I was having a flick through The Land of Nod’s September catalogue and had a chuckle at the Christmas gift guides for babies and toddlers (and young kids too for that matter). This will be our third Christmas as a family, and we are still going to be keeping it simple on the gifts for them because it makes no difference if they get a new toothbrush or an expensive toy. I’d rather spread out the bigger gifts over the year because in the first few years they are more linked to developmental stages than designated holidays, and over the next year we are probably going to think about getting them tricycles, outdoor toys (sand table, water table, up date the swing set in the garden) and a play kitchen. And who knows what else…
(I also want to keep expectations around birthdays and Christmases low, and I know expectations are relative and ours probably place us in the high end of middle class frugal.)
For the girls first Christmas they got no gifts from us. They were two months old. They had sucked the life out of us with near constant feeding (+12 bottles per day times 2) and crying and wanting to be held all the time, and more crying and not sleeping at night. So come to Christmas they got nothing but our souls and tears.
Last year the girls were 14 months old, and I was still physically recovering from the strain of Sandy, and Zoey wasn’t sleeping or eating well. I wasn’t in the ho-ho-ho mode but things were better (I made mince pies from scratch and we bought a small tree!) than the previous two Christmases (2010 was a whole other ballgame) so we got the girls a few gifts: water bottles, t-shirts, toothbrushes and bouncy balls. The girls didn’t have any interest in ripping paper but enjoyed playing with it once scrunched up, and their gifts were a hit. But, that said tupperware would also have been a big hit.
This year I am feeling the ho-ho-ho. There will be a tree, and lights on our house. George Michael’s ‘Last Christmas’ and Mariah Carey ‘All I Want For Christmas is You’ will be on repeat. There will be hot chocolate and home-made Turkish delight. But we still keep our gifts to the girls simple because they will only be 2, and they have no idea what is on The Land of Nod’s gift guide. Ssssh!
At the moment, between their socks and presents under the tree, I’m thinking: jigsaws, picture dominoes, toothbrushes, water bottles, combs and brush, a new Telsa t-shirt (size 4yo obviously), vests/pjs, crayons/colored pencils & note pad,a few new books, bouncy balls, and perhaps some dress-up items. That sounds like quite a haul to me! Oooh and folding chairs for the beach/camping that we got on sale. This makes me feel like we will be kicked out of middle class frugal!