David and I have a lot of stuff. We don’t mean to. In fact, we are minimalists at heart, though you’d never guess it. Besides not needing so much STUFF, clutter drives me bonkers.
Like so many others, Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. The kindness that strangers show each other, the time spent with family, the smell of evergreen candles, watching Love Actually by the fireplace with wine, dancing around to Feliz Navidad in my underwear (just seeing if you were still reading…)
Although I love getting caught up in that stuff, I try my best not to get caught up too much in the other STUFF- in the wrapping and ribbons and gifts and stocking stuffers.
David and I don’t exchange presents. We decided long ago we’d rather put money towards an experience, like a date night or vacation, rather than Christmas gifts. My family also keeps things simple with a white elephant exchange rather than buying gifts for each person. We always have a lot of fun playing the stealing game on Christmas Eve (ah, stealing at Christmas!) and there is never a shortage of laughs. It works well for us! But now that we have sweet Hailey, I’m excited for Santa to come to town.
I don’t believe children needs oodles of presents to feel loved or to understand the meaning of Christmas. However, I’m not a total Scrooge and I do want to see Hailey’s eyes light up Christmas morning when she sees that Santa came. So, what to do?
I’m not sure where I came across this idea because I’ve heard of it from several people, but I’ve fallen in love with it. Basically you get a gift to fit each category. I love that the list incorporates necessity, pure fun and education. I love that it’s simple and keeps Christmas from being excessive. Hailey will have gifts under the tree and hopefully appreciate each one because they won’t be lost in a sea of presents.
Here’s a preview of Hailey’s Christmas this year at 15 months old.
Want – Though she doesn’t want much of anything at this age, I can’t wait to see the fun she’ll have when Santa drops of a new Princess Cozy Coupe. Hailey would play outside all day if I let her and she gets so much joy out of a hand-me-down push cart. I have no doubt she’ll love her new coupe!
Need – We break cups and lose pacifiers around here like it’s nobody’s business. I’m looking forward to having new, insulated cups to try and a second pacifier clip.
Wear – Now that Hailey is walking, I love putting her in dresses! These two new Gymboree play dresses are going to look adorable on her.
Read – Santa can’t resist Eric Carle or Go, Dog, Go. How could you go wrong?
Santa will also fill her stocking with puree pouches, oranges, balls, leggings and undershirts, egg shakers and a few other odds and ends. I’m excited to see what she thinks of everything Christmas morning, though I have a feeling that wrapping paper and boxes might be the big winners this year!
I had so much fun with this concept, that Hailey and I decided to play elf and put together a similar package to donate to a child in need.
Want – Hailey loved her snail so much when she was younger that she decided it was a perfect gift for another child to play with.
Need – Spoons and suction bowls with lids from Munchkin. I loved the bright colors!
Wear – Though the temperature has yet to drop very low, I imagine it will and hopefully a child can get good use out of these plush winter suits.
Read – Who doesn’t like a first words book, but my favorite part was the removable flash cards.
A simple Christmas is my favorite. It keeps the focus on the together time and the birth of Christ. Being that it’s easy to get carried away when shopping for kids (I wanted to clear out half of Toys R Us!), I love that this simple outline kept me focused and on track. Now shopping is done and I’m ready to relax!
Do you have a method to Christmas gift giving madness?