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#1 of 20 Old 11-16-2012, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What I mean is, I have been going back and forth between wanting to get a ton of cool toys for her (21 months) and feeling guilty for doing the whole Christmas gift thing. I don't know why, maybe it's pregnancy hormones. I just feel like Christmas is so fun when you are a little kid and then when you grow up its so anti-climatic because everything builds up to one day, the day goes by fast, and it's over.

 

So my questions are:

 

1.  How are you celebrating Christmas (holidays) without feeling like you are raising a materialistic child?

 

2.  Do you do a lot of gifts, one big gift, or something different all together?

 

I feel like whatever we do this year will be the standard of what we do every year after.

 

Also, we (me) are looking more forward to the decorating of the house and baking than gift giving and the formalities of shopping and giving gifts to relatives you rarely see or talk to.

 

 

 

Sorry if this is a really humbug post!!!!!!


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#2 of 20 Old 11-16-2012, 03:42 PM
 
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I don't do a ton of gifts (because the grandparents tend to send so much stuff that I really don't need to add to that at all.  In fact, if I get too much stuff, I put some of it away and bring it out later in the year at random intervals).

 

Instead, I tend to focus more on decorating, and doing little fun things--making holiday crafts, reading books, going to community events, listening to music, and stuff like that (the experiential side of it).
 

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#3 of 20 Old 11-16-2012, 04:11 PM
 
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We do some clothes she needs anyways and a couple of cool little things or one bigger thing. As pp said, grandparents do so much that we keep it really low key.
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#4 of 20 Old 11-16-2012, 06:24 PM
 
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We have been doing (and will this year, too) one big gift (ideally something she'll play with for many years and then pass down) accompanied by a few other things, like a book, a puzzle, a game (replacements for things she's outgrown).  Actually, that seems to be my "thing" for kid's gifts - an open-ended toy, a book, an item of clothing.  Then we also do a stocking with one gift per 12 days of Christmas, starting on Christmas Day.  We did this growing up, and it was the perfect thing to keep away the post-Christmas letdown.  My problem is that I tend to buy a lot of stuff leading up to Christmas....trying to quell that this year, but I REALLY want a wooden advent calendar with nativity pieces inside!!!

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#5 of 20 Old 11-16-2012, 07:54 PM
 
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I feel like whatever we do this year will be the standard of what we do every year after.

 

Also, we (me) are looking more forward to the decorating of the house and baking than gift giving and the formalities of shopping and giving gifts to relatives you rarely see or talk to.

 

 

She is 21 months.  She will build a warm and fuzzy association with Christmas, but she won't remember the details.  Breathe.  Relax.  Enjoy.

Also, there's no law that says you have to do things the same way every Christmas.  Some years you might get one big present.  Other years small ones.  The Christmas police will not come to your door.  If you like the baking, maybe bake something you can give as gifts?  Candied pecans?  Fudge?

 

I tend to buy a lot of small gifts.  DH is the oldest of 5 kids, so his vision of Christmas has a tree that is literally overflowing with presents.  Making some of the gifts practical helps (books, clothes, the snow suit you were going to get them anyway, etc.)  To me Christmas is being with family, going to church, singing, and food.

 

We're Christian, so we will celebrate Advent.  There's the Advent calendar, devotions, candles, the Christmas tree, the lights, the Nativity story, the church Christmas program, Christmas carols,  parties, community sings, and cookie-baking.  The cookies!  (I think I need 18 dozen for the events we've signed up for so far -- eek!)

 

As for gift-giving, DS is old enough now (age 3) to understand giving to other people, so I'll help him make frames for family photos, cards, etc. to give as gifts.  He wants to pick out some things for friends at daycare, and we'll get something for his teachers.  For his birthday a few months ago I found it was really helpful to have him write the thank you notes with me.  We talked about who got him each present, and he dictated to me and decorated them with drawings and stickers.  We're not doing Santa (please don't send the Christmas police after me!).

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#6 of 20 Old 11-20-2012, 10:28 PM
 
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We don't do gifts, but we definitely do Christmas... lots of music, activities, and homemade decorations... and a polar express ride this year on the local scenic rail line!! We also do a tiny bit of shopping for charitable causes, and we volunteer at various events. We also have a new special holiday tradition, that I hope we'll carry from year to year. I've started already... writing letters with sentiments of encouragement and support to strangers and leaving them in random places like public restrooms, vending machines, library books where people will find them. I got the idea from a TED talk I watched earlier this month. This year, we'll add pictures drawn by Moo and eventually when he gets old enough he can write his own nice things too. It's been really fun for me to go back to the places I've left the notes to see that they've been read and moved, or to see someone carrying one in their hand out of a restroom or a cafe. I'm excited for when he'll be able to really understand that (he's 14 mos. now, so maybe not yet). What's tough is trying to get friends and family to honor our no gifts requests. I get frustrated about that because I feel like not honoring my request to keep the gifts to just one (I don't even say none!) undermines what I want to teach him about the holiday season, and I feel like it's very disrespectful.


