All About The Christmas Gifts

Do you find Christmas shopping stressful or fun?  For me, it is usually both.  It can be stressful because I am working with a budget, and no matter how hard I try I always seem to find a way to mess the budget up.  I forget a gift for someone, or as is the case this year, I lay out all the gifts I bought for the kids and realize that there was a hole in my planning, and I need to buy one more thing to even out everyone's presents.

And then don't even get me started on the stress of wrapping.  We're usually those parents that are finishing up at 11 PM on Christmas Eve.

But there is a part of Christmas shopping that is really fun to me too, and that is anticipating how excited the gift-ee will be when they open their present!  This is more and more fun as my kids get older.  When kids are little, I feel like they are just happy about everything on Christmas morning.  I don't really know what my two year old wants for Christmas, I just grab a couple things that look good, and she'll be excited no matter what is under the wrapping paper.  As my big kids are getting older though, their presents are more specific to their interests, and that makes me more excited to give them!

Anyway, I thought I'd share the present I am most looking forward to giving each kid, and Derek!  Just for fun.  I also got some good deals on a couple "gifts" for myself - does anyone else do that? - so I'll share those too.

Wyatt, 8.75 years old.

If you know Wyatt for more than two minutes, you'll know that his favorite subject is birds.  He likes to observe them, and he knows so much about them.  At this point I fully expect him to be a world-class birder/bird photographer someday.  I am quite excited to give him this book I found - the kid can never have too many books about birds, but this one comes with programmed bird calls for 75 species of birds!  Now he will be able to identify them not just by their appearance, but by their sounds too.

Gwendolyn, nearly 7 years old.

Gwen is getting to such a fun and girly age, and I think we have finally reached the age where she is old enough to play with Barbies.  I am thrilled about this.  My sister and I used to play Barbies for hours, and we had elaborate plots worked out, and distinct personalities for each of our Barbies.  Clarice probably isn't quite big enough to play Barbies like that with Gwen yet, but she will be soon, and in the meantime I'll show Gwen how it's done!  I found this astrophysicist Barbie and thought it was pretty cool - I know there is probably some sort of feminist message being attempted with the "career" Barbie line (and I am not a feminist), but I do think the career Barbies open up whole new possibilities for Barbie storylines, so I'm here for it.

Clyde, 5.5 years old.

Clyde's interests are starting to differentiate from the other kids, and I'd say they revolve mostly around transportation.  He is into cars, trains, airplanes, and to my delight, rocket ships.  We went to the science museum last week, and he spotted a toy space shuttle in the gift shop.  He actually cried because we couldn't get it - it wasn't "I'm throwing a fit" crying, but just a genuine, heartbroken crying because he didn't think he'd ever get the toy he wanted so badly.  It melted my heart a little bit.  I am loving his interest in space-related transportation right now, and I think he is going to be really excited to open this space shuttle lego set!

Clarice, 4 years old.

Clarice is still little enough that she will be enthusiastic about anything she opens.  However, in preparation for Christmas shopping, I had all the kids go through the toy catalogs we received in the mail and circle the things they wanted.  It was very enlightening.  There was a theme to the things Clarice circled - every time Ariel (of The Little Mermaid) came up in the catalog, Clarice circled it.  We haven't even watched the original Little Mermaid, but I did let the kids watch the prequel (go rent it from the library, I like it better than the actual Little Mermaid movie).  Apparently it made an impression, so an Ariel doll she will have!  I liked this one because it wasn't a Barbie-style Ariel doll (which I'm not sure would get much play time yet), and I also like that she's wearing the glittery blue dress instead of the mermaid bikini.  Modesty and all that.

Georgiana, 2 years old.

Georgie really doesn't care very much what her presents are yet, and I'm pretty sure she is going to love everything I got.  But I am personally rather excited about one of the items I bought for her stocking.  I found these rock crayons online, and they look like so much fun!  Georgie is just now getting into drawing, and these look like a fun tool for little hands.  I can't wait to let her try them out!

