Sunday, October 20, 2013

Christmas Shopping?


But Christmas is, like, 14 months away, isn’t it?!

That’s what I told a friend of mine who wondered if I had my Christmas shopping list posted yet. She used a few of my ideas from my confessions-of-a-terrible-Christmas-shopper post last year (which you will notice was posted on December 13th—oh, how I love Amazon Prime), and she was hoping to snitch a few this year.

It got me thinking—handy for daily-task-avoidance. Why, certainly, Christmas gifts are an important thing to plan, right? That’s why there is no dinner on the table this evening. Ha!

But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m not a “master Christmas shopper, make all my kids’ dreams come true” kind of mom. I’m a “your room is trashed, you don’t play with toys, why should I buy something that will be broken and discarded in two minutes just because it’s a holiday” kind of mom. True story.

Seriously, the boys don’t play with stuff. They use sticks. And duct tape. And Costco-size boxes of tin foil. And copier paper and markers.

I asked Levi for his wish list. He wants hang-out time with a friend and Dr. Who Monopoly (we already have two versions).

I asked Luke for his wish list. He wants Electronic Monopoly.

I asked Leif for his wish list. He said, “I know I added something to my list. I’m thinking………………………… Come back to me later.”

I do like the idea of getting big ticket items or activities. The older boys may be getting bows for archery 4-H, but they’ll need them before Christmas. In December, the boys and I (and close friends) are attending a fun over-nighter at our phenomenal local-ish aviation and space museum, complete with an IMAX movie and a day at the water park.

The rest of our gifts will be small. And bookish. That’s just the way it is around here.

Here are my general ideas for the ages on my Christmas list.

(Most of the following links are Amazon affiliate links. I receive a small commission on anything you purchase after arriving at Amazon through one of my links, even diapers or tires or flour. You have no idea how much I’ve appreciated the purchases y’all have made over the past year to support Mt. Hope Chronicles!!)

Ages 0-2 (Rilla Grey)


The Cosy Classics board books are so lovely! The felt images are simply gorgeous. I can’t wait to snatch up Jane Eyre as soon as it is available.  Oliver Twist would be a fun baby gift to pair with Focus on the Family’s phenomenal radio theatre production of Oliver Twist for older children (our own family Christmas gift last year).


The Giraffe That Walked to Paris looks darling. I’m thinking a Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether, Giraffe Blankie, or a Schleich giraffe figure would be a fun addition.


Or, a Beatrix Potter Dish Set and The Beatrix Potter DVD Collection or Tales of Beatrix Potter Ballet (DVD) (two of Lola’s favorite DVDs) (both Rilla and Lola already have the complete book sets).


Boys 2-4 (Little Ben)

My family has adopted a friend and her darling two-year-old boy, so I’m back to buying little boy gifts this Christmas! Curious George Goes Camping or Fred and Ted Go Camping will go well with Fisher-Price Kid Tough Explorers Binoculars and/or Pacific Play Tents Super Duper 4 Kids Tent.

Girls 3-6 (Lola Colette)

(The Matryoshkas and book I got her last year have been a huge hit!)


Minette's Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat is, well, a feast. The illustrations and prose are beautiful and charming; I adore it! I can’t wait to give this one to Lola. With a stuffed kitty (named Minette, of course). And maybe a basket of pastries, wooden fruits or veggies, and darling red wooden pots and pans. Or an apron? Or splurge and go for a play kitchen? We shall see.  (P.S. I’ve been to Les Deux Magots restaurant in Paris shown in the illustration above! How fun is that?!)


Different Like Coco would go well with the sweet little black dress I purchased for Lola at Old Navy. I think she needs a string of pearls, don’t you? {grin} Which segues perfectly into…

Just Being Audrey—another book with darling illustrations—paired with Audrey Hepburn's Enchanted Tales (Audio CD) or an opportunity to sponsor a child. Wrapped up with a red and white striped scarf? Yes, please!


Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian is a beautiful picture book full of rich colors for the nature-lover. A Butterfly Garden, Fanciful Butterflies Stained Glass Coloring Book, Butterfly Cookie Cutter, or Melissa & Doug Butterfly Friends Bead Set round out the theme.

(As you can see, I’m on a biography picture book kick…)

Ages 6-12 (Leif, Ivy, Luke, and Levi)


Have you ever tried Perplexus Twist? The boys had a different Perplexus model a while back, and it saw more action than just about any other toy they’ve received. And I loved it because there were no parts and pieces to be scattered, and it can be played independently! I think they are going to love the Perplexus Twist.