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#7 of 20 Old 11-21-2012, 08:33 AM
 
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As far as gifts go we do a stocking that is usually a couple of toys and practical things, like some underware, toothbrush and paste, mitts. We will do a santa gift, that is the big one, and then a gift from mom and dad, and usually it is more on the practical side, like clothes and books. the problem I have wiht my 2 year old is that he is the third and they are all the same sex, so we already have a ton of toys and little kid books so don't really need anything, I have no idea what to get.

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#8 of 20 Old 11-21-2012, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mommel - That is what I am a little worried about. That we figure out a good non-over the top way of celebrating and then we go to grandma's house and it's like, "Here's 32 presents not-even-2-year-old!!!!!!!!"

 

I think we have decided to do 1 really fun activity each week during advent, one big gift on Christmas Day, and then 1 stocking stuffer each day of the 12 days of Christmas. I got all the stocking stuffers in the 99 cents to 8 dollar range. Just some random fun stuff. A coloring book, letter flashcards, small cups that fit her hand, little trinket toys, some candy, etc. Actually I let her pick out all her own this year since she won't remember them in 6 weeks anyway. heehee.

 

Thanks for all the good input ladies!


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#9 of 20 Old 11-21-2012, 06:04 PM
 
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 We have done a lot of presents in the past (but our son was too young to really get it or care), now he's old enough to WANT things (Everything!), and to love opening presents. We are going to do less this year, but we are still doing presents, so far we've bought him 2 books and puzzle. We plan on getting him at least a few more train track accessories (maybe a cool bridge or tunnel) and this neat little airport set we saw back at his birthday, but decided he was just a little too young for. So maybe he'll have a half dozen things to open on X-mas morning, plus his stocking, which I usually fill with art things (pencils, crayons, stickers, little notebooks). We are asking family to give small things (especially books) or to give money so we can get him a swing set in the spring. Our new house is so small that we just have a set of shelves int he living room for toys anyway, and they are full with more toy stored in the garage. 

 

So in short we are "Doing" presents, but we are hoping to scale back. 


- Mom to Baby Mark (9/18/10) and 4 wonderful dogs!
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#10 of 20 Old 11-21-2012, 11:18 PM
 
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We are very far away from all of our family.  My parents will be coming to visit, but have already chosen and shipped ahead a small(ish) gift for each of the kids.  Hubby's side does send presents, but you can only mail so much, and others just send gift cards.

 

So, I'll admit that we'll probably get a good many gifts for the toddlers.  For one thing, new toys for them also means a little less monotony for me - so I'll admit it's somewhat selfish.

 

Their birthday was at the end of october.  They each got a cool back pack, one "largish" item (a really nice block set, a cash register), a smaller item (a toy broom, toy tape measure), and jointly a toy barn.  My parents sent some neat play doh things, they got toy toolsets from an aunt, and my FIL sent them kites.  (The last was really nicely thought, but probably not the best for execution.  We're using them for decor in the play room, for the time being.)  So... a lot, but not excessive, I feel.

 

I have a good handful of stocking stuffers hoarded away, and we're currently debating a "big joint item" (which makes me feel guilty) or other individual things... or both... etc.


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#11 of 20 Old 11-22-2012, 09:45 AM
 
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How about a Christmas tree? I am 99% sure we're just going to skip it this year. My DS will be 17 months and I can foresee days and nights full of trying to keep the tree upright- no thanks!


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#12 of 20 Old 11-22-2012, 05:32 PM
 
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How about a Christmas tree? I am 99% sure we're just going to skip it this year. My DS will be 17 months and I can foresee days and nights full of trying to keep the tree upright- no thanks!

We actually decorated a tree in our yard last year with twinkle lights, strings of popcorn, pinecones w/birdseed, etc. We have a small living room, trees are expensive, and we are always with our parents for the holiday, so we aren't there to enjoy it, really. I think we'll do the same this year, especially since DS loves birds.


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#13 of 20 Old 11-22-2012, 06:43 PM
 
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My son was 15 months last year, We had our giant gate around the tree. We are doing a small tree this year and I'll probably mostly put the plastic and other durable ornaments on it. A good trick is to put two nails in opposite walls and tie strong fishing line from the tree to the wall. If you do it right no toddler (or cat) can take the tree down. We do that every year. 


