Making A List, Checking it Twice

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Hard to believe, but the holidays are just around the corner.  Being the organized twin mother I am, (aka: OCD), I have begun making a Christmas wish list for my duo.  This will be our second Christmas as a family of four, and I am hoping to make Christmas shopping easier and more enjoyable for my family. I am so blessed to have the family that I do, and please believe me that they are not at all offeneded by the idea of a wish list.  In my family, each gift-giver truely wants to give Faith and Jonathan a special gift that isn’t the same as a gift given by the other side of the family. And as F and J’s mom, I am quickly becoming skilled in spotting a dud from a gem, in terms of toys and activities.

With all that said, would you please help me with my list? Please keep all suggestions under $50, and bear in mind that we are facing a long, cold, boring Pennsylvania weather. My kids will be 19 months old at Chrismas. Your creative suggestions are so welcommed!

Jonathan testing out the sled.
Jonathan testing out the sled.
Faith hanging out under the tree-Christmas '07
Faith hanging out under the Christmas tree.

Here is my “thinking outside of the box” list so far:

  • Smocks for art projects
  • Aprons for cooking and baking
  • An IOU for a trip to the Aviary (hopefully with that relative!)
  • Any Crayola ColorWonder Art Supplies
  • A Trip to the Children’s Museaum
  • Beanbags
  • Dress-up clothes (consignment store )
  • CD’s of dancing music
  • DVD’s (30 minutes)

As you can see, my creativity is limited! 

I honestly don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking my kids should have “everything.” As fun as it is to buy them new things, I don’t think it is always good for them. I want my kids to learn to be creative, resourceful and thankful. They adore their family, and their best days are when someone comes over to visit. I would say we certainly value people over things, but I do want to give the aunts and grandparents some ideas… Please help!

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10 thoughts on “Making A List, Checking it Twice”

  1. What a fun age for Christmas this year! Here are my suggestions: baby dolls with a stroller for each kid. It is amazing how much children that age love to push a stroller around. How about a two sided easel for art projects? Melissa and Doug has a great one. Doctor Kits. A great indoor activity. For dress up stuff also check out http://www.littledressupshop.com for lots of affordable costumes for boys and girls (and not just princess stuff!). Are your relatives up for giving to a college fund? I always suggest that if they want to spend more. Good Luck!

  2. One of the things that we are doing this year is asking for gifts from the grandparents for http://www.babyplays.com. We like the idea that the boys will get to use the toys but that they can be returned before boredom settles in. We also think the idea is very environmentally friendly.

  3. It won’t help during the long winters, but one of my favorite gifts to get is a zoo membership. My parents got us one last year and will be doing the same this year. It is so nice to know we can go whenever we want and if we have to leave after 15 minutes, it’s not a big deal.

  4. I create an Amazon wish list for the kids to make things easier. It’s also easy to reference for questions like this bc I can see what was bought :)

    Faves from Christmas last year:

    * Oballs
    * Doodle Pro travel size (great for car)
    * Melissa & Doug knob puzzles (shapes was a definite fave)
    * Animal Hospital
    * LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Alphabet set
    * Fisher Price Learning Phone
    * Little Tykes basketball hoop
    * more board books – One Fish, Hop on Pop, Going to Bed Book, Toes Ears Nose

    The oballs, doodle pro, books, hoop, and alphabet set are still used on a daily basis in our house. I hate the idea of more “stuff” but more age appropriate stuff is great!

  5. My guys are 18 months now. What they love:

    Books. Books. More books. Do you have Duck in the Truck? They love this whole series. And the Richard Scarry books. Maybe a subscription to Animal Babies?

    Little people stuff. We have the amusement park, which is endless fun. We’re asking for the barn for Christmas.

    Hats. We have a couple of construction hats. Great fun.

    Pretend play stuff? A doll bed or a small kitchen set (Craig’s list is good for cheaper stuff). Pretend food. A shopping cart.

    Toy fire engine with siren and lights. Good times.

    Big lego like blocks. Maybe megablocks?

  6. Lots of great ideas already. Playdough is a big hit at our house lately. I always love books. Blocks and stacking cups are still super popular at our house. CDs and musical instruments (I prefer non electronic ones). Play food/kitchen themed stuff. Play tools. I could keep going but I’ll stop.

  7. We have five kids (my twins are my youngest, they are three) shopping for Christmas was getting way out of control and I always get caught up in making sure that everything is fairly “even”. About 7 years ago we started something different that really helps me. Our kids get four gifts from us
    1. Something they want.
    2. Something they need.
    3. Something to wear.
    4. Something to read.
    They also get stocking stuffers, PJ’s on Christmas eve, and a couple of gifts from Santa.

    I know that wasn’t what you asked, but it does help me narrow things down and give me some direction.

    As far as suggestions
    We love play doh, painting, books, books, books. Pretend play stuff is great too. My twins are boy girl too so I’m always looking for things they love to play together. Although my son will play with dolls and my daughter will play with trucks!

  8. Our girls will be two in a few weeks. Last Christmas we got them each a bean bag from Pottery Barn and I have to say – it was a complete waste of money. They are HUGE and the girls NEVER use them. Two of those adorable little chairs would have been a much better purchase – and they sell them at Target now for a fraction of the price at PB. I also second the stroller idea with the baby dolls. My twins use their strollers everyday and love to give “babas” to their babies. They also love shopping carts and fake food. Melissa & Doug make really cool wooden food. Definitely travel sized doodle pros. Melissa & Doug puzzles. Crayons and BIG pieces of drawing paper that we can lay on the floor are also a hit. We also have a small tent that I bought online that is supposed to be for the beach but we use it inside. It’s been a lifesaver on rainy weekends when we all have cabin fever! Oh – and another fav. is ANYTHING Little People they LOVE the house and the barn and the plane! Good luck – hope this helps!

  9. Hi Krissy!
    Something the boys are getting this Christmas is vacuum cleaners. Specifically the dirt devil. I think it’s under $20 at Wal-mart. They got absolutely CRAZY for my sweeper and play non-stop with that dirt devil at my cousin’s house. It’s all about the attachments. And as we are entering that constant mine, mine, mine stage. This is one toy that I would like TWO of!!!

    They, too, like the fisher price barn, oballs (or any ball for that matter), all the Discover Toys that I’ve collected over the past 6 years (Hammer Away, “the castle with the balls thingy”, and the shape sorting discovery box with the mirror on the end) how do you like that for specific. Keep an eye out for that at Once Upon a Child.

    Something that we have ended up doing with the grandparents is if we see it and love it and it’s a great price, we buy it and do the exchange of funds/gift the next time we see them. This would probably work out great, too, for out-of-town grandparents. Sometimes you’re out and see a good deal and just have to jump on it!

    Lastly, we try our darndest to limit the Christmas day presents to 3 gifts only. Symbolically, this is for the 3 gifts given to the baby Jesus. It’s a way to cut out the excess, leave the “grander” gifts to the grandparents, help with our growing family and focus on the reason we celebrate Christmas!

    Happy Shopping!

  10. My kids favorite things every year are always dress up clothes. I have 2 girls and a boy and the girls love princess costumes so they can dress up to look just like Cinderella or Snow White. You can find washable dress ups at My Cute Dressups

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