I’m big on DVDs as gifts, second only to books. My boys have (and love) all the Buck Denver Asks: What's in the Bible? DVD series (entertaining, but packed with a high level of information!) as well as the What's In The Bible? Buck Denver Asks...Why Do We Call it Christmas? DVD, so I’m getting them Buck Denver & Friends present Clive & Ian's Wonderblimp of Knowledge: 6 Big Questions About God and Clive & Ian's Wonderblimp of Knowledge 2: 7 Big Questions About God. They’ll be perfect for stockings.

My niece will be getting Liberty's Kids - The Complete Series ($5.99 for all 40 episodes—are you kidding me?!!!), and Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? - The Complete Series (again, all 40 episodes for $5.99!!) will find its way to boy stocking #3.


I recently purchased the first six books of the The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series, and Levi is raving. So I’m adding the seventh book, The First Dragon, to his list. Luckily it will be released in November. He has also been begging for Ralph Masiello's Dragon Drawing Book, which a friend of his told him about, and I’ll add Watercolor Pencils and a Watercolor Postcards Pad.


Luke, my mischievous son, will be getting a couple more Nicholas books, but I’m really running out of ideas for him and Leif. Any suggestions?

Levi’s birthday is just a week after Christmas. Luckily he is a Dr. Who addict. Doctor Who: Who-ology + The Eleventh Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver + Dr Who Tardis Union Jack T-shirt = one happy boy.


Stocking Stuffers

D-Ring Carabiners

Mini Flashlights


Finger Flashlights (my boys LOVE these)

Travel games or playing cards
Spin Toothbrush
Character Bandaids
Tape (duct, scotch, masking, painters… it doesn’t really matter for the tape-addicted kid)


Alrighty, that’s the list so far. Don’t ask me what I’m getting the adults, because I have no. idea.

Have you started your Christmas lists or shopping yet? I’m certain I have super-on-top-of-it-all readers who already have their shopping finished. Could you rub some of that off on me?

(I’ll have some new favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas book lists up soon, but if you’re interested in getting a head start I shared some last year here, here, and here.)


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, Heidi for this! I marked several things to get!
Wonderful list.
Julie in St. Louis
frequent reader, rare commenter

The Prudent Homemaker said...

If you want a signed copy of that James Owen book and you're willing to pay full price for it, I'm friends with James Owen's wife, and they have a bookstore. He sells signed copies of his books and I could get you her info :)

Susan said...

Teenage girls----they all need headphones-clothes, boots, youngest wants anything camo. The love sharpies, gum, candy, and the always get socks (stocking). My girls love tape too! They don't wear makeup yet- but some day that'll probably go in stocking too. I did buy oldest a sleep mask! She's always complaining about light. Lol. Jonathan Park has a new episode so I'll probably get that for them too.

The Prudent Homemaker said...

Scotch tape is always a good gift for children.

I'm making an apron for Cyrus; he loves to cook and he could use a larger apron than the one he has.

What about some origami paper for Luke?

jeana said...

Tape is a great idea! Why didn't I think of that? My boys always steal mine:) and...I need a girl. Audrey..Jane..Coco? Oh my.

mgus72 said...

I think I'm going to have to order the Perplexus Twist and Oliver Twist! Thanks for the ideas!

A couple things people around here love - Think Fun's Solitaire Chess. All the boys ages 10-12 are digging it.

Some games we play a lot, all from Gamewright, I believe:
Sleeping Queens - the tween ages will still play this one with the non-reading 4 year old.
Rat-A-Tat-Cat: this one's for 7 years old and up the parents will not mind playing.
Zeus on the Loose - what's better than practicing your mental math while learning strategy and Greek mythology?
These are standard gifts for family and friends' birthdays, too!

Amy said...

I'm almost done with my shopping for the kids. I get them art stuff, coloring books, and Playmobile. They will spend hours playing Playmobile, so worth the money to me! We have a great library, so I quit buying books for the kids, but I love the idea of books for gifts.

Lauralli said...

I think most any kids would love this--especially yours! I do not know this person at all--just found this post ages ago and saved it. It's the first thing I thought of!

Lauralli said...

I think most any kids would love this--especially yours! I do not know this person at all--just found this post ages ago and saved it. It's the first thing I thought of!

Nancy said...

This is a great list. Thank you Heidi!

The Hayes Zoo said...

Oh. My. Heck. I just reread this in an effort to actually put some things in our wish lists at Amazon. Clicked on that little link I'd missed the first time for the museum.

I am officially jealous. :) How stinkin' cool is that??!!

I didn't realize they had a water park there now! It's been about 6 years since we've been down there and obviously, they've done some new stuff!!

I wish we lived closer....