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#14 of 20 Old 11-23-2012, 07:32 PM
 
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My son is two : ) I'm looking forward to Christmas this year because he gets it a bit more and will be able to enjoy the magic alongside his DD

 

The entire month of December is magical. We normally do the advent calendar which has a daily activity, outing or small treasure. And we decorate, listen to music, and make a lot of homemade gifts + have a party so it's just a load of fun. I LOVE the holidays so very much! My DS is also very much into TOYS lately and has seen things in the stores or at friends he's interested in (expressed by shouting me! mine!) I got him a few presents I know he will love. Normally we do one big present and little presents but there's nothing too big he's getting this year, just a bunch of things I know he will dig. Loads of pirate-dress up type things. 


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#15 of 20 Old 11-24-2012, 09:00 AM
 
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Oh lawdy do we do Christmas.  We do gifts, gifts and more gifts.  My husband is horrified, honestly, of the way my family carries on at birthdays and Christmas. 

 

It's hard to say this early how we will maintain a balance.  I am comfortable with going nuts because it's just twice a year;  Christmas and birthdays.  We don't do Easter baskets and Fourth of July baskets (OK, I made that up.) and all that nonsense.  We eat candy and junk food on those holidays, thank you.

 

This year, we (husband and I) are giving her two large gifts, Grandma (my mother) is already going nutso in the toy stores, her Aunt is "on the case" as well... but when she's older, she will understand that we don't go into debt to "do Christmas", and we don't always get everything we want because of the "We don't go into debt to do Christmas." rule.  I am comfortable with this balance.

 

 

 

Ohboyohboyohboy she's getting a slide I cannot wait to see her face!  energy.gif
 


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#16 of 20 Old 11-24-2012, 03:51 PM
 
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My DD is 15 months old now and my family is reeeeeeally into Christmas.  We love Christmas so much that my lil sis was cheering the early Thanksgiving this year because yay!  it means more time to prepare for Christmas!!

 

I feel like we do a lot of handmade Christmas gifts, "coupons" for fun experiences together, and hanging out with family for old Christmas traditions, so I don't really think of Christmas in our house as super materialistic, despite the enormous pile of presents we always have under the tree.  They're just an expression of love and excitement, and everybody knows they're not really the point of the holiday.

 

For my DD's first real memorable Christmas (she was 4 months old last year), we're planning on doing all our traditions like decorating the tree together, getting the whole family together for Christmas Eve & morning, baking cookies, etc.  We probably will not get her a "big" present, as she seems to like toys in inverse proportion to how much they cost...she really likes toys I've put together from assorted junk in the recycle pile, like a plastic lid with holes in it just the right size for poking crayons through (her current favorite).  Here is my tentative Christmas list for her:

1.  Hairclips & shirts that I will decorate with cats (she's crazy about cats, and loves to dress up "pretty pretty")

2.  Books (she loves books, and we are a bookish family)

3.  A play kitchen made from junk in the recycle pile and scraps of felt and yarn, if I have time

4.  A box of Kleenex (to pull out and make a mess with :) she loooooves them)

5.  A bag of Cheerios in the stocking (favorite treat--we have "Cheerio Fridays" at our house so they really are a treat)

6.  A packet of stick bindis (she is half Indian and looooooves to dress up with a bindi.  They are the mostest "pretty pretty" accessory in her world)

7.  Possibly some little homemade puppets, etc. but I might keep them for a trip that's coming up....

8.  Magnets made from pictures of cats, babies and family members (she loves magnets)

9.  A photo album with pictures of her and other family members, decorated with lots of 3D scrapbooking sticker things to pull off (this will be the biggest hit of all, I'm pretty sure, as she LOVES her baby photo album and always wants to pull everything off the pages)

 

I guess that sounds like a lot of stuff...but actually I think it's going to cost about $20-$30 total, and a lot of it is homemade.  When we were growing up, my family always did "the 12 days of Christmas" and opened a (small) present every morning leading up to Christmas--my mom felt that we appreciated the gifts more that way, because we would play with each one for a whole day instead of getting overwhelmed on Christmas, and it sure kept us occupied.  I think we might do that with DD too when she's older.  We used to have an advent calendar with an activity ("get tree," "bake cookies") for each day, too, and loved that!  So much better than chocolate.


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#17 of 20 Old 11-24-2012, 04:38 PM
 
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Oh lawdy do we do Christmas.  We do gifts, gifts and more gifts.  My husband is horrified, honestly, of the way my family carries on at birthdays and Christmas. 

 

It's hard to say this early how we will maintain a balance.  I am comfortable with going nuts because it's just twice a year;  Christmas and birthdays.  We don't do Easter baskets and Fourth of July baskets (OK, I made that up.) and all that nonsense.  We eat candy and junk food on those holidays, thank you.

 

This year, we (husband and I) are giving her two large gifts, Grandma (my mother) is already going nutso in the toy stores, her Aunt is "on the case" as well... but when she's older, she will understand that we don't go into debt to "do Christmas", and we don't always get everything we want because of the "We don't go into debt to do Christmas." rule.  I am comfortable with this balance.

