Monday, December 6, 2010

On The 6th Day Of Christmas . . .

My kiddos are very lucky for a vast number of reasons, but as it relates to the holidays, they are very lucky to have two sets of grandparents who like to shop.  While this takes the burden of trolling the aisles at Toys R Us off of me, it also means that I can either indulge them with more toys or go the more practical route.  So far I have managed to avoid wrapping up socks and underwear by instead getting the things that they can use almost everyday and will continue to use for at least the next few years.

Being in kindergarten and preschool, both of my older kids already have backpacks, but my toddler is still without, so the L.L. Bean Original Junior Backpack is at the top of her list.  I am not even remotely exaggerating when I tell you that backpacks from L.L. Bean live forever - if you were to go over to my parent's house right now you would find the backpack I used throughout middle school, high school, college, and my time on the ambulance . . . and it is still in awesome shape.  She is still a couple of years from starting preschool, but the bag is perfect for packing for overnight trips to grandma's house or for afternoon outings.

Knowing how well their backpacks hold up, I also looked to L.L. Bean for lunchboxes for the kids - my oldest will start the afternoon kindergarten enrichment program after his winter break, and will need to bring his lunch.  This arrived on my front step the other day, and it will be perfect for him (and the girls as well since we often take our own lunches and snacks when we go places.)  The best part about these lunchboxes?  They hold these Bento-style reusable containers from Ziploc.  The incomparable Danifred posted about these a few months ago, and knowing how my kids enjoy a little-of-this and a little-of-that when it comes to eating, I knew they would be perfect!  (If the aforementioned doesn't quite do it for you, be sure to peruse this site as well for a similar product!)

In addition to buying for my own children, I also purchase a small gift for their two bestest friends - the little girls nextdoor who are the exact same age (and the reason I know my son will one day marry a girl with red hair.)  These little girls also have birthdays immediately before and immediately after Christmas, and while I hate being the one that combines their Christmas gift with their birthday present, doing so justifies spending a little bit more for a single item.  This year, I got them (and my own kids as well because I know they will use the every-living-crap out of them) personalized pencil cases that I plan to fill with pencils, erasers, stickers, and a couple hair ties.

My need to be considered a fun parent will undoubtedly will undoubtedly show through before Christmas and I will most likely track down a few things that I know my kids will love, but I will do so knowing that I have also been pragmatic and that they will be using their gifts long after Barbie's head has been ripped off and the Legos have been sucked up by the vacuum.

Tell me this:  what is your gift giving style when it comes to your children?  One-more-toy-can't-hurt or they-are-going-to-need-a-new-pair-of-shoes-to-get-through-winter?


  1. BOTH. Stockings are for all that "need" stuff like toothpaste and underwear and socks and shampoo. Under the tree is the silly, not necessary stuff like toys and new clothes. I generally buy all year round and just pull everything out in December, so I probably do *too* much, but it's so spread out that it's hard to know for sure.

  2. I am one who believes that all practicality should be thrown out the window for Christmas. Christmas is about fun and treating your family to special things they don't get every day. That's my opinion anyway!

  3. My kids tend to get clothing and "needed" items for their birthdays, since birthdays coincide with the beginning of the school year. For me, I focus on getting them the toys that were on their list (and a few I thought I needed), in hopes that they won't notice that most of their family is absent. Plus... new toys give me something to play with.

    BUT... I might have to check out the LL Bean backpack, since Wyn is on her 2nd one this year.

  4. Horray for fun lunches! I hope they love them as much as my girls do. It's so much fun :)
    This year the girls are getting a bunch of crap they don't need. I'll just be honest. One of the things I did this year though was have the girls get each other something. *Magically* (or as suggested by Momma), they got each other a headlamp like Daddy has (except theirs are princess and Cars).

  5. I'm pretty practical and have a hard time buying toys that I know won't stand the test of time. Renee really wants Polly Pockets and Barbies but I bought her legos and a Tag Reader. Not because I'm trying to control her, because I know she'll actually PLAY with Legos and the Tag Reader and the Polly Pockets will last for about 10 seconds. She just thinks she wants them because she sees them on TV. Cam got some cars that I know he'll like and that's about it. He doesn't play with toys so why would I bother? I did get him his own (real) keys that I know he'll love. They get jammies and socks and undies and outfits and books and new winter hats and mittens too. I guess you can say I'm practical and probably boring. I leave the obnoxious toy buying to my mom and my MIL too because I know there will be plenty of it to go around :) I want them to have an awesome Christmas, I just don't want to pay for stuff I KNOW won't get used.


Leave me some love! What floats your boat?