December 19, 2011

PRESENTS

After painting the bows on Ben's presents a week ago, I really liked the idea and let the girls go to town painting bows on some of the Christmas presents under the tree. It was a nice to let them get a bit involved in the whole wrapping present thing.
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They started out painting bows, but then eventually went to painting their own pictures. Nevertheless, the result was cute and it was all them. That's the best part. I just took pictures while they worked!

How do you do presents? I have heard of the "wear, read, want and need" present rule, but we haven't tried that out. This year each of our girls get one present under the tree from Ben and me, a collective one from "Santa", and some little stocking stuffers. Last year, Santa gave them a dollhouse and this year Santa is bringing them a record player with some vintage read along records. My friend Karen gave them a Mary Poppins record and they have wanted a player ever since. The present under the tree from us are just books for the big girls and little quilts for the little ones.

I think I am really liking the just one present from mom and dad, one from "Santa", and little things in stockings. It keeps things kinda simple and I am all for simple. In fact, we just wanted to go to the dollar store to get them some puzzles for the present under the tree, but then I already had bought some books a couple years ago that I was saving special for them, so we are giving those instead. Them, or even us, getting presents isn't what Christmas is all about anyways. I will admit I do have my own wish list and love getting presents, but I hate that Christmas can get so focused on that. The real meaning gets lost in the commercialism and the whole idea of wanting more things that we really don't need.

This year Ben and I agreed that we would only give each other a handmade gift. We put a fun little twist to it, so this will be interesting. I haven't made his yet, but I still have a few days for that and I think he is kinda stressed on mine.

From the gifts we did buy, if they weren't books (or the record player) from Amazon, then they were probably handmade or vintage goodies. These are some of the shops that I did some of my shopping from: lofidelitylove, a merry mishap, papa's good ole days, good knits, misha lulu, and paper coterie. And if you still need gifts, my fave line Misha Lulu is having a great deal over at mini social (go here).

I would love to hear how you handle Christmas giving with the little ones in your life. Any special rules you use to help guide the gift buying?

38 comments:

  1. Oh wow! I really love this! Inspiration for next year-thank you

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  2. Handmade gifts are the best. Because they take effort and come from the heart.

    Love how they painted on the bows. How creative.

    http://www.thegirlieblog.com

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  3. Beutiful idea! Hope Daniela wants to help me decorate next year xmas gifts!

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  4. Lovely - and so much fun for the kids :-)

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  5. You have a really sweet faaaamilllyy!! You are so adorable and creative!

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  6. Love this idea!! Incredibly creative and fun too. Love how you also managed to involve the kids in the gift wrapping process and each gift had a personal touch.

    Is it okay for me to share this idea on my blog?

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  7. I love this, kids get given SO much crap for Christmas, and they really don't know the difference! I tend to just give my family one present each, but I take my time choosing (or making) something that is unique for them. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas together, you seem like such a great family x x

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  8. I noticed the painted bows on your other post--very sweet!
    We keep it simple for birthdays and Christmas, too, and do sort of like you said: "something to read, something to wear, something to play with" (and the wear is always a mama-knit!) and our kids have never known the difference :)
    Sarah M

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  9. so cute. they did a REALLY good job! you've got little artists on your hands!

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  10. I would be so much more thrilled to open a present with a hand-painted bow!

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  11. super cute wrapping! this is my daughter's first christmas, so we definitely went simple mainly because she doesn't really understand. i did make her a doll and a taggie blanket and got her one little outfit. i'm not sure yet how we'll handle it in the future, but most likely very simple gifts, keeping the real GIFT as the focus :) :)

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  12. adorable! looks like tons of fun.. I like the idea of giving only handmade gifts... so lovely! I hope your family has a great christmas season!

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  13. We try to stick to 3 gifts and a stocking, but I went WAY overboard this year. The past few years our budget was a lot tighter and last year we had a double mortgage. Since we sold our house I did a little more than normal, but since my kids get very little during the year, I figured this year it was okay. Most of the stuff is just little fun stuff for the stockings. I don't buy very expensive gifts.

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  14. I love this idea! The handmade touch is adorable.

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  15. My husband has a very special tie to Christmas so I have to really pull the reigns in on him. We are expecting #2 in March, so this year I let him spoil our son a little but next year they are each getting 3 presents and then a stocking. We never want for anything and with Grandparents who already spoil them rotten, we have too much at Christmas!!

