You know it because the day after halloween our Wal Mart Supercenter had the floor to ceiling tree hung and decorated.
You know it because everyday a new covet-R-us catalog comes in the mail – and the toy magazines come as well.
You know it because the frugal girls are blogging all about how to afford the holidays with various clever home made gifts, while the simple living girls are blogging about how to plan far enough in advance to avoid stress and last minute spending.
You know it because there are various rehearsals at church for cantatas, pageants, and other special Christmas services.
It is coming, and I love it!
I can’t wait to put on the Christmas Carols. I can’t wait to deck my halls. I can’t wait to bake cookies and side dishes and desserts that will accompany our traditional holiday feasts. I can’t wait to be with my family and my extended family opening presents, singing carols, and playing games til the wee hours. And most of all, I can’t wait to have my mind blown once again as I spend a season pondering the fact that the Creator of the Universe, the Prince of Glory, came to earth in the form of a helpless baby born in a manger in Bethlehem. I love Christmas! I’m so glad it’s coming soon.
Keeping in mind my simple-living friend’s counsel, I want to get a head start this year on the Christmas shopping. Yes, for some of us November would be an early start. I just thought I’d throw out the question:
What are some of your favorite, stand the test of time Christmas gifts for children?
My kids are 11, 11, 10 – boys and 7 – girl. I’d love to hear your suggestions for gifts for these ages. I would love to hear in the categories of books, board games, and brain building things.
If you’re interested, here is a small sampling of our tried and true gifts from over the years:
pajamas, slippers, robe (we give this on Christmas Eve every year so they can wake up in their new duds for Christmas pictures – we don’t get a robe every year, it just depends on if last year’s still fits. My kids wear their robes every morning. It’s funny to me that they love them so much, but they do.).
Nerf guns (we get one for each boy and for daddy because he loves to chase them around the house shooting at them. over the years we have collected a complete arsenal so when other boys come over to play, they have plenty of guns to go around. I try to stock up on bullets a couple of times a year.)
legos (this is something we play with every single day of our lives – for our family it has been completely worth the money. We started with the Duplos, but moved on to Legos early on because the Duplos can be frustrating due to falling apart easily. We still keep duplos for making weapons and large robots 🙂 . )
Thomas trains (this was also a daily until the boys were about 7 or 8. One of my boys had a train in each hand everyday all day for a couple of years of his life. they still pull out the tracks once in a while to make a new train…totally worth the money and I recommend getting the real stuff, not the cheap kind. I don’t know if they resolved the led paint issue – does anybody know?)
Hidden Pictures books from Highlights. We used to order Highlights for them, but honestly, they mostly loved the hidden pictures so we get a collection of them each year. We like I Spy books too, but we borrow them from the library so it’s not such a novelty to get them.
Action Figures for the boys. It can be super heroes, star wars guys, g.i. joes, any action figure that fits in your hand (4-6 inches tall) and it gets well used in this house. The accessories like space ships, jeeps, other devices really don’t get the longevity that the actual guy gets.
Stuffed animals for Maggie. This girl would prefer a stuffed animal anyday to a doll.
army men. The super cheapy kind you get at the dollar store will work. we have a ton of them and they get pretty consistent play action. The boys set up vignettes with old fashioned wood blocks as barricades and such.
paper, scissors, tape, markers, stickers, pipe cleaners. This is what Maggie plays with every day. Give a kid a whole thing of tape all to themselves, and they think they hit the jackpot. This year I’m going to put together a crafting kit in a tackle box. I think the idea came from simple mom, but I’m not sure. It seems like a good way to store all of her crafting stuff. If you haven’t before, try the pipe cleaners. My kids play with these for hours sometimes. Who knew?!
Your turn! Please!!!! Leave some ideas for gifts that you believe will really get played with for the long haul. It doesn’t matter what age group because we can all help each other. I can’t wait to hear from you ladies.