We (meaning me) used to set a dollar amount for each child and then buy until I ran out of money. That worked fine when we had only one child. Fast forward to the Christmas of 2007 and I saw the error of my ways. There were so many gifts (for three kids) that we could hardly move around our Christmas tree! It was excessive and turned our children into greedy little brats. They would unwrap a gift, look at it, toss it behind them and move on. I was ashamed by their actions! So, I vowed that wouldn't happen again. We now buy only three gifts for each child and spend no more than $100 for each child. Of course, if one of them is into Polly Pockets, it doesn't mean they only get three little Polly Pockets. I would group a bunch of them together and that would count as one gift. If one wants earrings, she wouldn't get just one pair, she would receive a few pairs boxed together. It has been working for the last two years and I hope it continues to work. We certainly had a lot less toys tossed aside after a few moments of playtime. The kids have seemed a bit more appreciative of what they receive and they are starting to learn the value of a dollar and whether a particular toy is worthy of making their final list.
Here is what I am thinking:
She really wants her own video camera. Sounds simple enough until I realized that just that one gift was likely to blow the $100 limit I set for each kid! I figured that a little pocket camcorder was going to run me around $50 and that I would have enough left over to buy her a couple other items. Wrong! Right now, the cheapest contender is $65. I will be letting Carlos make the final decision since he is the electronics guru in our house. We are trying to decide between a Flip, the Kodak Zx1 and the RCA Small Wonder.
I am out of any other ideas for her. She mentioned wanting a guitar but I don't know how much actual use it would get. Carlos has offered to teach her how to play (he plays a little) to get her started. She is also into clothes, so maybe a gift card to Justice or Target so she could have a little shopping trip? Books are always a winner with her so that is on the table as well.
She is virtually impossible to buy for! She likes EVERYTHING! Meg has no specific interests. If it's pink and sparkles she will probably like it. Last year she was all about American Girl dolls and clothes, however, this year that hasn't even been mentioned. I know she is big into Barbie, but how many naked blonde Barbies do we really need? Maybe some Barbie clothing sets would work. I know in the past she has mentioned a Barbie pool, so that's one way to go.
Lily is my easiest child to shop for. She has a very few specific things that she is into and would be happy with anything that has to do with any of them. She is into My Little Pony, Polly Pocket, Puppy in my Pocket and Disney Princesses. I have already gotten her a Tiana doll and a Naveen doll from The Disney Store. I will throw in a DVD of The Princess and the Frog to round it out. She is also getting the My Little Pony Mermaid Castle Playset along with several little sets to go with it.
I am so excited to shop for my little man this year! I will have to make sure I don't go overboard. I have already gotten him one Sing-A-Ma-Jig and I plan to get him at least one more. Have you seen these things? They are so cute! They sing alone or you can have several of them harmonize!
So, that's what I am thinkg for my gang. Any neat ideas you have that you care to share? Leave a comment and let me know!