Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Christmas Giving Has Begun

This season is crazy...well aren't they all. But this one seems especially busy with me starting my Paparazzi business and my advent calendars on Etsy usually start to go nutso this month and they have. Not including the random order of wedding albums, etc that come in. Anyway, I am trying so hard to stay ahead of the game, the best I can this year.

We have Jesse/Becky/Wesley and Brent/Noelle/Iris this year on both sides of our families. I already know what they are getting which is half the battle. The other half of the battle is that they require some DIY on my part but I am so excited for both. Mindy and I are working on one of them Saturday and I can not wait. Too bad I can't post what it is or the after pictures because it is fun. The other can wait for closer to Christmas when things hopefully slow down a tad.

But what I am the most excited about is what I am doing for my kids. Kids now these days get almost way too much stuff. What I have learned in the last couple of years is that I bought things that really did not have a lasting purpose and what I thought would be fun Gunnar could really care less. Money wasted. A came across and idea last year of how to make gift giving more purposeful and reigned in really.

There are 4 gifts. One gift you need, one you want, one you read and one you wear. Yep, that is what we are doing and I am pretty much mostly done. My kids won't miss piles of presents which they have never had but this will help us plan with more of a focus. My kids can't read, so I will list a rundown of what we have so far. We still do jammies Christmas Eve and will have a few things in stockings too. I also do a family gift that is from Jeff and I. The rest are from Santa.

Brecken is a toddler. I hate buying things for this age really. They don't get and really this kid needs nothing fancy. He has everything he needs toy wise.
Need: camping pillow- now this one is funny. We went camping a couple of times this summer and it was miserable for me. Brecken wanted to be close to me and shared a bag to stay warm, Gunnar stole my camping pillow so I was uncomfortable and cold most of the time. Since then we found a North Face sleeping bag at a yard sale this summer which is our spare for Brecken until he gets a kid one. Then I found these camping pillows at Costco with my mom a couple of months ago-PERFECT! Both boys get one and yes, it falls in the need category. No more taking my pillow from me.
Want: still haven't figured this one out. He doesn't really "want" anything right now.
Read: books from Gunnar's book fair at school
Wear: big huge box of diapers-he wears them right?! and they do have a purpose. And one cute little shirt I found at Target on extreme clearance
Stocking: I did find those acrylic cups with lids and fat straws on sale that I plan on putting in the stockings with candy maybe inside of those. Perfect for thick smoothies we eat often.
Bought his jammies last year after the holidays on clearance.

Gunnar is a fun little child to buy for. He is actually really easy going about gifts and we never went overboard before so he doesn't whine about not getting enough.
Need: yep, he got a camping pillow too. He'll actually be excited. We do plan on buying him is own backpacking pack for his birthday next year so he is really getting into this stuff.
Want: He loves the Blok Squad things from megablocks. I plan on getting it cheap or free from my swagbucks. That's awesome and he will love it. He talks about them all of the time.
Read: books from the school book fair, I seriously had to limit myself. I love buying books!
Wear: I found him some cute clothes at Target on clearance too but I think he may need a couple more. That kid grew and used clothes are so hard to find in good condition at this age.
Stocking:acrylic cup and darts for his nerf guns
His jammies are also already bought. I'm not picky and lucked out when I was at our local kid consignment store and found 2 pairs of jammies his size with tags still on them.

I'm still not sure on the family gift. Games or movie-Cars 2 maybe. Gunnar has been talking nonstop about it since we rented it last week.

Why am I telling you this? Not really sure but it may be that I wanted to record for myself that we can have a great Christmas without spending a lot. Jeff and I have just been talking a lot lately about buying gifts with a purpose and not just spending money or buying something to just buy or give. It makes no sense and just creates clutter in those homes you give to. We also talked about how planning with a purpose gives us direction for future birthdays. For example, we learned that getting Gunnar a backpack would be handy but then quickly realized that his birthday is in April, earlier than we typically would have been thinking about camping gear. Now that we have identified the want, we can work towards getting it before the camping season hits as a gift rather than just a last minute purchase in the summer. Does that even make sense. I tend to think of things that I would like for my birthday (November) when it is my birthday but those items are not on sale/inexpensive or in some cases are hard to find in November if it is a summer thing. Anyway, just something on my mind and decided to right it down as Christmas is fast approaching. I just feel like I have a handle on Christmas this year and feel so good about that.

1 clever remarks:

Rachel said...

Aren't swag bucks the best?! I got a couple of photography things for Derek to give to me for Christmas with my "free" money!!

And I think your plan for Christmas gifts is awesome!! We've been thinking that we need to scale back Christmas too, which is hard because gift giving is my primary love language!!!