September 27, 2012

Christmas Excitement: Miriam

I am a Christmas fanatic.  I need half a year to celebrate adequately and get my fill of Christmas music, and then the other half of the year to plan the presents.  I like to have everything purchased and/or made by the end of October.  That allows me to throw myself into celebrating in November and December.  For those of you who are tsking--I'm Canadian.  Thanksgiving is over for me by the middle of October.  ON TO CHRISTMAS!!!  Yee-haw!!!  I mean, ho ho ho!!!

As the children age I find it harder and harder to pick presents for the oldest kids, while simultaneously finding it almost impossible to get anything for the youngest of the kids because we already have enough toys around the place for little hands.

To encourage you to send me ideas and to help kickstart your own Christmas shopping brainstorming, I'm going to post what we've picked for our kids as we finalize their lists.  We don't get many presents (well, compared to some people--maybe we're exorbitant and just don't know it) but we do give our kids a stocking stuffer, a book(s), a sibling present that they make for each other in November, and one Santa present.  Then I also get to pick a present for each child that is from their great-grandma that they get at her Christmas party that is usually held the first weekend in December.  

A little about Miriam.  She is 9, is in the 4th grade, has red hair and a VIVID imagination who sometimes condescends to visit us in reality, wants to be a detective when she grows up, is addicted to Hardy Boys books, is a beautiful pianist, makes up hilarious songs while washing the dishes, and loves people of all varieties.  She loves to create art--more crafty stuff than drawing--and she is wonderful at entertaining her siblings with all of her delightful made-up games.  She's also ridiculously bright.

Without further ado: Miriam's 2012 Christmas list.

The boxed set of Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.  I've been waiting forever (it feels like) to introduce Miriam to Anne.  They are clearly kindred spirits.  Miriam wishes she was an orphan because it would make her life much more dramatic.

Dress Up Days doll panel.  All of my girls are getting these fabric dolls as their stocking stuffers.  I am going to make Harriet's because she's too little and so I'll know how to put one together.  One panel includes two outfits plus a headband thing and the doll.  For Miriam I am going to cut out the pieces, add the necessary batting, put it all in a ziploc and put it in her stocking that way.  She'll be way more excited about sewing it together than she would be about an already put together doll.

 Crime Scene Investigator Kit.  This kit requires you to be a detective.  It comes with a booklet explaining the crime that was committed and the suspects.  You have to conduct 7 forensic type experiments to figure out the perpetrator of the crime.  We're pretty positive Miriam is going to love it.  This is her Santa present.
Pressed Flowers Collection Kit.    This is not a Christmas present--it is what we are getting her for her 10th birthday.  We had a hard time deciding between this and the detective set but decided to save the pressed flower kit for June when there would actually be flowers.  Miriam has been trying to dry flowers and leaves in books for years without success.  We've even called her brilliant Aunt Kami, artist extraordinaire, for tips but still failed.  I'm positive Miriam will wow me with all the creative things she thinks up to do with her pressed foliage.
Lego Hagrid's Hut.    This is what Miriam is getting from her great-grandma.  All the children except Harriet are getting Lego things from great-grandma because they all love Legos and we have very few.  I thought Legos were lame when I was a kid (still can't work up much excitement) but I LOVE how much time my children spend playing quietly with them.  Excellent.

And there you have it--the first of 5 Christmas present posts.  I would love to hear what is on your Christmas lists as I can always use good ideas and we are still searching for the perfect present for Emeline and Harriet.  Suggestions welcome!

PS  I only have one thing on my list--a really nice bamboo cutting board.  I've already hinted to my hubby that Ross might be the place to shop for me this year.  :)  Anything you are hoping for?

1 comment:

  1. In an attempt to make Christmas less commercial, we have gradually shifted away from the focus on Santa. We have started a series of traditions based on the book "A Christ-Centered Christmas" by Emily Freeman. We had adopted a couple of them before reading the book, but now try to incorporate them all. It has made the season much more meaningful and memorable for our family.

    We give our children three gifts, symbolic of the gifts given to Jesus by the three Wise Men. Similar to the gifts Christ received, one gift is joyful, one is needful and one is meaningful. Last year our children received the three gifts from us and one from Santa. It felt just right, but by the time we left grandma and abuela's house (my husband is from Argentina so his mom is abuela to us) it felt like Christmas overload. So we are attempting to take out the Santa gift and just have Santa fill their stockings. Truth be told, I'd rather Santa not even be a part of it, but it's pretty tricky to do that.

    My 8 year old son is obsessed with legos so his joyful gift will definitely be a lego set. I'm guessing it will be a Lego Ninjago set since his focus on Star Wars recently switched to Ninjago. My 5 year old son loves Toy Story and Cars. He has mentioned wanting RC from Toy Story (an actual remote control RC car) so that will more than likely be his joyful gift. My 2 year old daughter is as girlie as they come. She loves babies and shoes. I will either get her a stroller or something similar for her babies or maybe a little dress-up set with shoes for her to try on and wear all over the house.

    We bought a new hooded towel for each kid. They love hooded towels and their old ones are falling apart. The towels will be the needful gift for each of them.

    The meaningful gift is usually spiritual in nature. My 8 year old will be receiving his second set of "real" scriptures this year. Something happened to the set he received for his baptism last spring. I would say he lost them, except that it looks more like they were stolen. Strange I know, but there has been a problem with a bunch of stuff disappearing in our ward building. No one is sure if it's a prank or just someone trying to make a buck, but the poor kid was devastated. It was tough to justify another set so we decided we would wait and get him new scriptures for Christmas. The other two will probably get a church book of some sort to help keep them occupied during sacrament meeting.

    Writing it down, it seems very small, but it is plenty and very meaningful. And then it allows for the grandparents to give them a nice gift as well since that is important to them. It's also a tradition we feel can grow with us so as they are older their gifts can be bigger and geared towards older children, but still follow the same tradition of giving. It's worked out well so far, but we are still in the process of refining it.

    I have heard of people giving "something to watch, something to read and something to play with" as their three gifts. I would like to incorporate a way to give a book and a movie. Maybe that can be what Santa brings. Or maybe not. Simple sounds so appealing to me right now.

    As for me, everything I need/want is pretty big and not a reality this year. New couches. A vitamix. Nice artwork for the walls. Hopefully I can think of something practical and attainable to suggest since my husband tends to need more than subtle hints when it comes to gift-giving. :)