Tuesday, December 30, 2014


My kids get so much stuff for Christmas.  Like - so much stuff.  They have very doting grandparents, great-grandparents, friends, and teachers.  I really have not felt like there was much I could do to compete with that, and in fact, for their birthdays and Christmases so far, I've not really gotten them anything!  I will make whatever food they want on their special days, but I leave the material gift-giving to the professionals.

I started to feel a little guilty about this, though, and decided I would try out a strategy I'd heard about from friends:  give them four types of presents.

1)  Something they want.

2)  Something they need.

3)  Something to wear.

4)  Something to read.

So, how did Christmas 2014 stack up?

I think it went pretty well!  I decided to hand-make what I could, given my time constraints.

I knit Vicki a pair of soft socks in her favorite color (purple!) - so there is #3 for her.  And Todd needed a cross-stitched cuff for his stocking, so there is his #2.

Here are the finished products!  I'm really happy with them, and I'm glad I decided to stitch Todd's present, as I'd forgotten how enjoyable counted cross-stitch can be.

I also went to a local kids' gift store and bought a few items for them.

Here's the array:  a got them each a few Schleich animals, which are my favorite.  I got Todd a little Euro-style race car.  Vicki got some new triangular crayons.  One book for each of them.  They each got a few of their favorite beautiful satsumas.  You can see Vicki's socks and Todd's stocking topper here. Not pictured is another gift I gave to Vicki earlier in the week.  She had been begging for a pink Thermos cup and soup container every time we went to Target.  So I got them for her.

You can also see the hand-quilted and -stitched stocking my own grandmother made for me ("I Love Christmas").  I gave myself a couple of oranges too.  :)

In years to come, I intend to knit and felt a Christmas stocking for each of them, cross-stitch Vicki a stocking cuff as well, and stitch the cuffs onto the stockings.  But all that can wait until next year at least.

So, here's how it all broke out:

1)  Something they want:  Thermos cup and container for Vicki, race car for Todd.

2)  Something they need:  crayons for Vicki, stocking cuff for Todd.

3)  Something to wear:  socks for Vicki, didn't get around to this for Todd!  Fail.

4)  Something to read:  a simple Christmas-related book for each of them.

They have really loved all of this, in addition to the many others toys and treats they have received.  Funny enough, the thing they have loved playing with the most is our nativity!  They like keeping the wise men far away and then moving them a bit closer each day until Epiphany.  They also loved putting baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas Eve after church.  I love how this set is wooden and durable, and I don't mind at all if they want to play with it!  In fact, my heart just delights in hearing Todd lisp, "Baby Jesus!"

How have you approached gift-giving in your family?

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