Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Little Girl Christmas Gift Ideas; "Problems"

Now that I've completed my (ridiculous) wish list, it's time to start shopping for the kidlets.  For those here via google, I have two girls, ages 3 and 15 months.  We tend to not distinguish whose toys are whose unless it's small enough to choke on.  

My mom goes over the top every year, so I gave my biggest gift idea to her.  I am a little bit obsessed with the Fisher Price Loving Family Dollhouse, and am SO EXCITED that she bought it for the girls.  They will probably have to fight me for a turn.  She said she got a deal on the fully loaded one and picked up the van too.  Lucky girls.  

I stole this one from A'Dell...I got the Hedstrom Hoppy ball with Fairies for Adriana, and the Spiderman one for Colin (my 4 year old nephew).  These were my favorite, favorite, favorite things in our preschool gym.  Clearly my present strategy is to buy all of the things I wish I could play with today.  

A motherflipping parachute.  Another childhood favorite of mine.  So exciting.  

Kinectimals.  I was going to wait a little longer before introducing Adriana to the wonderful world of video games, but I'd rather have her playing the Kinect and potentially moving than vegging on the couch, watching the 11 millionth Diego rerun.  Plus Justin is dying to play video games with her.  

Educational Insights Colors and Shapes Bean Bags.  This one is more for Lucy but I'm sure Adriana won't be able to keep her hands off them either.  I am starting to feel like a crappy mom since Lucy doesn't know as many things as Adriana did at this age.  I'm hoping this will remind me that second children need intellectual stimulation too.  

Counting Bears.  This one is more for Adriana - they look like they are too small for Lucy right now.  Adriana has a touch of my OCD-like tendencies, so I think she will have fun sorting and counting.  

I am a sucker for the Melissa and Doug annual sale.  Picked the Magnetic Farm Hide and Seek up for $10.  Lucy doesn't really know animals or animal sounds yet - she just kind of growls for everything.  

I also got the Melissa and Doug Floor Puzzle Bundle for hella cheap - $12.50!  We have one of these already and they are AWESOME for preschoolers.  Huge, sturdy pieces.  Love.  

I think this is all I'm doing, toy-wise.  There will probably be new tennis shoes, jeans, and jammies for the girls.  I follow my grandma's tradition of filling the stocking with chocolate, an orange, a ton of quarters, socks, and underwear.  I might also throw in some fun bandaids for Adriana or a new sippy cup for Lucy.  You know, stuff they need anyway.  Oh and I'll probably throw in Brave and the new Tinkerbell because we were also going to buy those anyway.  I can't watch the Scooby Doo movie one more time.  

Please forgive me for what I'm about to say...I realize that, much like my whining about my too big pants, this is an awesome "problem" to have and I'm SO VERY LUCKY.

I always have a hard time with Christmas because my parents spoiled us (and still do) and I want to do the same for my girls.  Part of me feels like, as their parents, the stuff Justin and I get them for Christmas should be their very! favorite! things they get.  We should also get them the most things.  Basically, we should win at Christmas. 

But then it seems so wasteful because they get SO MANY THINGS from the rest of the family.   Grandparents, aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles, cousins...lots of people buy for my kids.  After Christmases and birthdays I tend to put a bunch of stuff away, unopened, until we are ready for more new toys.  I also saved all of Adriana's outgrown toys for Lucy, and have yet to sell or donate the stuff Lucy has grown out of (but I WILL, dammit).  This has resulted in a ridiculous amount of STUFF in our house.

We have tried to tell people not to buy for them, but that's not happening.  They have one aunt who awesomely donates to their college funds instead, but that's it.

Given the situation, am I doing way, way, way too much for my kids?  Is it totally ridiculous that I continue to buy them things, knowing that they will get more presents than they possibly know what to do with?  If anyone is in the same (very fortunate!) situation, I'd love to hear how you deal with it.  


Nowheymama said...

I want that dollhouse.

And I can't wait to give Graham the magnetic farm!!!

Mama Tully said...

We have the same "problem"...the rest of the family, my inlaws in particular, go WAY over the top for the kids every year. That's why this year I vowed to just get the girls 3 things each to open on Christmas morning (plus their stockings which have around 4 small things like bubble bath, a new toothbrush, etc...). I found that last year I got them each way too much stuff and instead of being able to open and enjoy each gift, we made them plow through opening all the presents. I'd rather they get to open a gift, get excited, play with it for a while, and then we can move on to the next gift. There's no rush, you know?! Really let them enjoy their new presents, especially if there are only a few.

Jessica said...

