Friday, September 12, 2014

It's September! You Know What That Means...

...time to start the Christmas shopping!

Okay, stop throwing things at your computer screen, they won't hit me, and Santa won't bring you a new laptop if you can't take care of the one you have now.

I used to be the person who shopped sales all year round and had a box of perfect gifts ready for each child by the time December rolled around. I have no idea where that person went. I really wish she would stop by. All I have right now are the two items I bought yesterday when I saw them, realized instantly how they would make a certain 4-year-old gasp, and realized just after that...that it is mid-September, and I got nothin'. At least I'm not having a baby this time!

Now, my kids do not NEED any more stuff. This is a picture from my Mommy meltdown last month:

There are a total of seven drawers in the entire house, plus one costume box, that all three older kids' toys are supposed to fit into.  What you see here are the contents of said drawers, everything that was under beds and behind doors, and the many tubs of toys that I had packed up and put in the garage because they weren't picked up at the end of the day (news flash: that doesn't make them any better at picking up toys, and it means YOU have to pick them up to put them in the tubs.) I'll spare you the whole long weekend of sorting, but many toys went to the thrift shop, nothing went back into the garage, and everything now fits in those seven drawers and costume box.

And my floor still regularly looks like this.

So. Once again, we are going to try to keep Christmas about the fun and the giving and gifts that are more about learning and outdoors and experiences. And which don't include small pieces, because:

he was standing up last night.

One of my favorite things to do is pair a gift with a book. My kids love books anyway, and we know that connecting what we are reading to real life helps us comprehend and remember so much better. The absolute best place I've seen to find ideas is MotherReader's 150 Ways to Give a Book. She has some general ideas, as well as some book-specific ones, complete with links in many cases. I have already started an Amazon wish list for interested relatives to peruse!

In that vein, my book reviews for the next few months will include suggestions for gifts to give with each book. I did that on a small scale last year, but this time I will try to follow her example and give links to products where applicable. That is completely for your convenience, I am no longer an Amazon affiliate so I get no money if you purchase it. Please let me know if there is a specific child on your shopping list that you need ideas for, and we can all brainstorm together! In the meantime...

103 Shopping Days Left!

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