December 11, 2015

What We Are Giving The Girls for Christmas This Year

You know how there are ten million gift guides out there?

I look at those and think, "what did you ACTUALLY spend your own money on? (And did you really buy chocolate-covered bacon?)"

(I would totally eat chocolate-covered bacon).

Also, I'm just feeling insanely proud of myself for actually ordering gifts for the girls well before Christmas so I don't have to be a crazy person watching the tracking numbers and hoping things arrive before Christmas Day.

I should try this being-a-responsible-adult thing more often.

We decided to do five gifts for each of them and we tried to do a mix of toys and activities, and also a combination of things they'd specifically asked for and things that would be a total surprise to them. Also, Bart said, "Christmas presents shouldn't be boring things like clothes." So no clothing on this list.


A dozen fun (and affordable!) gift ideas for little girls

For Ani (who just turned three), we bought:
  1. Sunglasses. That girl LOVES her sunglasses and wears them all the time, but a few weeks ago, she stepped on them in the car by accident and she's been so sad without them whenever we're in the car and the sun is shining in her eyes. Bart tried to get her some from Target for her birthday, but they don't carry them in stores (at least ours) in non-summer months. 
  2. A Pogo Stick. We have an enormous basement and I like toys that are active that they can use inside when it's too hot to play outdoors (or, if you live in a climate with the opposite temperature issues from ours, something they can use in the winter). These have 800+ amazing reviews, have a weight limit up to 250 lbs so adults can use them too, and cost $13. No-brainer. 
  3. A doctor kit. We bought Ella a Doc McStuffins doctor kit last year for Christmas and it has been a super popular toy in our house. A few weeks ago, Ani saw the Fisher Price doctor kit at the store and mentioned how much she'd love to have her own. Wish granted, little gal. 
  4. Richard Scarry's Busytown: Eye Found It. This game had killer reviews, a six foot long game board, and promotes teamwork among siblings and friends, plus works for a variety of ages. Sold. 
  5. A hula hoop. Ella was introduced to these at school in P.E. and has been asking for one for months. We got one for each girl. (The ones on Amazon all have lousy reviews, so we just picked them up at Target).
For Ella (who is five and a half), we got:
  1. Washi Tape Crafts: 110 Ways to Decorate Just About Anything. Ella LOVES crafts and projects. We have a copy of Project Kid and she has spent so many hours poring over the projects, marking ones she wants to make, and collecting items from around the house to make them. I got a review copy of this book, and as soon as it showed up with its ten rolls of washi tape, I knew she would be in heaven. 
  2. High heel shoes. This has been something Ella has requested about fifty times - I don't know what's made her want high heels, but for $15, I'm happy to make all her dreams come true. 
  3. A Pogo Stick. I think having each of them have their own will mean plenty of co-bouncing, races across the basement, and chances for friends to play with them too.  
  4. A hula hoop. As mentioned before. 
  5. Sleeping Queens game. My friend Ralphie, who has four girls and is the best mom I know, texted me recently to tell me about this game and said it's perfect for all ages to play together. Say no more (except that it's only $10 and has 700 5-star reviews).
For Star (who will be ten months), she will get a stuffed animal and a board book. If she'd like to sleep through the night, she might even get a little box of Cheerios. Lucky girl.

As far as stockings go:
  1. Reusable Sticker Pads. I ordered this set of reusable stickers pads and I'll give them each one and save the other two for future road trips or birthday gifts for friends. 
  2. Nail stickers. These animal nail sticker sets I included on my $5 gift guides just called to me and since my girls ALWAYS want to paint their nails, I thought they'd be fun. 
  3. Candy. I'll probably get them each a bag of M&Ms and make all their tiny dreams come true. 
  4. Chapstick. These little makeup lovers will be super thrilled about finding their own chapsticks - my favorites are these flavored Burt's Bees ones
Any great ideas you want to pass along? After being on top of it this year, I'm already making a list for next year's birthdays and Christmas. (And here's a list of some of our favorite toys at our house, plus one of my very favorite photos of Ella). 

23 comments:

  1. Those shoes for Ella are exactly I would have wanted at five years old. Good call.

    I haven't purchased a single thing for Christmas yet. My sons get inundated with gifts from immediate and extended family, so I usually just do little stuff in their stockings (mostly small cars and office supplies, because tape is a crowd favorite around here) that I pick up literally the week before Christmas at the grocery store or Kohl's.

    I am not The Great American Consumer. Gift guides go right over my head.

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  2. So that Sleeping Queens game is only $100, huh? I thought you were an economical person! ;)

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  3. I finished this year, too, and it feels amazing. Each of the kids is getting tickets to a frog & toad show, a prestel artist coloring book (we've been into learning about artists this year and they're beautiful), and map place mats(very into geography here). Nat asked for a baseball glove (which I got even before he asked) and Kina's getting one of those ikea pop up circus tents. The only thing kina has asked for is one of those little pinwheels, so we're living large and got each of the kids one for $0.50. Toone's getting some babylit books and a xylophone. They're all getting some little stocking stuffers like a cheap magnifying glass, chap stick, and pencils. As a group, they're getting some of those sasek books (DC, SF, world), and we're wrapping up and old digital camera and binoculars we found in the depths of our drawers for them to use on our road trip. Oh, and jelly beans to make their lives. :) and undies and holiday clothes (both costing enough to feel like they should be a gift but not all that exciting?). My mom asked for suggestions, so board games coming from them. It is SO fun being the parent!

