Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Is Coming!

~The awe and wonder of waiting to meet Santa~
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So, this Christmas situation as a parent of a two is a little puzzling. It's time I reign in my over thinking and just buy some stuff. Right?

I grew up with presents galore under the tree. My parents did Christmas BIG. I don't remember getting much throughout the year, but Christmas every year was like the toy bomb went off in our house.

Seth grew up with Christmas being THE DAY where you got the biggest and the best. His mom even did a full on scavenger hunt for him and his brother to find their biggest and best gift. She did this for his brother until he was well into college.

When Seth and I were dating I was sort of astonished at his level of Christmas over-the-topness. Most years I still am. One year before we were married he bought me a TV. Like a big one. This was before the insanity that is buying a television now. But, if you can imagine the nicest TV you've ever seen circa 2004/2005, that's what he got me.  He doesn't love birthdays so much, and I'm pretty sure I've never gotten a gift on our anniversary. But if Christmas comes without some crazy big gift one day I may think he's gone missing and an impostor is in my home.

Then we had a baby.

Of course, initially you realize that the baby won't know or care too much. I think Lila's first Christmas involved Santa yanking some hand me downs out of the attic and wrapping them. This may or may not have also happened on her second Christmas. Last year, however, was a different story.

Last year Lila had specific likes and loves. We got her whatever we could think of that she would enjoy even though we already had so much. I will admit that I was in a hyper grieving/spending mania to some degree. However, we were truly thrilled with every single thing we got for her. Evie was still at the hand me downs stage, but you can't really do that when the older kid is watching. Kids are just too smart and honest. Lila would have called Santa out in a heartbeat had he given Evie an old toy from the attic.

This year we found ourselves in a serious pickle and a few weeks ago it all sort of became clear.

We refused to just do a few presents because in our hearts Christmas is big. It's who we are. We just can't get away from that. However, due to some very gracious relatives and now four years of kid birthdays and Christmases we have everything. I had read through all of the amazing kid gift guides I could find. If we didn't have a certain something we had some variation of it.

I scoured Etsy like never before thinking that handmade might be the way to go. Unfortunately, I was not willing to spend the money on wooden Waldorf puzzles or color sorting items. The only other toys on Etsy are doll related and Lord knows we are covered in that department.

All I could come up with for Evie was a small trampoline. Did I really want to add that to my house? No. I did not. But that's all I could come up with.

I realize this was probably the best possible problem to have. I do. I hate even writing about this because it sounds so terribly obnoxious. BUT, they are two and four. And Christmas is coming. It was high time I buckled down and made a commitment.

So that's what I did. I committed to a plan and I've stuck to it (mostly). If you are lacking ideas for a two or four year old maybe my choices will help you out! Here's where we're Santa's at with the toy giving this year:

Each child will get: 

A bigger/more expensive toy
* Lila = Legos
* For Evie this is the trampoline. It seemed absurd to get it …and brilliant all at the same time.

A few smaller toys
* For Lila this involves more Legos and this.  I love some Melissa and Doug and I LOVE geoboards. Lila is also getting a few American Girl accessories as she is the lucky winner of a hand me down AG doll from Aunt Sara this Christmas!
* For Evie it's Tinker Toys, homemade playdoh, a doll swing, and this awesome little thing from The Land of Nod. If you haven't checked out their toys and you're struggling for ideas it's a great place to look for different items.

A game
Lila = Zingo
Evie = Spot It! (the ABC version and the number version)

A few books
Lila = A Lego Book I got forever ago at Costco, The Carnival of the Animals (book and CD), and Weird, Wacky, Wild Concoctions.
Evie = Harold and the Purple Crayon (no we actually don't own this yet!), I Am The King (my new favorite children's book author), and I am planning to make her an ABC's photo book.

A Movie
Lila is getting Peter Pan and Evie is getting a Dora the Explorer Video.

Now that you have a peek into what my kids are getting I would love to hear any random and interesting toys you've found in searching for gifts for the kids in your life!


  1. Now I sort of wish I had waited to read this before Christmas shopping for our two year old. We try to keep Christmas light from Santa because her birthday is right after the holidays - but I did get her a few little people place sets (her favorite) and some new boots and jambes from carters. We do a book advent so I guess we are following the "Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read" mantra

  2. I'm struggling with finding something for the Evie in my life!! Gotta help me, Mrs. Santa!! I think Lila is covered. I'm trying to "go smaller" than usual, but that's difficult for me. Still, I have to do it SOME day, right? Maybe!! Have fun with it. THAT'S what it's all about! I sure had a blast seeing the smile on your face and Sara's!!


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