I love Christmas.
Grace loves Christmas, too. Last week, every time I brought up being thankful for something, she was thankful for Christmas, Santa Claus, and presents.
I've been reading Christmas Gift Guides all over the internet; the best ones I've seen so far were at ZRecs and No Time for Flashcards. I'm sure there are other amazing ones, but those two really line up with the kinds of gifts we buy for Grace, so I read them carefully to see what the authors had to say. It also helps that I know and love the authors of both sites.
I'm just saying.
Rather than come up with a Christmas Gift Guide of all of the awesome things that are on the market, I am simply going to tell you what Grace is getting for Christmas and the things she already has that I would buy for her if she didn't already have them.
You get the idea, right?
Joe and I decided to limit Christmas to 5 gifts this year. My shopping addiction enthusiasm for the holiday caused me to go over by one gift, but I have done a lot better than last year.
We have every item listed here. Grace has been playing with some for a while, and she'll get some others on Christmas. Most of these items have been purchased by us or by family members at our request.Ã‚ Some have been given to us by their respective companies, but I note that in the description when it applies. I did not include everything we've received from company representatives; the items I included here really are our favorites.
Gifts Grace is getting for Christmas:
- Our family tradition is that Grace gets one present to open on Christmas Eve, and it will contain new jammies. This year, she's getting two pairs fleece jammies from Carter's: one with a penguin and one with a snowman.
- This is a tradition that I love; all of her present-opening photos will feature her cute new pajamas.
A Thomas the Train set (the Bridge & Crane Figure 8 Set) with an Expansion Pack, extra train cars
- This was a spur of the moment decision. I had some gift certificates to a local store, the store was deeply discounting Thomas the Train stuff, and I decided to make it Grace's major present. End of story.
- I'm excited to give this to Grace. Every time we go into a store with a train table, I have to sit and wait while Gr ace plays with the trains. I hope she plays with her own trains as much.
A small set of rubber stamps from Melissa & Doug
- Grace is really interested in stamping right now, and she's always been very interested in animals. This set is perfect because it includes both.
- Especially if the stamps are used on skin.
- Grace has been using my compact digital camera for a couple of months, so I thought this camera would be awesome for her. It's supposed to be impact-resistant and built for little people. It has internal memory and works on AA batteries.
- I may bump this to Valentine's Day or Easter, depending on how our final present pile looks.
2 extra books for her Bugsby Reading System
- Grace loves her bookworm, and she reads the books we have constantly. She's in that I can do it myself! phase of life, so she really appreciates being able to read by herself.
- Joe and I chose two new books for her Bugsby reader because they feature her favorite characters, Dora and Max & Ruby.
- We originally received the Bugsby Reading System for a review from V.Tech, but we chose the purchase these books on our own because Grace uses it so much.
A giant rubber duckie
- This is the only gift that Grace actually requested from Santa.
- She asked for a rubber duckie, and I bought the two that are going into her stocking. A few days later, she told my friend that Santa was bringing her a big, blue Momma duckie. Not sure the others would suffice, I ordered this one from Amazon.com for an insane sum of money.
Little Tykes Pop Tunes Big Rocker Guitar
- In addition to her other talents, Grace is very musical. She loves music, and she has a lot of musical instruments. Our living room is littered with toys, but among the melee is a recorder, a drum, a piano, a xylophone (featured below), and assorted maracas and other percussion instruments.
- Back when I began to think about Christmas, I asked the grandparents to look for other musical instruments for Christmas, including a guitar and a pretend violin.
- Last week, when Grace and I were shopping, Grace caused a major ruckus when I insisted that the guitar couldn't home with us. She had played with it for a while, and she really loved it.
Dolphin Adventure Boat from Sprig Toys
- I love Sprig Toys. I met two representatives from the company at the Type-A Mom conference in September. Their toys are made from recycled plastic and reclaimed sawdust.
- This boat can go in the bathtub, the living room, the back yard, and even into the dishwasher. No more cruddy bath toys!
- The box says that it's an animal sounds game. I have no idea what that means, but it's based on the works of Eric Carle, so it can't be that bad. I hope.
- Grace has been enamored with animals since early on, so I thought she'd like this. Whatever it turns out to be.
- When I was little, Santa always left a couple of gifts for the family. They were always board games or other whole group activities. I remember that, and I think it's a nice idea. The games I've listed here will be from Santa for the whole family.
- I bought this a while ago, and then I found out that my sister also bought it. I'm going to return mine so that my sister can give it to Grace instead.
- I have always loved Uno, so if this is similar, I'm sure we'll love it.
- Grace likes to play checkers. Or pretend to play checkers. I'm not sure which it is exactly.
- Instead of a grown-up checkers set for our little tyke, we chose a set with 3-inch checkers and a woven rug for a game board.
- I had one of these when I was little. I loved it. I carried it around and used it until I was in high school.
Grace's Christmas Stocking will Hold
A Dora Umbrella
A mug that says Grace
Santa Claus Pez dispenser
- Does this require any explanation?
- Kids love candy, and everybody loves Pez.
A bunch of socks from the Target $1 bins
A couple of small wooden puzzles and a wooden tic-tac-toe game from the Target $1 bins
HABA jewelry and a little jewelry case
- Grace has been enamored with Eebee since I brought home a preview DVD from BlogHer. We watch Eebee videos online, and we have recently been cooking with Eebee's new cookbook.
Things she already has but that I highly recommend:
- We received Grace's My Learning Tower for a review earlier in the fall, and we love it. Grace still climbs up into it almost every day, and she helps cook and do dishes. We just hang out in the kitchen, and that time is priceless.
- I mentioned this above. We've had it since the fall, and Grace loves it. Bugsby gets a lot of action in our house.
- I've seen books for little kids like Grace and for older kids, up to age 7.
- I just got this a few weeks ago. Joe was disappointed in my inability to control myself, but all three of us have played with it most days.
- The piano has sheet music on the box, so you can cut it out and play some tunes with the color-coded music. It works.
- One or two of the notes are off-key, but it doesn't bother Gracie.
- Dinosaurs. That's all you need to say in order to entice me. I am an earth and space science teacher, and I love dinosaurs. This set comes with a momma and a baby dinosaur, a kid/explorer, and a jeep. It's awesome.
- I have to point out that this jeep has great wheels. It rolls very easily, even across our living room carpet.
- See above for more info on Sprig Toys and my relationship with them.
- Sprig sent me this for review.
Fisher Price Little People Nativity & Night Before Christmas Set
- We got the Nativity last year and the Night Before Christmas set this year. Both are terrific, and they allow Grace to interact with the ideas of Christmas well in advance of the holiday. That is important, especially to a kid who's fearful of many things.
- I hope I never forget hearing Grace say, Oh, Baby Jesus! You are so precious. and Momma, I love Baby Jesus!
Surprise Newborn from Cabbage Patch Kids
- Grace is a little Momma. She loves babies. She cuddles and coos. She mothers. I love watching.
- Grace received a Cabbage Patch baby this past weekend from Jakks Pacific. She was able to choose from a bunch of babies, and she picked Katie Joanne. It was love at first sight, and she hasn't put the baby down since.
- I am tempted to buy more of these babies, but I keep talking myself out of it. Having more babies isn't going to make her love the one she has any more. I am, however, going to make some clothes for Katie. I got a pattern on Etsy.
Our Favorite Christmas DVDs at the moment:
Totally a side note - Joe and I decided to buy Wii Sports Resort for a family gift in lieu of buying each other individual presents. We'll still fill each others' stockings, but we aren't buying a big gift for each other.