Wednesday, December 18, 2013

kid gift roundup - ages (almost) four years and (almost) ten months

kid gift roundup - ages (almost) four years and (almost) ten months

According to a very unscientific Twitter poll, I am not the only person who enjoys reading blog posts about what folks got their kids for Christmas. And I suppose there's a chance someone might be looking for ideas for a few more gifts for kids of similar age to mine. We didn't buy either kid a big Santa gift this year, mostly because I couldn't think of anything large / expensive that either of them really needed. (We're also planning to take them on a long weekend trip to Memphis in the spring, so that'll be kind of like a big gift to the whole family.) Two holiday traditions I've heard of and love but have yet to implement: 1) the one thing they need, one thing to wear, one thing to read concept; 2) the new pajamas, Christmas movie to watch, and movie snack to open on Christmas Eve concept. I haven't done #1 because I've never been able to limit myself to just three little things and we can't really do #2 because we have our big family shindig on Christmas Eve evening and don't have time to come home and watch a Christmas movie. I do really like both of those schemes though, if you're looking for some kind of tradition to establish.

I bought things here and there through the year and didn't have a good grasp of what I actually had for the kids until last night. I realized that it was my last free evening until Saturday and decided to suck it up and wrap everything instead of procrastinating. While it's not a huge deal since 1) Elliott is a baby and can't count and 2) I'm more interested in spending the same ballpark amount on each kid vs getting both kids the exact same number of gifts, I wanted the number of gifts to be pretty equal. After going through everything and sacrificing one gift that I had planned to save for Elliott's birthday in February and holding back one for Nico's birthday in January, they will each have four gifts to open. As I was listing them prior to the wrap-fest, I was thinking the kids really wouldn't be getting much from us, but now I've swung across to the feeling like we maybe got them too much side of things. I did contemplate saving more things for their birthdays, but they'll get more gifts then since we do a family birthday party and all my aunts will buy each kid a birthday gift but not a Christmas gift. When all is said and done, they probably fall on the middle of the spectrum between "just enough gifts" and "holy crap, too many gifts." As I desperately try to justify my crass consumerism, I will say that most of the items were in the $10 - $15 range (and several were under $10), so we didn't spend an astronomical amount.

Elliott, almost ten months, is getting:

1. A four-pack of stripey onesies from Carter's, which I have coveted since Nico was a baby but could never justify buying. They are so soft and I love stripes on a baby. Elliott is a little short on 18 month onesies so this was a good practical choice. I got them half-price online on Black Friday.

2. A painfully adorable moose outfit, also from Carter's (though I got it from the Kohls website, also on sale on Black Friday). Also 18 months, though it's almost comically large compared to the striped onesies. If I'd known how big it would be I would've probably ordered it in a 12 months instead, but it's fine...I'm sure he'll grow into it entirely too fast. The pants have a moose on the butt. MOOSE ON THE BUTT.

3. A mini bead rattle from Maple Landmark Woodcraft. The standard disk rattle is his favorite toy, and the friend who bought it for him alerted me to a sale on their other products back when I posted asking for gift suggestions.

4. This animal-sorting truck from Melissa & Doug (bought at Barnes & Noble). He loves to dump the pieces out of our chunky M&D puzzles and chew on them, so I figured this was a good choice. Plus it'll be nice for him to have a truck that's just his (though I guarantee Nico will be constantly attempting to "share" this one with him - meaning, Nico will try to play with it himself and call it sharing).

I wanted to have a tradition that Santa always brings a book for each kid, but of course I can never choose just one book. I have an additional difficulty in that Elliott currently chews on board books until pieces come off and thus can't be left unsupervised to look at books. Thanks to a genius tip on my gift ideas post, he is getting three books from the Indestructibles series, plus a cloth farm animal sounds book. I also got him two of the rubber Tonka Chuck & Friends vehicles that Nico adored as a little and this adorable stuffed dinosaur from Kohls. I may sneak over to Old Navy and buy him the next size of socks. He does need some socks.

For additional gift ideas, here's what we put on his various Christmas lists for family:

>> Leap Frog Scout dog (Nico got one for his first Christmas and still listens to the lullabies every night at bedtime

>> Melissa & Doug chunky puzzles

>> fleece footie pajamas in size 12 months (we specified no sports)

>> cloth or vinyl books

>> something he can dump out (he really loves stacking cups for this purpose)

Nico, almost four years old, is getting:

1. A simple CAT front loader (bought at Menards). He didn't have a good front loader in his collection, and he played with this same loader for quite a while at his playgroup a few months back when they had one out.

2. A set of construction equipment magnets for his magnet board

3. An I Spy Eagle Eye game that might be a little above his current comprehension level. It was on clearance and he loves doing seek and find books with MB so I took a chance on it.

4. The newest Winnie the Pooh movie on DVD. I was going to put this on his list for the family exchange, but I didn't know how to describe it to make sure they got the right one. I can only ever get it to show up online right if I search for "Winnie the Pooh (2011)." So to simplify my life, I just ordered it for him myself.

His Santa books are:

>> Digger, Dozer, Dumper by Hope Vestergaard which we've had checked out from the library for months and months. He has the entire book memorized and it's adorable. I found the author on Twitter and she's super nice and sweet, and agreed to sign a copy for Nico for Christmas, so that's what we did. She also sent a copy of her book Potty Animals.

>> The National Geographic Little Kids First Book of Why

>> a Tonka-truck themed set of phonics books

>> this board book, which he's probably too old for, but I know he'll love the flaps and pull-tabs:

Other stocking things that I can recall - a big boy drinking cup with cars on it, a little spin drum, maybe a cheap ukelele sized guitar (though I can't get it to tune very well, so I might scrap it), a Matchbox dump truck

Other ideas for a kid of his age / interests:

>> Pooh's Grand Adventure: the Search for Christopher Robin on DVD

>> 36 and 48 piece wooden puzzles

>> Duplo My First Construction Site set - we're lucky that he's not quite ready for Legos, considering how Elliott puts everything in his mouth.

Is anyone else posting gift roundups? I want to read them!

Reading:  Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

Playing:  Christmas music, of course


  1. I should do this, but every time I think about what I've gotten the kids I feel a little sick because it's the first year we've gone a little nuts.

  2. As far as when they get older and it becomes more important they have the same number of presents, there's no law that says you can't box things together to even it out (as long as they make sense together - like gloves and a hat). it always worked for my mother.