My mother is notorious in our family for starting her Christmas shopping way too early. She starts requesting Christmas lists in August and by October, she’s pretty much finished. She spends November picking up some odds and ends, and then by December she is officially done. The Nana Shop is closed. And every year, we rag on her and rag on her and rag on her about how ridiculous she is being.
And then I bought my first Christmas present this year back in August and I realized that thing we all eventually realize in adulthood:
I have become my mother.
This is good news for you all, though, because I can share what we are getting the kids for Christmas earlier than I usually do. So, without further adieu, I give you Gracie’s Christmas for 2014…
(Before we start, I should mention that in our family, your “big gift” is not determined by cost of the item. The “big gift” is a bigger, central gift that either other gifts will be planned around OR that we know you will LOVE. “Big gifts” are the ones that we know will be HUGE on Christmas morning. So, when I say “big gift,” that doesn’t necessarily mean that most expensive.)
Gracie’s big gift from Santa this year is a dollhouse (KidCraft Chelsea Doll Cottage – $70 from Amazon). We haven’t bought this one yet, but here is the one I have on my list to get her. She has had several small play castles over the past year that she just loves, and lately she has really started playing with these so much more. She is old enough to use her imagination to create little scenes, and so I think she is ready for a bigger house. I like this one because it is her height, which means it is going to seem HUGE to her right now, and that it will be a long time before she actually outgrows this one.
Her other bigger gift from Santa is this Frozen Crystal Kingdom Vanity for her room ($42.99 from Target.com) Gracie’s two favorite things in the world right now are Frozen and getting dressed for the day. In the mornings after she gets dressed, she spends 10-15 minutes “doing her make up” in her bathroom. She has a drawer in there full of pretend make up sets and pretend perfume. And then she goes to her dresser and spends another 5 minutes deciding which pieces of jewelry to wear for the day. She’s hysterical. So, this gives her a place to organize all her little girly treasures. I think it is going to be a huge hit!
Her last “big ticket” item is her very own LeapFrog Leapster GS Explorer ($29.49 on Amazon). Michael has had one for about two years and he LOVES it. We are upgrading him to a LeapFrog tablet (more on that later this week), and we talking about just giving Gracie Bean’s old one. But I found one on sale for $25 on Zulilly a few weeks ago, so I went ahead and ordered her one. It’s purple and the cutest. I also ordered her this cute little case for her Explorer that looks like a purse ($6.29 on Amazon).
Chris and I are big fans of the LeapFrog devices for the kids. You can get all these character games for them and they think they are just playing games, but they are actually learning so much. Michael has been adding and subtracting small numbers since before preK, and we think it is because he started learning how with one of his LeapFrog games. They do such a great job of making these products entertaining and educational at the same time.
For Gracie, we are getting her two games (Tangled Reading and Minnie’s Super Surprise Party, each for $14.99 on Amazon) and then we have told our relatives what she is getting so that they can get her games to play on it.
We are also getting her a set of Disney Princess headphones to use with her LeapFrog ($19.99 on Amazon).
One of my favorite presents for her to open is a set of three hair bows that I found in Mt. Dora when my mom and I were shopping there last. She is going to love them ($7-9 each from a boutique)! There’s nothing Gracie loves more than accessorizing!
She is also getting a Frozen dress-up trunk ($24.99 on Amazon). I can’t decide yet if this is going to be a Santa gift or from me and Chris. I think it would look pretty cute on Christmas morning set up next to her Frozen vanity, though, so I’m thinking it might be a Santa gift. Whoever gives it, she is going to scream like the little three-year-old girl that she is because she has asked for this over and over again!
And to round out the Frozen themed Christmas, she is also getting this giant stuffed Olaf ($19.99 at Target, but one sale right now for $14.99!). She sees it every time we go to Target and wants one so badly. To me, this is not a great gift, but to Gracie, it might be her favorite of them all!
She is also getting a real clock for her room (Sofia the First Flashing Lights Alarm Clock, $20.00 on Amazon). We started working with Bean on recognizing the parts of a clock when he was about three-years-old, so Gracie’s about ready to start that, too.
Another learning toy we are getting her is this Melissa and Doug chore chart ($19.99 on Amazon, but on sale right now for $14.99!). Michael has one and LOVES it. If he completes all his chores every week, he gets to pick ANYTHING he wants from the Dollar Store (wink, wink). Now, Gracie is old enough to start helping with some chores, too. What I love about this chart is that it is magnetic so we can change out the chores on a weekly basis, if we want. And I really like how kid-friendly it is. There are pictures and fun shapes and colors. We let Michael work his chart completely by himself and he needs no help from us at all. We have really loved this one, and I know Gracie is going to be excited to finally have one of her own.
I still have to get her a few little games and puzzles to replenish our game closet. One of the things that I know is on that list are these Pop-Arty Beads ($19.99 on Amazon). She makes jewelry right now out of beads I got her from the Dollar Store and pipe cleaners, and so I thought she might like an actual set of beads made for making jewelry.
I still need to pick up a few odds and ends for her, mostly small little stocking stuffer items. One thing I know for sure will be in her stocking this year is a $10 gift card to Barnes and Noble. She and Bean LOVE Barnes and Noble, but usually when we go in, we are there for a specific item and they don’t get to really shop for what they want. I thought this might be a fun little treat for them to get to pick WHATEVER THEY WANT the next time we go.
Other than that, I think Gracie Girl is set. Later this week, I’ll share what Bean Man is getting. His list is coming together nicely, too. Which is good because there are only 52 days left until CHRISTMAS!!!!!