Sunday, December 20, 2009

All Wrapped and Under the Tree

This Christmas William and Lucy are getting one big gift from "Santa" and a bunch of smaller gifts from mommy and daddy. We wrap up all their gifts from us and open them on Christmas Eve night. Gifts from Santa are presented unwrapped in the living room on Christmas morning.

Here's a list of what we got our kids for Christmas this year. I always enjoy seeing what other parents come up with for creative ideas instead of always giving a heap of plastic. (We did that too, but we try to limit.) It's getting a little late for this year's Christmas but please share your grand ideas in the comments section. I'd love to hear them!


1. Tie

What little boy doesn't want to be just like his daddy? Plus it's a practical gift too because I want him to wear a tie to Christmas Mass. This was surprisingly hard to find. I found the zip-neck kind at Nordstrom's for $18.

2. Tape Measure

This is William's favorite tool in our toolbox. Except the real one always snaps back on his little fingers. I bought this pretend one on Amazon for $7.95. I combined it with some other gifts to get the free shipping on orders over $25.

3. Toothbrush

I'm one of those mean moms that combines presents with things my kids actually need. William needed a new toothbrush so I bought him one with Cars on it and he'll be just as psyched about it as the latest and greatest toy. Done.

4. Pretend Food

So I'm kind of cheating here. This pretend food came free with the kids' big present (see below). But it came in a separate box and I figure the more presents to open the more fun. So I threw some paper on it and put it under the tree.

5. Slinky

Since this is our first Christmas with two kids we took them to Walgreens and let them pick out gifts for each other. This is what I picked out from Lucy to William. Every kid needs a slinky, right? Found at Walgreens for $3.49.


1. Onesies

Again, combining needs with gifts. She is only 8 months after all. I found a pack of five white short-sleeve onesies and a pack of four white long-sleeve onesies at Carter's for $24 combined (originally $48 combined). I couldn't find these online anywhere. Sorry!

2. Socks

I found the good kind that don't fall off at Old Navy for $5.50 for a pack of three. But they were all out of the girl colors on my trip to MOA. So I found these similar ones at Nordstrom's for $7 for a pack of two.

3. Sippy Cups

Lucy's getting ready to start drinking from a cup but all she has for sippy cups are the blue and green hand-me-downs from her big brother. So I bought some cute pink and purple ones at Target for around $5 for two. I love the Nuby brand when they are first starting out.

4. Board/Lift-the-Flap Books

Unfortunately, at our house, lift-the-flap books really can't be handed down. After years of page-turning William has ruined nearly all the flaps. I'm OK with that though. It means he's gotten a lot out of his books in his three short years. So I bought Lucy a new one all for her own. I like In the Jungle by Igloo Publications. Lots of things to spin, lift and pull!

5. Music and Lights Butterfly

We have about one thousand and one of these types of toys. But this is what William picked out for his present to Lucy so I agreed. We bought ours at Walgreens for under $5. I couldn't find one that cheap online but here's one listed for $12.99.

Combined Gifts

1. Beatrix Potter Books

Books are always a great gift but I like to stick to the classics rather than picking one-topic books that can easily be borrowed at the library. I found The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends at Half Price Books. You can also buy it here on

2. Fairy Tale Books

Same reasons as above. My Treasury of Fairy Tales has every fairy tale that comes to mind and then some.

3. Kitchen

Here it is! The big kahuna! I really, really, really wanted to buy those vintage wooden kitchens that you see in all the preschools but then I found out those go for $300 and up. So we settled on this one from Walmart for around $79. (It looks like it's going for quite a bit more now because it's out of stock.) I happily paid the $9 in shipping to not have to drive over there and heave it into our SUV myself.

This is the only gift the kids will get from Santa because I think William is going to be so excited he's not going to care if there are other presents scattered around. I'm hoping that this will relieve a little bit of my stress every evening when it's time for me to make dinner. Instead of William always being at my toes trying to "help" we can now cook together side-by-side.


  1. Okay, I don't know how creative our gifts are but our 4 yr old son will be getting the following from us (he's also getting plastic food, a baby doll set, clothes, doctor set, etc from g'ma & g'pa)

    -Car's V-smile game
    -Workbook to practice ABCs & Numbers
    -Semi truck that holds Hot Wheels cars
    & my two faves:
    -"Familiy Time" cd by Ziggy Marley
    -"I'm Your Peanut Butter Big Brother" by Selina Alko (we're expecting #2 in June)

    Santa is bringing him:
    Hot Wheels Track
    Stuffed Kitten (he really wanted one for some reason)

    and his stocking will have one of those expandable washcloths, Reese candy cane, kids toothpaste, and a Spiderman electric toothbrush =)

  2. Jenny,
    No worries on the toothbrush and being a mean mom... my mother still gives me one for Christmas every year.

  3. This is the year of 'budget Christmas' for us! Ashley's getting a generic American Girl doll from Target and she'll be just as excited and won't know it's not the real thing. Santa also found a white Pottery Barn desk and captain's chair on Craigs for $100 (quality she can take to college!) Maddie just has a few toys...there are so many hand me downs that it's a lot easier to spend $ on Ashley knowing Maddie will use it too! Few other items include new headphones, markers, CD's and some Little People for Madds. :)

  4. I was just watching the news down here and a mom had a pretty cool idea for her kids' gifts (which might be good for school-aged kids), she said:

    They get a gift to wear, a gift to read, a gift they need, and gift they want (at a certain price).

    She said her kids don't really complain because they get some choice in it, but it keeps things on a budget.

    I thought that was a pretty neat idea and probably makes shopping a little easier!

    Your gifts are wonderful, I love the kitchen idea! Your kids are going to have a very special Christmas!

  5. I love the tie and the tape measure especially. :)

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