childs name and then in case of death and the parents name. its too easy for parents to go and cash out their childrens savings. this helps with that. my children were each given savings bonds for birthdays, baptisms, christmas, graduations etc. when they turned 16 they were each able to buy a car. and then also used savings bonds to help fund college.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I don't have a problem with the savings bonds idea. Our daughter turns 20 on 12/27 and when she turns 21, some of her savings bonds will be mature . Some not but we are giving them to her to invest as she chooses. By complete maturity, she's looking at roughly $10,000 she has no clue that she has.

If you don't want savings bonds try coins. We collect numismatics and a proof set of a child's birth year is very nice. We often give Morgan Silver dollars to relatives and close friends. The Morgans we gave out a few years ago at $12. 50 each what we paid are worth over $25 each now, especially if they were kept in the protective covers and discs.

Just a thought. Enjoy your visit!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Asheville on

I don't understand why not to do a savings bond. My grandparents got them for me when I was a baby and I cashed them in when I went to college- when I needed the money most!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

What about a 529 savings account for college, if he doesn't already have one? If you can, ask his folks first. If he doesn't have one, start one. If he does, give a check to be deposited. They used to be a little trickier to open; I think a $1000 initial deposit was required (at least in Massachusetts). I think, though, that they've gotten a great deal easier and less restrictive on deposits.

It takes a little work and effort, but this kid will have the exact same problem for all his life! Might as well address is well early on!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Savings bonds are great! Don't listen to the naysayers. I have a bunch that people gave my kids when they were babies and they're in a box will our important papers, ready to be cashed out when they mature. They make a great gift.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

Rather than a savings bond look into CDs. My grandma set up CDs for all of us. We could either cash them out when they matured or just renew them. I kept renewing them and had enough to pay for my first year of college. My parents have done the same for our kids. You can choose the time frame for how long before they mature. The longer the time period the greater the interest. My parents set them up through their bank, but we get a statement at the end of every year and when they are due to mature. Our names as well as my parents' names are on the accounts. They are is maintenance and I don't have to try and keep track of anything.



answers from New York on

Can't get bonds at the bank anymore. Mail only. Books are big in my opinion.



answers from Los Angeles on

I agree about the 529 account! I set them up for my kids fairly easily online. You would need your nephew's SSN though, and perhaps the parents already set up a college savings account.

But if you are the kind of auntie who gives as many presents as it sounds like you do.... that would be the way to go because you could be adding to it throughout the years for various occasions.



answers from Chicago on

I wish my kids had an aunt like you!! Go with some sort of savings bonds, cd, coins, whatever investment you choose. Toys are disposable, money is the best gift.



answers from Los Angeles on

silver coins are what my aunt and uncle bought all my kids. Its something physical and has the potential to grow. And nice and small to travel with.



answers from Boston on

I say no to the bond too. A check and clothes are welcomed! Maybe small books.


answers from Washington DC on

you are an awesome aunt!
get him a savings bond. they're perfectly fine.
:) khairete



answers from Beaumont on

I would start some sort of college savings for him. You could contribute on birthdays, Christmas or whenever you felt like it. My parents did this for my kids and it added up fast. Will be a big help when they start college. You're right. He doesn't need more toys... :)


answers from Norfolk on

For our son's first birthday, I got him this:

(Ooops! They don't sell this anymore. Still, there must be something like it available somewhere.)

He L-O-V-E-D his pal Stripe!
We have such cute pictures of them together!
He used him till he was WAY too big to use him anymore.
Even so, Stripe is alive and well in the play room and will be around to give him to our grand children someday.
We'd never DREAM of getting rid of him.

I know it's a toy and not what you were thinking of - but it's something our son really loved.



answers from Washington DC on

Boyton Books! They make a ton of great Sandra Boyton books in hardcover for children who like to mangle books. Not too hard to mail, or store or carry around, and a delight for many ages.

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