(Derek, if you are reading this post, stop right this minute!  Love you.)

Family Gift

Excuse the warning above, but this is a family gift and Derek doesn't know I got it!  This fall we have been studying space, and we've done a couple star-gazing trips as a family.  Derek has always been a space nerd, and I've been getting more into space subjects too after the 50th anniversary of the moon landing this summer.  The kids have caught some of the enthusiasm too, so I decided to take $20 from each person's Christmas budget, and I put it toward a telescope!  I'm not going to include a picture here, just in case Derek does scroll through this post briefly, but this is the one I got.  I'm sure it's not the best telescope in the world because it didn't cost thousands of dollars, but you are supposed to be able to see galaxies with it.  I can't wait to use it the next time we go stargazing!

For Derek

I got Derek a few things he has been mentioning, but I am actually really excited to give him a "together" gift this year.  Every year I try to buy our family one new game for Christmas, and Derek and I usually end up playing it in the afternoon on Christmas Day.  We drink wassail, eat snacks, and play our game while we listen to Christmas music, and it's lovely.  We especially like strategy board games, and I ran across this one when I was shopping this year.  It looks like alot of fun!  I think Derek will be surprised that there is such a thing as a Jurassic Park board game.

For Me

I did find some good prices on a couple things for me while I was Christmas shopping this year.  I know, I know.  But yes, I "Christmas shopped" for myself.  Anyway, if you've been reading for a while, you know that I am an advocate for wearing nice, non-frumpy pajamas.  For the last few months I have been breaking my own rule and making do with ratty pajamas, so I was overdue for a new set.  On Cyber Monday, I grabbed these from Target:

They are soft, cozy, and cute, and also cool and breathable so I don't get too hot, which is important for me.  Much better than the items I was wearing, trust me.

This summer I also discovered ColourPop eyeshadow palettes, and I have to say, I really like them.  The colors are pretty, and they apply well for being so inexpensive!  They re-stocked this palette that looked like a great neutral eyeshadow palette, so I wanted to grab it before it sells out:

I'm excited to play with it a little more!

So those are a few of the presents that will be waiting under our tree this year.  Minus the "presents" for me, which I'll be wearing.

What present are you most excited to give this year?
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Amanda said...

Those look like awesome gifts! We got each of our girls a weighted, realistic baby doll.They play together all the time and brought one such doll home from my parents' house, so now they'll each have one. I'm all for them playing with toys as long as possible and not growing up too soon!

Rachel said...

How fun! I think you really made a lot of great choices, and that Jurassic Park game looks like one I'd want to play! I do really enjoy Christmas shopping and gifting, and usually help my mom a lot with her shopping because she hates the actual activity of shopping although she really likes giving gifts. haha! Our big gift to Cyrus this year is a glider bike--supposedly better for pre-bike-riding skills than a trike, although I hadn't heard of them before this year. I think it's going to be a really big hit. I haven't really gotten Angel anything yet...just practical stocking stuffers like socks and hand soap and salsa--haha! At least that's a start! I'm only now really feeling up to the length of walking that shopping involves (after baby!)...probably one more trip to get Angel covered and I'll be good.

Elizabeth said...

Just read this post finally. I had so many gift ideas, but ended up having a hard time finding most of them locally. We have one online shop like Amazon, but everything in my cart sold out before I could complete the order. I guess I have good taste! ;) At least if they're in a catalog you know you can probably get them. I did want to mention that although my 3 yr old girl likes baby dolls, she also doesn't mind playing with Barbies. We have an Elsa one and something else. Of course all kids are different, but she is my child who will sit and have the toys talk to each other, where my son won't do that without a playmate. So your 4 year old might be old enough for Barbies, but if she doesn't show an interest, then maybe not. The clothes are probably easier to change on the bigger dolls, but my daughter will take the little dolls and make families and come up with scenarios. As I'm writing this, I realize Barbie isn't my favorite...for that type of play, I might prefer smaller dolls that fit in a doll house.

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