In one of my Pinterest wanderings in the summer, I came across a graphic with this guide to gift-giving:
Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.
That's perfect! I thought. And as Christmas drew closer, it was good for me to refer to because every time Colter got excited about something, I would think, We could get one for Christmas! He would really like to have his own! And then the house would have been overrun with stuff and I would have been really frustrated with myself.
In the months leading up to Christmas, the toy catalogs started arriving in the mailbox and I would casually flip through them. Colter caught sight of a marble run in one of them, and immediately latched onto it. That's what he wanted from Santa, he kept telling me. After about a month without wavering, I went ahead and ordered the marble run. I mean, I called Santa and asked him to bring one.
Colter's Christmas looked like this:
Want: marble run
Need: hooded bath towel
Wear: slippers and new socks
Read: Larry Gets Lost in Philadelphia
Elliott was a little harder to determine the "want" but since he likes dogs so much...
Want: life-size stuffed beagle
Need: hooded bath towel
Wear: long-sleeved t-shirt and onesie
Read: Bear Snores On board book
The "wants" and "reads" were from Santa, the others from Keith and I. They also had their stockings, filled with little treats and a couple small toys. I did exceed my rule with two things: a dvd set of classic Christmas movies (why do they only show them on tv after the kids go to bed?) and a big floor puzzle of a barn that I picked up at a yard sale last fall. It was all just enough for them to open without getting overwhelmed or too wild.
I also wanted to make sure I had the chance to make a couple of their gifts, so that's where the slippers and hooded towels come in.
Of course, my ever-agreeable first-born steadfastly refuses to wear his slippers. But they look cute sitting on his dresser...
I used this tutorial for the hooded towels, and they went together very easily. Colter has the red with the rocket ships, and Elliott's is the teal with cars and trucks.
Let me also say that our family and friends do a fantastic job of picking out gifts for the boys without going overboard. The boys received a wonderful variety of toys, games, books, and building sets that are getting a lot of use and definitely keeping them entertained as the brunt of winter bears down on us. Personally, I'm really enjoying the new reading material and anxiously waiting for some snow to so that we can deck out snowmen with their snowman kits. Christmas gets a whole lot more fun with little kids in the mix.