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  16. Love your view points on Christmas! I couldn't agree more. I actually have come to dislike Christmas because of all the commercialism. I like it better now that I have kids. This year my daughter is getting a big present from Santa, a wooden kitchen. From us we're doing bath crayons and wooden food (because I got a great deal on it I couldn't pass up). We didn't get a present specifically for our son because he's 2 months old and needs nothing. Stockings are just little things they need (pacifiers, water bottle, big girl underwear etc.) and a few small toys. My husband and I don't exchange presents just do each others stockings.

    Sorry that was such a long comment. Merry Christmas.

    http://wouldyoulike-frys-withthat.blogspot.com

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  17. very inspiring! i love the gift to share- and that it's not a gaming system. :) i try to do as much homemade as i can- with few gifts. this year i wanted to make stockings less about junk, so i came up with the idea of us each picking another's name from a hat and being that person's secret santa. we went to ten thousand villages to support the artisans represented there and each picked a price limited gift. it was all done in an hour and everyone is excited. they are excited to keep it as a tradition.

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  18. These presents look adorable!! My girls get two presents each from "Sant" and some stocking stuffers from mommy and daddy. We like to keep it simple as well. Nothing too over the top.

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  19. great ideas! i'll have to store these for when i have my own kiddos sometime in the future! :) i definitely like the idea of simplifying the present giving process and getting something truly meaningful instead of just more stuff! especially after seeing all of the toys my nieces and nephews own. it's pretty ridiculous :D

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  21. randy and danielle- I look at all my kids have and they really have too much stuff and I don't feel they need more stuff, so we are choosy in the types of gifts we give them and do want to limit it for them. I understand that there are those out there who aren't able to have as much and i want my girls to see that too. We took part in an organization called Angel Tree where my girls went to Target to pick out gifts to give to two little girls whose mother is in jail. Then, they wrapped them up and we all went to deliver the gifts together. We want them to experience the joy of giving too.

    Thank you for pointing out that buying does help create jobs for families. Buying from small businesses also does the same, which is why I am happy to buy handmade too. Consumption of goods definitely needs to be a happy medium and we are just trying to find that for our family. Plus, we are also restrictive because we have a budget to abide by, but I do think my kids getting two gifts from us is already quite plenty. They also get a lot from relatives too, so I don't feel there is a need for us to go overboard in gifting them with things. This is what works best for our budget and family, but some things work best for others. No one way is particularly better than the next, you just have to do what you feel is best for your family.

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  22. randy and danielle- oh man. where did your comment go? please re post because others may have the same feelings as you and i think it is a good discussion to have! hope, my response back explains our decisions clearer for you. thank you for the good dialogue.

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  23. I spent SO much time as a little girl listening to my record player with the read-along books..Oh, i wish I still had them for my kids!I remember my Mom walking in my room and laughing because I was listening to The Fox & The Hound and bawling my eyes out ..so much better than tv or video games. They will love it! We are Christians but dont celebrate xmas because of the pagan background...you can read why here if you like: http://www.antipas.org/books/xmas/xmas2.html
    but I think its good you are keeping it simple...we are up to our eyes in toys at my house and need to get it under control.

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  24. I have a 2 year old and a newborn and neither of them really focus on presents yet, though I realize this will probably be the last year of that! We have started a tradition in our house of giving 3 presents - gold, frankincense and myrrh. We stole this idea from our pastor. Gold is the good gift, something they really want. Frankincense is a spiritual gift, like a Bible, Christian music, etc. Myrrh is something for the body, like clothes or perfume. We loved that the presents tied back to the Christmas story and 3 gifts really helps keep Christmas in check for our kids, so that is what we are doing.

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  25. i always like to make each of my kids a handmade gift, it feels special to make something for them and i know it means i have put thought into it. normally, other than that, I don't worry about much else, besides maybe their stockings, because our relatives go nuts and pile the gifts on heavy!

    i like to have them think about what they might want to make or give to everybody else and that helps curb some of the "gimmies."

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  26. The painting looks great, such a personal touch!

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  27. we do the same as you! one present from mom and dad (which was made by you!!!) and one present from "santa" and a few stocking stuffers.

    my girls are very blessed and receive so so so many gifts at christmas time, that it gets very overwhelming (for them and me!)

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  28. I love this activity! Such a fun idea for kids! Your girls are darling !
    Happy Holidays
    hannahmichellesullivan.blogspot.com

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  29. awww love the idea of painting the wrapping paper for presents!!

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  30. I can't believe I JUST found your blog. I've been missing out! We are making the box puppet theater today. Thanks for all the inspiration! I'm your newest follower :)

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  31. We are going to stick with the 3 gift rule because that's how many Jesus got.

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  32. The kids get three gifts from us, the same number the wisemen brought and one special gift from Santa that is not wrapped. Plus small items in the stocking, like crayons and Chapstick.

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