Friday, November 22, 2013

A Christmas Miracle and Gifts for 1 and 4 Year Olds

Last night I finished our Christmas shopping for the girls. A week before Thanksgiving, no less. I'm on fire!

Thanks to our huge construction project and the fact that we're living temporarily in my parents' condo, this Christmas cannot be about piles of *stuff*. When we were packing up our house to move out, I realized how much we have accumulated that we don't even use - clothes for all of us, toys that no one plays with, random kitchen gadgets. I'm no minimalist, but I love the idea I read somewhere about keeping only what's "useful, beautiful, or loved".

So with that in mind, I finished off my Christmas shopping last night on Amazon.

For four year old T:

Amazon Kindle Fire HD (8GB, no ads)

This is her BIG present. I'm rolling my eyes a bit at the idea of a four year old having her own tablet, but I think it's a sign of our technological times, and she will actually get a lot of educational (and fun!) use out of it. We have two trips coming up, and we'll give it to her early to keep her occupied on the plane and car. I chose the version without "special offers" for an extra $15 to minimize her chance of clicking and purchasing something accidentally.

I'm still working on setting it up (I'll write another post later), but will load up a few kids' books, fun apps, music and videos for her. This also means I'll get my phone back at restaurants and waiting rooms!

Tickets to "The Snowman" at the Symphony

Seattle Symphony has an awesome Discover Music series for older kids (6-12) where real symphony musicians play and the conductor explains the music.  The entire show is about an hour, which is perfect. This year they will show the movie The Snowman while the symphony plays the score live. I think T will love it.

Like most kids, T is a born scientist who likes to study the world around her. Because she wears glasses and hasn't yet mastered the idea of closing one eye, things like kaleidoscopes, telescopes, microscopes and binoculars are tricky. This magnifying glass set will be perfect for inspecting slugs (she loves them!) and the fine print on various boxes that she's always asking me to read.

Owl Babies is one of my all time favorite kids' books and T loves it too. This summer at one of the excellent Spanish Story Times at our library, we found out the book has been translated into Spanish. It's a pretty simple story so I can probably manage reading it to her. And soon she'll be able to read it to *us*!

This set of beginning reader books was recommended by a friend. T is very close to being able to read - she has a lot of sight words memorized, and can sound out other simple words with some help. She really wants to read by herself and studies her books carefully for hours (and has memorized many of them!)  So I'm hoping these simple books will be good practice and encouragement for her.

For 1 year old M:

Yes, this sounds crazy. But these little cups are her favorite toy at our toddler group. They're metal, make fun noises, and she loves to nest and separate them. She also loves to put things in them, hand them back and forth to other people, and pretend like she's giving you something to eat. $5.79 for 12? Awesome.

This is another find from her toddler group - when the music teacher brings these out, the babies go crazy. M loves them - they have thin handles and are light, perfect for chubby baby hands. We'll need to keep an eye on them to make sure they don't break, but they are quite sturdy.

Hand Kite and Wooden Eggs

More hippie crunchy toys for BabyM. Watching her interact with the simple toys at her toddler group is amazing - she is so focused and interested in them. I found this Etsy shop, CakeInTheMorn, through a search and fell in love with their wood toys.

The "hand kite" is a smooth wooden ring with a large silky scarf tied to it. The eggs are solid heavy wood, good for putting in things and figuring out gravity and balance. I think they might fit in the nesting cups - we'll have to find out!

For both girls:

Christmas PJs from Old Navy

Since T now wears regular girls' sizes, and M is still in baby sizes, I couldn't find any matching pajamas.  I probably could have looked at Hanna Andersson, but we have a LOT of pajamas already and I didn't want to spend a lot. But I love the idea of special December PJs, especially when we cuddle up and do our Book Advent. T got penguin and snowflake PJs, and M got some cute red ones with a Christmas mouse.

I'm happy with our short list of presents and love that many are things that will be enjoyed through the month of December. I've found that both girls get overwhelmed when there are too many boxes to open and new things clamoring for their attention. Having just a few presents on Christmas Day will be much better, I hope!

What about you?  Have you started your shopping yet?


  1. You are amazing!! We started in October buying one thing per week, but every year it's the same - we never feel like we're done. I love that you know when to say when.

    1. OMG, one per week in October sounds even harder, to be honest! Plus you have twice as many kids to buy for :)

  2. I love the magnifying idea. That's so geeky it's awesome.

    1. I know, right? I love that it's so simple, but will keep her engrossed for hours.

  3. go you! and those little stainless dishes are awesome!

    1. I would NEVER in a million years have guessed that those cups would be so fun for babies, but every week at our toddler group, M gravitates toward them.

  4. I like that hand kite, I think my 2 year old would enjoy something like that. Great list. I am somewhat considering a tablet of some sort of B's 4th birthday next month. Maybe I'll wait until 5...

  5. Love this list - everything seems so simple and high quality. I'm pretty much done to, but have overbought as usual. Am vowing to do better next year!

  6. I just started today -- and fuzzy PJs are the best! I love seeing kids in fuzzy PJs on Christmas morning...


I love comments, so please leave me your thoughts. Thanks in advance!

sharing is nice

Related Posts with Thumbnails