November 08, 2010

christmas shopping. [updated]

Are you thinking about Chirstmas?
I am.
It is always hard for me...  I'm philisophical about much of life and Christmas is no different.
There are things that my kids need.  But I don't want them to wake up to excess Christmas morning.
I always feel like I need to get them one big thing... but I don't really like big things.
Last year we bought Band Hero... dumb.  My kids have played it twice.
My kids get more excited about their stocking stuffers anyway. 

Plus, we don't have a lot of money... so I have to be creative.
Want some ideas? 
Here are some things that I love...

1.  Marble Run...
We bought Lily a wooden marble run off ebay for her 2nd birthday.
I love it.  They love it.  Every kid who comes to our house loves it.
One negative, it uses marbles.  So, we often have marbles on our floor... if you are at an age where you don't panic with small things I say-- it's one of my favorite toddler toys in the whole world.

2.  Plastic Animals & mythical creatures...
You can buy the animals we love at Target or Michaels or Amazon.  Schleich brand...  They are expensive, but they are my favorite toy in the world.  I believe my kids have played with animals everyday since they were young.  My big boys play intricate pretend games and my little girls play family and make animal trains on my coffee table.  If possible, you should be sure to get a mother, father and baby...  i LOVE these animals.  I think for Christmas I'm branching into the fantasy creatures.  I think I'm going to get my big kids each a flying horse with a fairy on it (they have boys and girls) and a mythical bad guy.  They have cool 3 headed dragons and Menotaurs or other Percy Jacksonish bad guys. 

3.  Games...
I love family games.  Barnes and Nobles has buy one get one 50% off... They have lots of fun games, like Settlers.  I want to buy my kids Quirkle and the card game Bang.  I also saw a new United States Settlers game that looked cool.

4.  PJs...
I'm a big Christmas Eve PJ person.  I have sewed pajamas and bought pajamas...  This year I found a great deal on darling pajamas from Crazy 8s.  Have you been to Crazy 8s?  It's the same company as Gymboree only cheaper.  I thought they had really good deals.  I got cute red and white polka dot pjs and green and white striped pjs for $7 a pair.  I also got new jeans for $10 a pair and great quality boy long sleave shirts for $5.  First, I bought my big boys pjs here, but I found some plaid flannel pants at Target for only $3 and thought they'd like flannel pjs better than the cotton stretchy ones any way.  Target had a lot of great boy clearance stuff... check it out.

5.  Coats...
Old Navy has 50% off winter coats.  I think I'm going to get one for Ellie.  She needs a new coat.

6.  Dresses...
I like to get my kids one dress that they wear every Sunday.  I'm weird like that.  I would rather them have one new dress than 10 older dresses.  I've been looking around for dresses... and it's hard.  I'm picky.  I'm not a Hannah Montana dress fan.  I like classic little girls that look like little girls.  And, I like matching or coordinating outfits.  I can find dresses I love, they are just too expensive for my college budget.  At Dillards, I found Bonnie Jean dresses.  They have baby, toddler and girl coordinating sizes and dresses.  They are classic.  And, they were reasonably priced.  Then, I found Bonnie Jean dresses on sale for 50% off at JC Penney.  The same dresses I liked at Dillards.  They also have them at Kohls.  I haven't decided if I'm going to buy new dresses yet.  But, if I do, I'm going to start at Penneys.  If they don't have the sizes I need in the styles I like, I'm going to head to Kohls.  Just saying. 
[update-- i went to Burlington and they had all these dresses for the same price as Penneys... turns out i didn't like them.  they looked cheap to me.  i'm trying to stay around $20 per girl... i think my best bet is going to be skirts and sweaters at Target...]

7.  Advent...

And, I REALLY want to get this Lego City Advent Calendar.  I love it.  We got it one year and it was my favorite.  They have the cutest figures that you open each day.  Ugh.  It's expensive for me... but since Lego guys are what my kids play with, I love the neat guys that they get in the advent calandar.  I also have been wanting to buy the Lego Community Workers set for them each year.  It costs around $50 but seems so cool.  I love legos.  (Oh, and so do my kids.)

So, you can see that I'm ready to buy stuff... but I can't buy till I have a plan.  A philosophy.  And, I haven't figured out what we are doing for Christmas yet.  It's funny that this year I am more excited about boy stuff than girl stuff... that never happens.  I think it's because the girls room is always messy with Barbies and American Girls and I hate the thought of getting them anything else.  I think we will limit our buying to 3 gifts... but that takes planning and I have to plan soon because "if you fail to plan you plan to fail."
So, hope you enjoyed my random shopping thoughts today.

Have I told you how much I love shopping.
Really, I do.  I love thinking of my kids and what will make their eyes shine.  I love giving gifts and finding deals.  I'd be thrifty even if I didn't have to be thrifty.
But, I'm pretty sure my favorite thing is spending someone elses money.
So, want to send me some money and I'll buy all your stocking stuffers?
For sure!  wouldn't that be fun?!!

What are you doing for Christmas?


beckyjune said...

We do pjs and dresses, too, because they always need them. I ordered some dresses for the girls through Sister Glover about a month ago and they turned out really pretty.

I am trying to be creative this year, hard when I don't feel that great and don't have the energy to be crafty but I'm going to make some shaped crayons for stocking stuffers- just use up some of the misc. tiny crayons we have sitting around and some candy molds; I'm also going to make some cute hats- at least that's the plan with all of the cute yarn I bought last week. Other than that I am not sure because we're trying to not shop to excess this year- we're thinking 3 things from us: something to read, something to wear and something to play with. We'll still do a "Santa gift" and that usually has some kind of theme- we might go with music this year or maybe sports. I'm not sure yet. Happy shopping!

Anonymous said...

we LOVE dresses!
they are all $35 which isn't exactly the cheapest (and some are on sale) but they sure are pretty!

Rachel Ure said...

i am really tmpted to let you buy our christams for us. really. i hate buying stuff. i don't have a lot to spend- but you are good at shopping for deals. ....

LAURA said...

we're going to disneyworld with my family this christmas, but I still will have a few gifts at home after we get home.
I love christmas shopping too!

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