This is more for my own record-keeping than anything else, but sometimes it's fun to see what other people are getting their kids for Christmas. I hope this in no way comes off as bragging; that's not at all how it's intended. In fact, Ed and I made a conscious effort to downsize Christmas this year.
I've mentioned before the way our family approaches Santa. We've always told the kids he is not real, just a fun story. In this way we hope to separate his part in Christmas from the Savior's, who is in every way very real. But just because Santa is pretend doesn't mean he isn't fun, so we still do "Santa" gifts and read books about him. In fact, Ginger is finding her own way this year; she told me she decided he IS real. (Digression: the other night Ed and I watched a fabulous documentary called Becoming Santa - totally loved it - catch it if you can.)
So. This year we decided - and told the girls - "Santa" is bringing them each only three presents: 1) something to read, 2) something to wear, 3) something to play with. You've heard of people doing something like this. It appealed to me to keep the budget and present quantity in check, and, most importantly, equal. They will get gifts from each other and relatives, but here is what they're getting from us.
Poppy (20 months)
Read: Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard. We got this from the library a few years ago and it's one of my favorites for the 2 to 3 age range.
Wear: I don't have a picture. I got her a few cute things from the sale rack at Carter's. She's the one kid around here who doesn't really need new clothes.
Play: OK, the "one thing" in each category is a loose guideline. Poppy got two. The purse, she picked out herself at Claire's. Swung it over her shoulder and proclaimed, "MY backpack!" So I bought it. The doll may look like a "whatever" toy, but thought went into it - she wanted a baby doll she could take in the bath since all our others have cloth bodies. Plus it's more her size.
Ginger (4 1/2)Read: Tag Reading System - Ginger saw a commercial for this and said she really wanted it. I hesitated because I'd rather just have regular books and not more battery-operated STUFF around here. But Ed said let's give it a try so we'll see.
Play: this random multi voice changer thing. See, one night in early December I gave Ginger and Hazel a stack of well-chosen toy catalogs and told them to circle things they liked. Then we went over them together, and I created Amazon wishlists for them from the things they circled. Some made sense; others seemed random. But it was a great insight into things they were interested in that I never would have guessed. Of the things Ginger circled, this appealed to me by having no small parts, low injury risk, taking up little space, and hopefully requiring little adult supervision.
Hazel (6 1/2)Read: Hazel loves non-fiction, and we don't have a lot of it. At a friend's house, we once saw Explore and Learn books, which are full of age-appropriate facts, descriptions and stories about almost everything a 1st grader could be interested in! Unfortunately, they are also hard to find. Southwestern publisher still sells their books by door-to-door salespeople, usually college students in the summer. LAME! I found a few used sellers on ebay and the like, but I had to think about the $80+ price tag for the full set of six. By sheer luck, however, a member on Paperback Swap was trading a full set, and I had enough credits, so voila! A basically free full set of gorgeous color, thick-paged, great-condition, non-fiction books that I expect our family will get a ton of use out of for years. Much better than waiting around for a door-to-door salesman to find us!
Wear: Out of the three, Hazel needs clothes the most. Lots of growing, and no hand-me-downs. Right now she especially needs long-sleeved shirts, so we got her three shirts and a twirly skirt. All my girls just love to twirl. And I'm hoping it may inspire her to come around to tights. (She hates they way they "itch" - very sensitive skin - anyone know of exceptionally soft tights out there?)
Play: a magic set - this fall, Hazel took an afterschool magic class. I have to admit, I think it was a waste of money. She came home with a few lame tricks and even more lame jokes. And a lot of dumb stories about her teacher's life. But I thought a little set of simple tricks would be just the thing for her budding interest in magic.
this post.) And they are pretty into it. I'm afraid the dollhouse may be trumped. But it's OK. I can still play with it :)
Next post - stocking stuffers!