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  4. I went to check out the sleeping queens game, wondering what game on earth could be so amazing to be worth $100, and then realized it's a typo :-P

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  5. What a great gift guide! You've really thought about how to bring joy to your children without spending a ton of money or bringing a bunch of ridiculous junk into your home. I am impressed! :)

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  6. I stock up on art stuff (markers, crayons, and cheap spiral notebooks to color in on the go) during back to school sales and that is what goes in our stockings. We do simple presents too. Last year the boy (now 3.5) got Richard Scarry's Busy Busy Airport game and we've played it at least 3 times a week; I hope the one you got Ani is as much of a success!

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  7. My son is getting owl pellets in his stocking (which I know seems weird but will be a HUGE hit). I hate putting little party favor type things in their stockings because they are entertaining for about 5 minutes. Instead, they each get a $10 gift card to their favorite store or restaurant (Barnes & Noble and Panera this year), the eos lip balm they go nuts over every time we're in Target, fun pencils and some candy. The queen card game looks really fun!

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  8. The reusable nail stickers are spot on! Now I need some for my daughter. Great list!

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  9. I totally got Aaron a chocolate bar with bacon in it. It was like $6 at Whole Foods #bigspender

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  10. That Busytown game is really fun. You won't regret getting it. It is huge, however. I hope you have a big table or don't mind playing on the floor!

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  11. We never got clothes as kids and I'm so thankful for it. My mom always laughs because now it's all my sister and I ever want.

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  12. Wow...I am so impressed with your organization. I always get too much for my kids and they are overwhelmed with it all! This looks like a great, well-thought-out list!

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  13. thank you for your lists! you just helped me figure out gifts for my daughters & nieces :) seriously... just ordered half the things you listed :) yay!

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  14. Lots of art supplies, and actually quite a few toys. My daughter is two and has outgrown nearly everything she has currently. So a doll, a doctor set (from my pre-med sister!), a wooden school bus with people, a set of nice plastic animals, and a tool box. I'm sure we'll end up putting half the stuff away for later in the year. :) I also got a set of awesome temporary tattoos from Tattly during their thanksgiving sale. I think they're going to be a huge hit.

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  15. Great gift ideas. Those animal nails are adorable!!

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  16. My daughter received the Eye Found It game (Disney edition) for her 4th birthday this Summer and she LOVES it. And best of all, I love it, too (which makes it more enjoyable for me to actually sit there for 2 hours playing it with her).

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  17. Are all their presents from santa? I'm curious what others do, I can't decide. I think growing up I thought all of it was from Santa. I know some people do one from santa, the rest from mom and dad, etc. I don't know why I over think this...

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  18. Ok, are those sticker pads actually reuseable? Give me the skinny after you play with them for a bit. :)

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    1. I have some of sticker pads and they were actually reusable for us. They're fun.

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    2. I have some of sticker pads and they were actually reusable for us. They're fun.

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  19. I know I'm late to comment, but that Sleeping Queens card game is the best! We were gifted it for my then 5 year old for Christmas 2014. We played it several times a day before kindergarten for a couple months and still break it out once a week. I love that it teaches math without being obviously educational. Also, I read your blog and follow your instagram account for about the last year. Love every bit of your blog and writing. Something I would be super interested as a young mom with kids almost the same ages as yours (6,4,1) is an example schedule of your day and how and when you fit in reading times for both you and them. If you already have done that in the past could you just tell me where to find it? ALso, my BEST discovery in 2015, thanks to your blog, was overdrive. Thanks!

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  20. I know I'm late to comment, but that Sleeping Queens card game is the best! We were gifted it for my then 5 year old for Christmas 2014. We played it several times a day before kindergarten for a couple months and still break it out once a week. I love that it teaches math without being obviously educational. Also, I read your blog and follow your instagram account for about the last year. Love every bit of your blog and writing. Something I would be super interested as a young mom with kids almost the same ages as yours (6,4,1) is an example schedule of your day and how and when you fit in reading times for both you and them. If you already have done that in the past could you just tell me where to find it? ALso, my BEST discovery in 2015, thanks to your blog, was overdrive. Thanks!

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  21. I always make comments on your posts months--ahem, years--after you post them, but I wanted to let you know what a great list this was! Somehow we were left on December 21st with the information that my husband's sister no longer wanted his traditional Disney Movie Christmas Present to her 3 little girls. He panicked and asked me to find the perfect gift for his nieces. I, however, did not panic (this time) and instead checked this post out. One order of Sleeping Queens later, my husband is the rock star Uncle who knows just what little girls love. Bless your golden blog.

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