 

 

 

Ohboyohboyohboy she's getting a slide I cannot wait to see her face!  energy.gif
 

 

This post is hilarious.  :)

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#18 of 20 Old 11-24-2012, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh lawdy do we do Christmas.  We do gifts, gifts and more gifts.  My husband is horrified, honestly, of the way my family carries on at birthdays and Christmas. 

 

It's hard to say this early how we will maintain a balance.  I am comfortable with going nuts because it's just twice a year;  Christmas and birthdays.  We don't do Easter baskets and Fourth of July baskets (OK, I made that up.) and all that nonsense.  We eat candy and junk food on those holidays, thank you.

 

This year, we (husband and I) are giving her two large gifts, Grandma (my mother) is already going nutso in the toy stores, her Aunt is "on the case" as well... but when she's older, she will understand that we don't go into debt to "do Christmas", and we don't always get everything we want because of the "We don't go into debt to do Christmas." rule.  I am comfortable with this balance.

 

 

 

Ohboyohboyohboy she's getting a slide I cannot wait to see her face!  energy.gif
 


I loved your post! My DD rrrreeeeeaaaalllllyyyyyy wants a slide too. Her BFF (who's 5) got a playset last summer and she is soooooo jealous! haha


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#19 of 20 Old 11-24-2012, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD is 15 months old now and my family is reeeeeeally into Christmas.  We love Christmas so much that my lil sis was cheering the early Thanksgiving this year because yay!  it means more time to prepare for Christmas!!

 

I feel like we do a lot of handmade Christmas gifts, "coupons" for fun experiences together, and hanging out with family for old Christmas traditions, so I don't really think of Christmas in our house as super materialistic, despite the enormous pile of presents we always have under the tree.  They're just an expression of love and excitement, and everybody knows they're not really the point of the holiday.

 

For my DD's first real memorable Christmas (she was 4 months old last year), we're planning on doing all our traditions like decorating the tree together, getting the whole family together for Christmas Eve & morning, baking cookies, etc.  We probably will not get her a "big" present, as she seems to like toys in inverse proportion to how much they cost...she really likes toys I've put together from assorted junk in the recycle pile, like a plastic lid with holes in it just the right size for poking crayons through (her current favorite).  Here is my tentative Christmas list for her:

1.  Hairclips & shirts that I will decorate with cats (she's crazy about cats, and loves to dress up "pretty pretty")

2.  Books (she loves books, and we are a bookish family)

3.  A play kitchen made from junk in the recycle pile and scraps of felt and yarn, if I have time

4.  A box of Kleenex (to pull out and make a mess with :) she loooooves them)

5.  A bag of Cheerios in the stocking (favorite treat--we have "Cheerio Fridays" at our house so they really are a treat)

6.  A packet of stick bindis (she is half Indian and looooooves to dress up with a bindi.  They are the mostest "pretty pretty" accessory in her world)

7.  Possibly some little homemade puppets, etc. but I might keep them for a trip that's coming up....

8.  Magnets made from pictures of cats, babies and family members (she loves magnets)

9.  A photo album with pictures of her and other family members, decorated with lots of 3D scrapbooking sticker things to pull off (this will be the biggest hit of all, I'm pretty sure, as she LOVES her baby photo album and always wants to pull everything off the pages)

 

I guess that sounds like a lot of stuff...but actually I think it's going to cost about $20-$30 total, and a lot of it is homemade.  When we were growing up, my family always did "the 12 days of Christmas" and opened a (small) present every morning leading up to Christmas--my mom felt that we appreciated the gifts more that way, because we would play with each one for a whole day instead of getting overwhelmed on Christmas, and it sure kept us occupied.  I think we might do that with DD too when she's older.  We used to have an advent calendar with an activity ("get tree," "bake cookies") for each day, too, and loved that!  So much better than chocolate.


That list sounds like my DD too. Actually I could wrap just about anything off our home office desk and she would be so happy. She is always going after those things!


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#20 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 04:44 AM
 
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My kids get a lot of presents, between 3 sets of grandparents spoiling them rotten and the gifts we get them, there's a lot. BUT we teach our children that Christmas is about Jesus, giving, and family and friends. The presents are probably their favorite part, but they aren't picky or rude about gifts and treat everything from a LaLaLoopsy to a pair of socks like gold. 

I try to get the kids toys that will last but under our $200/kid budget... so some years they end up with more and sometimes not.. this year is a not at least not from us. We have a lot of traditions we do around Christmas time as well... we watch Christmas movies every day from the 1st-25th, get a new ornament for the tree, get new pj's on Christmas Eve, make projects, bake cookies, etc. while I assume the kids like the present part the best, I hope our traditions stick out when they get older, it certainly did for me :) 


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