Thursday, December 16, 2010


Hi, is this month getting away from anyone else? Why does it go so fast? I was so ahead, and then one week later I was so behind! Maybe it has something to do with trying to prepare for a massive major holiday while also plowing through normal life. Maybe it has to do with being THE MOM, which means there is always so, so, so much to do. Maybe it has to do with variable health conditions around here, including a round of strep throat and my own occasional blinding pain due to nursing issues. It might also have to do with unpredictable night sleep, completing 3 years worth of continuing education units in just a few weeks so I can maintain my SLP certification, shopping/wrapping/shipping for 18 people, and shuttling kids to playdates, dance class, schools and lots of doctor appointments. I don't know, it's baffling.

But. Time to talk about gifts! I always love to hear what new coolness people have come up with for their loved ones. Unfortunately many of mine (except the kids) read this blog so I'll have to be general.

First of all, Ed and I have decided to be "practical" and get ourselves a new front door for Christmas. It's true, we need one badly and not having an Arctic draft blowing through our entire downstairs would be the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. It took me some time to mourn the element of surprise this decision lacks, but I am a grown-up now and that brings ups and downs alike.

But the kids are getting fun stuff! I tried a new tactic this year; I think it kind of worked. Usually I start buying early, and end up with entirely too much stuff for the kids. This year I wouldn't let myself start buying until December; by that point, I had been working on lists for months so I was able to pare down and pick only a few choice things.

  • Slippers, nice ones (Ginger - sheep, Hazel - polar bears)
  • DVD's (Ginger - Muppets Christmas Carol, Hazel - Toy Story 3)
  • Super froofy pettiskirts from Costco (Ginger - blue, Hazel, purple)
  • Books, PJ's, and matching Wiggles T-shirts (Ginger's request)
  • And their BIG gift this year is this inflatable 2-person bouncer. We're going to inflate it Christmas eve and have it waiting for them in the living room Christmas morning. The homeowner in me hates how big it is, especially since there's no good place to put it, but the Mom in me is thrilled to have something for them to JUMP on - maybe we won't break a couch this year!
  • fruity Tootsie roll banks
  • mini clicky instruments from the Michael's dollar bin
  • CD's (Ginger - Backyardigans, Hazel - Justin Roberts)
  • Firefly toothbrushes
  • Bubble bath (Ginger - gingerbread, Hazel - peppermint)
  • measuring tapes (the real ones, heavy metal, from Home Depot - they love to play with the one from our toolbox)
  • Band-Aids (Ginger - Cars, Hazel - Dora)
  • There are eight kids in Ginger's preschool class. Luckily one of the other moms got us organized and collected for a group gift - $10 per family for a Tysons Corner (mall) gift card. Who wouldn't love $80 to spend at the best mall around?
  • Not quite so organized for the kindergarten class. Hazel has two teachers so I perused some of the comments in my past gift posts, and went with simple but hopefully useful: movie passes, two each. They'll like those, right?
I wasn't going to get Poppy anything this year. There's just nothing she needs but to play with the wrapping paper and bows. But in the end I broke down and got her exactly three things:
  • Put and Peek Birdhouse by Manhattan Toy (she's ready for that fun fill-and-spill stage)
  • Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes (her favorite lights and sound phone, which is discontinued, is on the fritz)
  • Pink Monster Hooded Bath Wrap (it's time to admit she is too big for those baby towels)
  • Nothing for her stocking. In fact, she doesn't even have a stocking. We hung up my old childhood one for her. I'll make her one next year. Or the next year. Actually, we just discovered today that she likes grapefruit. Maybe we'll put one in her stocking.
Unfortunately I can't go into what I got the aunts, uncles, cousins and Ed, but I think I did well this year. We pick families on each side, so we had my sister Tona and Ed's brother Preston. I conferred with Tona - she has kids age 10-18, and this year it's all about gift cards. I remember being a teenager and that truly is the most appreciated gift, and also the easiest to get, so that family is done. (Do you think I can pull it together and package them this way? We'll see how the week goes.) And Preston has four kids, the three youngest of which are about our kids' age so that was easy to come up with. And for his 10-year-old, I consulted Tona's 10 and 13 year olds for recommendations and they had good ones. Done!

Finally, I was browsing around on Design Mom tonight and thanks to her super suggestion, I ordered this for my grandma in her 90's - just in the nick of time for Christmas delivery! Grandma lives in Oregon and I have only gotten to see her a handful of times in my life, though we have written. How pathetically sad that I have never sent her a Christmas gift. That is going to change starting now.

So now let's hear it from you - what are you getting your kids, your spouses, your relatives, your parents? Any *big* gifts this year? I could especially use ideas for your husband's stocking. I might be short a few things.


Aimee said...

I think movie passes are a GREAT gift for a teacher! That is so thoughtful of you to make sure they get nice gifts.

Lindsay said...

We do the "something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read" routine, and it works out pretty well while keeping things simple and in budget. This year I started mapping things out in the fall, and by the time Thanksgiving was over, everything was pretty much purchased -- which has made for a much calmer December (something I really wanted for Christmas this year).

Have fun with your new door! I love practical gifts. :)

Emily said...

Did I already tell you last year about our stocking stuffers? I've carried on the tradition of my parents giving each other fun food stuff, usually from places like Trader Joe's. This year, Adam is getting Lindt Truffles, some French cheeses, Triple Ginger Snaps and Raspberry Jam (since he has PB&Js almost every day and strawberry gets old.) Besides food, my mom always gets my dad a can of shaving cream. ???

Heather M. said...

Just read this instead of addressing xmas cards or cleaning up the kitchen. Will do that last thing then skip the rest and go to bed. Meanwhile, the husband's stocking, always difficult. This year he's getting basics like socks, lip balm, a bag of Fox's mints, a see's chocolate bar, and a book. Other years I've put in various tools, silly games, pens, favorite sports team trinkets, etc. That's it from me! I'm off to end another crazy busy day, only to start another in a few hours! :)

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