Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The First Gift of Christmas


It went out into the mail last Friday.

The box actually contained one SUPER late birthday present, one early birthday present, as well as the Christmas gift for recipients at the same address.

I'm having a really difficult time coming up with some ideas for my kids this year.  Especially for little Miss Clementine and Ester.

Clementine is 21 months now.  We have dolls and accessories.  We have a play kitchen with food.  There are plenty of puzzles and books as well.  Suggestions?

Ester is a tween.  She is right on the cusp of turning into a teenager where the love affair of American Girl gets packed neatly away into boxes.  Lego friends are not played with as much.  Suggestions?

I think part of my problem is also how I want that perfect gift, be it big or small, but it has to make a connection somehow.

I'm stuck and hate to spend $$ just to spend $$.  You know what I mean?

I was reading Valerie's post the other day regarding simplicity and how she views it.  That's me!  To a T!  My kids don't really "need" anything.  We are simple here, believe it or not.

There are no iPads or iTouch in my house.  (Although I, myself, would LOVE an iPad!!)

We have one computer and it is in the living room, which is opened up to the kitchen, where we can always see what is being viewed.

The girls have iPod nano's.  For now, those are sufficient.

We purchased our first Wii two years ago.  Which sums up the electronics in our house.  Boring, huh.

My goal is to finish up by the end of Thanksgiving.  Two years ago I was done just before the start of Advent, and that Advent was the most joy-filled, prayer-filled Advent my family had in years.

~  Patty  ~






18 comments:

  1. You're so kind to give me a shout-out, Patty! I'm gonna have to think on this one…and come back by to see what suggestions others give…I'm a (novice) seamstress/quilter…do you currently own a sewing machine and would like an eventual upgrade? If you are…what about gifting the current model to your sweet daughter…or the gift of sewing lessons at a Jo-Anns…what about a Cake decorating class…or a knitting/crocheting course? Is she an artist? What about some sketch books and charcoal pencils or beautiful watercolors? Things that would inspire the creative-side of her…is she musical? What about a mother/daughter trip to the symphony or ballet? Just thinking off the top of my head…

    If I can get my shopping finished by Thanksgiving, this will be my very first Advent to truly focus on the Christ-child…I'm really motivated by that thought!

    Oh and electronics…we haven't gone there yet…but Mary has been asking about a Wii…do kids even use those anymore???!!! One classmate of Mary's is getting a Kindle…but she has to read 100 books to do it. She is Mary's BFF…and all they read are Chapter Books (appropriately above-grade level). I gotta give it to that mom…she really found a motivator for an already motivated child! LOL Guess what Mary wants…I told her maybe for her 10th!

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    1. VALERIE!!! You won't believe this, but write after I posted this, I took Ester, Mabel, and Stan to the Dallas Symphony this morning for a presentation/ field trip!! How funny!

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  2. Love this, Patty!
    I shop here and there all year and try to be done early...
    It does make for such a more relaxed December and Advent! : )

    I love Val's suggestions...
    If your Ester is like my Peyton perhaps she would like some age appropriate cookbooks or baking supplies? And maybe even an apron?

    Peyton also loves books! She is still collecting(and reading) Nancy Drew.

    She also loves Bath and Body works stuff...even Philosophy has some younger Holiday scents.

    And for your precious babe? I know! We had everything little girl too! Flynn loves the newer Little People holiday sets. The Christmas Santa House is adorable!!!! All my kids play with it!

    Also for the family I saw a newer version of Headbanz!!!

    Happy Tuesday, my dear friend!,,

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    1. Super ideas, Billie Jo. Thanks for helping me out. Let me know if your brain comes up with some more ideas :)

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  3. I'm trying to get all my shopping done too! Advent is so much more peaceful and prayer-filled, I agree! I had the same problem with getting a gift for my sister-in-law last year (she is a young teenager) and I got some really helpful tips from Memories on Clover Lane's blog last year (her daughter did a post with good ideas.) I got a few things off of that list... This year I'm getting her monogrammed seersucker pj pants I found on Etsy...super cute! Hope you find the perfect gift ideas soon! :)

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    1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Etsy! I will definitely check out that blog as well! Thank you!

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  4. I was just saying to my hubby today that I had an idea for Peter (same age as your Clementine). Being #7, he thinks that he is much older and capable of doing much more than he is physically able. The boy is going to destroy my vacuum...he really wants to do chores like the big kids! So, I was thinking about finding a "toy" vacuum that he could push around the house during chore time. Who knows if it will work, but the kid doesn't need or want for anything. Not sure if this helps at all, but it's fresh in my mind so I thought I'd share.

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    1. oh yes, the teen/tween girls. I got mine the Rainbow looms. I've heard/read such good things that I think they will really love creating with them.

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    2. I saved the toy vacuum we've had for the past 14 years! But your thoughts gave me something else to think about (wink)! Thanks!

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    3. The Rainbow loom. Yes! My older three girls just went in on one with their own allowance. They would like to get creative and make some neat ones for their friends I believe. I haven't tried it yet, but it sure looks fun :)

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  5. One birthday gift I received when I was about 12 or 13 was a year's magazine subscription for a crafting magazine (can't remember which one now). I thought it was a really neat gift and there was the added excitement of getting something in the mail every month for the next year. As a kid, it's pretty fun to find something for you in the mail! Subscriptions tend to be not too expensive and you can find a magazine related to a topic Ester likes. Added bonus: it encourages reading! :)

    Arts and crafts supplies were another favorite gift of mine at that age, especially the fancy things that my parents wouldn't buy for me on normal occasions.

    Hope that helps!

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    1. I always thought these make the best gifts. I don't know why I never remember it when I need to. Thanks for the suggestions. They are a BIG help!

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  6. That's amazing that you got a Christmas box out already! I was just telling Rod that I'd love to be "done" with getting all of our gifts purchased by the first weekend of Advent this year! I have NEVER been able to do that and I know it would make the season so much more peaceful. I'm making it a goal this year:) Simplicity always calls my name, too! You probably have a ton of dress up clothes but little Miss C is coming into that prime age for that:)

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    1. Would you believe, I did give the dress up clothes away to the kids' little cousin when my older girls out grew them. I never thought I'd have another girl… :)

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  7. Brainstorming is a wonderful thing!! Hope these ideas can help anyone else out there that may be in the same boat as I am! Can't go into too many details here in case my girls read this, but y'all gave me great ideas….and was able to think of more from the ones you suggested! Thanks a ton! Keep them coming though.

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  8. I'm afraid I don't have any suggestions because it has been forever since we had a 21 month old, and my twelve-year-old daughter still asks for the dolls, so my apologies for not being much help! I just wanted to comment that I am grateful to read we are not the only house with spartan electronic items! We have a wii, and a computer in the middle of the house, although we do own an iPad so that my husband can use it while kids are doing homework. It is just so nice to know we aren't the only ones, because based on the kids' friends it sure does feel that way!

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    1. I know what you mean regarding the electronics. It all changes so quickly, hard to keep up with the newest and greatest, and can be so quite expensive.

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