We prefer to give one big gift only, plus stockings. They open it Christmas morning and play with it for awhile. If there's a big gift it's all they're interested in, anyway, and they get way too many presents from the rest of our families.

In practice, this means we still end up buying several smaller presents because we usually can't resist when we see something perfect for them. (Or, you know, something WE want to play with.) I find whatever number of small gifts I shoot for, I ALWAYS buy more, so now I shoot for zero!

This year we couldn't think of a good big gift, though. So far, we think we'll probably just go with little stuff. I bought a photo puzzle (with a picture of them on it), two things from that Melissa & Doug sale (doctor costume and magnetic fishing puzzles), and Cinderella (the movie - got it on an Amazon black Friday deal for $8!) I know Thomas has gotten other stuff, too. We'll try to stop there.

For stockings we get socks, cups, snacks, stuff like that.

I totally want to be the best gift giver, too, which is why we try to get the BIGGEST present! (As opposed to the largest number of presents.) I'm rather bummed we're not this year.

Not Insane...Promise! said...

Brian and I bought a Melissa and Doug puzzle for my sister for Christmas last year-she was three months shy of her fourth birthday and it was her first real puzzle-definitely a good learning experience, and M&D items are so great.

Definitely wise to not over-gift, in my inexperienced opinion. Lots of relatives giving gifts means they're going to win!!! At Christmas-especially since so many people love them enough to give them gifts. You automatically win because of that :-)

Michelle said...

We struggle with this every year. I want to keep it reasonable given that so many other people give the girls gifts but then I feel like I'm not giving them enough. And then I feel like I'm spoiling them so basically I can't win. (Also Gizmo's birthday is Dec. 28 so that makes things even more difficult.)

We bought the dollhouse last year and it has been a hit in out house and both the girls will continue to play with it for years.

Emily said...

I'm cheap, so I use everyone else getting the boys tons of stuff as my excuse for only getting them a couple of inexpensive things. I know I won't be able to get away with that for many years, so I'm taking advantage while I can.

Shannon said...

Yes. I have this exact same problem. Kaylee is 2.5 and the only young kid in the family, so everyone buys for her. Which is AWESOME. But I also feel like its just too much when my husband and I also buy a lot for her. Christmas is hard because I love giving presents at Christmas. But last year she got so overwhelmed that she refused to open any more presents and we ended up opening presents one a day for like two weeks after Christmas. So I've started to combat this a bit by:

1. Not allowing people to buy her presents for her birthday. Only family and parents buy her stuff. For her friend bday party - we had her collect donations instead. I'm going to continue this trend as long as I can. Her first birthday we collected diapers and for her second, pet food.

2. I decided to start giving her one of our presents early...maybe like a 12 days of Christmas countdown to Christmas. I think this will help her understand Christmas, but then not be opening 30 gifts in one sitting. Plus it gives her a chance to play with them that day. That way on Christmas morning, she just doing stockings and the Santa present. This will change as she gets older, but I think it will work well for her now when she doesn't really understand the concept completely.

3. I really started to emphasis "experience" presents. My parents, for example, bought her tickets to a toddler symphony series. I love that she gets to go the whole year and it means no more toys in our house!

So I completely agree - its an awesome problem to have. My parents spoiled me a bit and it is really hard to not do the same thing.

Ashley said...

This is our first year with a kid, so we'll see how it goes, but we decided long ago to only get one big gift for each of our kids. I've always loved putting all of my effort into finding that perfect, special gift for the rest of my family, so that's what I want to do for our kids, too. We want them to experience the joy of getting a receiving gifts because it is a part of the holiday, but we definitely don't want to go crazy with feeling like we have to measure up to anything (we aren't doing Santa, either). It's really important to us that our kids don't just see Christmas as Crazy Fun Toy Gimme Gimme Day.

That said, right now Sebastian is the only grandchild in our family, so I know our families will probably go nuts with gifts for him (they already make it their goal to buy him something every time they see him). But we have a containment policy for his things (and lots of our things). He's allowed to have only one bin of toys. Once it gets too full, we (and eventually he, once he's old enough to understand) will have to get rid of something to make room for it (we do this with books and clothes and craft supplies and other things that would go crazy in our house if we didn't stop it).

I'm hoping that it helps to be intentional right off the bat with our kids and Christmas. We'll see how it goes in practice.

StephLove said...

We have a small house that's already crammed with stuff so with Christmas coming up I've been thinking about this. My oldest is 11 and getting too old for toys. He just wants Apple gift certificates because he's saving up for a new iPod. Those shouldn't take up much room... Of course I see ALL KINDS of things the 6 year old would like.