#rehashingmychildhoodforthebillionthtime When I was little, my parents spent well over $1000 on me at Christmas. It was like it was a no holds bar and even though we made our wish list which was always completely fulfilled, my mom still bought more things we never heard of our asked for. She is a great gift giver but she gives too much. As a kid, I had absolutely no problem with it.....until my parents filed bankruptcy, lost a business and we were poor. Then it became a guilt thing paired with being sort of bratty and wanting everything at the same time every time Christmas rolled around. But you know what gifts I remember the most? My great Grandma's less than $5 gift we received and begged to open each Christmas eve. My Grandma had handfuls of grand children and lived in a very small country town so she bought at what she'd call the dime store but it's more like a tiny Walgreens. The gifts certainly weren't anything on our wish list, often times impractical (like the big fluffy cream colored granny mittens) but it was almost like the unexpectedness and thriftiness of the gift made it that much more special.
My dad was always a bahumbug (sp?) when it came to Christmas. Partly because he always works all the way up to Christmas day and the day after Christmas but more so because while he was working so hard my mom was out blowing that hard earned money on excessive gifts. And no offense to my mom, she was doing what she thought was the right thing and what she always dreamed of doing since she grew up on welfare and had very little as a kid and wanted something different for her kids. But finally around 6th grade, my dad started shopping for 1 special gift to my sister and I. My mom wasn't allowed to pick it out and it never came from our wish list. And we were over the moon when my Dad started doing this since we knew he never shopped or wrapped a single gift for us prior to that.
When I read Design Mom's blog post about giving her kids 3 things- something to play with, something to read, and something to wear I thought it was genius!! It didn't necessarily talk about the amount of money to spend but that still helped me keep my focus. Last year the kids play item was a train table and it's got plenty of great use. And before I forget, I'd highly recommend googling the item you are looking for followed by "discount code" or just going straight to Retailmenot.com to double check if there is a coupon code to save you more money. This year, here is what the kids will be getting and yes, I do wander a bit from the 3 things rule but for our family, this is practical and affordable. I linked items where I could to the items we bought.
|Twilight Turtle From Cloud B- For Dylan. I love, love, love Cloud B products and we have the sheep, giraffe, and AJ has the regular turtle. Barnes and Noble's black Friday special was 50% off one toy, free shipping and 10% off for members so I paid under $15!! Normally $32.95. |
|Step 2 Legacy Kitchen from Toys R Us -$129.99 - $10 Val Pak Coupon and I had $70 left on an old gift card so out of pocket was $50. On Cyber Monday it was listed for $103.99 but I missed it:( I'll be making all the felt food and here's a great website with links to free felt food patterns on Ohdeedoh.com. We have a ton of felt left over from projects so this is perfect! Grandma is getting them the pots and pans set from Toys R Us. my husband said 2 years ago he never would buy his boys a kitchen, then he realized how much they loved their friend's play kitchen and how they absolutely will not stay out of the kitchen and love doing dishes and helping me cook and he changed his mind.|