Saturday, December 18, 2010

christmas sneak peek

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, but because it is Natalie's First Christmas I have gone into some Santa excitement overdrive. And, seriously, I'm already excited for next Christmas, when she'll have some understanding of what's going on. I'm totally stealing this advent calendar idea from Georgie Girl, and can't wait to leave cookies and carrots out for Santa and his reindeer.

But, back to this year.

I have to be honest, I've been Christmas shopping since, oh, July. Renee and Claira stopped by for a visit this summer to find a pile of already-wrapped Christmas presents stacked in the corner of our dining room. I told you, overdrive.

And now Christmas is only a week away!! What I have discovered about doing Christmas shopping so early? You forget what you bought. Seriously. I can totally do a surprised face for any present labelled from Santa Claus, and for pretty much anything that's signed from Mama and Dada, too. The one thing I do remember buying is Natalie's one big gift from us:

We chose the Laugh and Learn House Playset because it was really well reviewed for both babies of crawling age and for toddlers, so we're hoping it will be a toy that grows with Natalie. The musical features are supposedly not ear-bleeders, and it doesn't seem as hideously ugly a piece of plastic as so many of the baby toys we've seen. We spent a lot of time choosing what her big gift would be, since we wanted to set some reasonable limits on our spending but also wanted Natalie to have something special under the tree.

It's been tougher than I imagined it would be to keep myself from over-buying this Christmas. It's not that Mikey and I have tons of disposable income to spare for holiday gifts, but I find myself wanting to get just one more thing as soon as I think we're done. The only thing holding me back is the promise that the Moo and I made to each other to keep Christmas from being all about presents and having and consumerism and gluttonous-plastictasticness (hey, if Sarah Palin can make up words, so can I). To keep things somewhat sane on Christmas morning we agreed to get Natalie one "big" gift and a handful of smaller things (including, I think, a couple more toys and a pea coat... but, truly, I am fuzzy on the details), and spread the word to the grandparents that they should not go overboard, either. When we expressed how important it was to us that Natalie's Christmas be about experiences and not presents, Mike's dad and stepmom got on board with taking a trip instead of exchanging gifts, so we're headed to Florida two days after Christmas for some quality time together. My secret elf spies have hinted that Natalie's Gma and Gpa have picked out a musical learning table that we've had our eye on (cousin Carly has one!), which just leaves my parents as the wild cards. We'll see how it all shakes out on Christmas morning, but I'm hoping we'll be able to look around at all the ripped wrapping paper and piles of bows and feel proud that we didn't let Natalie's first Christmas get out of control.

If not, there's always next year.


  1. We got Carly the laugh and learn farm as her big gift!! Great minds think alike!! I hope they both love them!

  2. I completely agree with you on letting Christmas get out of hand. Dave and I have also set some limits when it comes to getting stuff for the kids. I tell you though if you are having trouble this year just wait until she is older and it is way more fun to find stuff you know she will like. The last two years with Luke it was pretty low key since he didn't really know what was going on. This year with Abby it has been pretty easy too since I just got her stuff that she kinda needed. Luke on the other hand I had made a list and have found it very hard to not get more. I keep seeing things and then say oh this will be for his stocking. We have also asked grandparents to tone it down a little. My dad and Dave's dad are pretty on board with this because that is sorta how they are anyway. The hard one is Dave's mom. This year will be a test since it really is the first year we said anything but we will see how it goes. On another note it is too funny you are planning the book advent for next year because when I saw that on her blog I was doing the same thing. We unfortunately only have a couple of Christmas books so this year I am boosting our collection and have asked the siblings for books for the kids. It is so much fun to read to them and I can't wait to do it next year to start a new tradition.

  3. Man, it's a really good thing I don't have kids, because I am terrible at holding back on presents. Jason seems to be okay with this.

    I have a feeling you two will do just fine at making Christmas about love and family and not boatloads of plastic.

  4. We got a Laugh and Learn House Playset for our babe as well! And this is why I'm terrible with Christmas surprises -- we're already playing with it. But it still counts as Christmas because it will be appearing under the tree! (I won't be able to do that next year, I think.)

    The chute that plays "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" is my babe's favorite part. He's a bit too young to really interact with the door, but like you, I'm hoping it's a present that will grow with the kid.

    I agree with you 100 percent on not overloading the kid with toys. I want to encourage my kid to use his imagination to play, and I think having fewer toys will help with that. I have memories of playing store with my sister. Our cash register was a jewlery box and the money was Monopoly money. Books became computers, rocks became phasers (er -- my Star Trek fandom showing through there). Who needs toys when you've got a whole world to play with?