When you order online, this week is the week to do it in order to get gifts in time for Christmas. Even places that advertise 2-day shipping can get backed up for the holidays, and we don’t want to be doing a mad wrapping session Christmas Eve. So, shopping now it is.
These are the gifts that my children are getting. My children (6 and 8) are at the pivotal age of childhood where what they get now is really setting them up for habits for the rest of childhood. If they are opening toy after toy this year, there would be some let down next year if they got less toys and I don’t want to feel like each year we have to outdo the last. With babies and toddlers, even early preschoolers, it’s unlikely that they remember the details of what they got the year before, so showering them in gifts isn’t going to set up expectations as much as it does in childhood.
I love that my children are thrilled (thrilled!) with simple things now. A new pair of shoes (that they needed because they outgrew or wore out their last pair), a new coat for the cold winter, a new hat knit by Grandma, a matchbox car are all thrilling and exciting and talked about for over a week.
I’m concerned that receiving an abundance could squelch their enjoyment of everyday things. I’m not willing to lose that.
For some of you this will seem like a lot. For some this will seem like hardly anything. It’s so individual, for me it’s less about how much (we all have so much!) and how to balance what the kids need, what they want, and what all us adults will enjoy seeing them play with on Christmas morning.
Because we’re setting patterns with the children, I wanted to keep the ‘fun’ things to just a couple, and then have the rest be practical. I suggested things for the grandparents to give the kids that I know they’ll enjoy without Christmas morning looking like a Toys R Us catalog.
- Gloves (we’re always out of these!)
- Socks (we’re always low on these too- most of their stocking is going to be filled with socks)
- A flashlight (always a favorite)
- A matchbox car (a classic)
- Army men (they love playing this at the neighbor’s house)
- Coloring books (they have a ton of crayons/pens or I’d add a pack of these)
Under the tree (this is from everyone – their gifts to eachother, grandparents, etc):
- Cotton bath robes (and a hooded towel for the baby)
- PJs Christmas Eve
- An 18-inch doll
- Outfits/accessories to go with the doll – but not bulky doll furniture that takes up tons of room
- A dart set
- A bank
- A tiara
- A toy helicopter
- A tee, baseball, and bat
- A simple toddler car
- A pull-along alligator
- A push toy mower
I let the olders choose a toy for their baby brother and for each other, I love seeing them spend the time to choose something their sibling would enjoy. I also noticed that this increases the amount of gifts by quite a bit, I’m going to consider sticking to homemade next year.
More ideas for kids:
Some other things my kids are really into right now:
- A waterproof watch, analog
- The anatomy guy! This is a little tricky to put back together, but this mama is a science nerd and we love playing
- Memory Game
- A 3-drawer chest with art and craft supplies
- Fuzzy posters
- Nice colored pencils
- More grown up coloring books (these are perfect for teens too – it’s a nice activity gift for Christmas day)
- Beeswax crayons
- A tackle box with a basic tackle setup
- A bubble ship
And for others
We’re gong out of town for Christmas, so bringing gifts that were made in our home state is fun and different. When you buy local it gives much appreciated business to the community as well as a nice quality product for the recipient. I like to choose gifts that are used often.
- Local made clothing, here we have alpaca here – socks, hats, scarves
- Local made pottery – beautiful serving dishes, coffee mug sets, stoneware casserole dishes
- Local food- jams from a berry that’s famous to your state, maple syrup, artisan cheese, etc
- Local alcohol – You’ll know whether this is an appropriate gift for your family or not. If it is, a bottle of wine from a local vineyard, 6-pack of microbrew, or whiskey from the local distillery.
- Local coffee – For people here, I give gift cards to our local coffee shop rather than the national chain. For people we’re visiting, ground coffee from our town is fun if they drink that.
- Epic Bar puts together ‘Paleo Survival kits” which are sustainable and contribute to improving the environment. I got some stockings for people that I know will appreciate paleo goodness, they are huge and packed full of fun things. I’m letting my kids open treats from one stocking (they’ll share one) for the car ride to visit family too.
- With kids growing up so fast, family loves personalized calendars, framed pictures, and little photo books. I’ve used shutterfly in the past, but lately I’ve just been using the photo service at Costco.com and picking up my items with my regular shopping.