"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." ~Lin Yutang

Monday, November 29, 2010

the generic rehself christmas wish list

i am one of those gals that is quite practical and anti-materialistic.  i'm probably really hard to buy gifts for, but that's ok by me.  i made this list to help others in finding practical and great gifts that will be used for years and years.  you have permission to use this however you want.  you can message me for our address to send gifts... or copy and paste it for an email of your own to parents/grandparents/family... you can even comment on some other ideas that would be added nicely to this letter!

following is the letter that i've been sending out the last few years at christmas for gift ideas.  please read through it before spending money on us.  i'm sending this out prior-black friday sales so that if you're into that maybe you could get some bargains!  i've updated the letter with current sizes for the kids' clothes, but i can't think of ANYTHING that ANY of them (the kids) are in NEED of... (and i'm being very serious.  the kids' drawers and closets are PACKED TO THE BRIM!).  
we do NEED a twin-over-twin bunk bed for the boys' room and we've been diligently looking on craigslist.  i don't expect that big of purchase as a gift, but maybe you could keep your eyes and ears open for a deal or maybe know someone wanting to get rid of a set...  we'll need mattresses and everything.  jones has been having difficulty sleeping in his bed all night
(see below)
----- Forwarded Message ----
Subject: our christmas wish - letter
The women's study that I try to attend once a month is always giving us suggestions to help keep our stress levels down so we can focus on loving our kids more!  I really don't want to offend anyone and it's not like we're ever not-pleased with any of the gifts we've ever received, but I couldn't help but pass on the information that was shared.  I know that people like to give gifts and it's hard to buy presents for some people, I've talked with lots of moms and grandmas that seem to almost hate the Christmas season because of all the stress it brings with gift-giving.  Christmas is about God's gift of Love and I think that the devil has thrown tons of stress in today's society to aid in turning our eyes away from the true meaning.  So... my purpose is only to fight Satan and his little plan!  I hope it helps.  The purpose of it is to assist if assistance is needed.
{here I will add each of the kids’ sizes in each of these categories}
(shoes and socks)
(jammies and underwear)

We love gifts and toys that last and are enduring. We like toys that actually can foster imagination and learning and growing for our children. (Things that will last like magnadoodle boards, legos, link n logs, tyco blocks, wood blocks, hot wheel cars, babies and dishes, playmobile items etc.)
Another idea is to combine the money for a family gift....for example [THESE ITALICISED IDEAS ARE ACTUALLY IDEAS OF SOMEONE ELSES, NOT ALL OF THEM ARE EVEN APPROPRIATE FOR OUR FAMILY] a set of Focus on the Family Radio Theater cd's. Like the Chronicles of Narnia, (They are about $50.00 for each set.) a tent or a piece of camping equipment that we could use to go camping with as a family, a new piece of play equipment for the back yard like a trampoline, or swing set or teeter totter, or little tykes house, a volleyball net and ball or bad mitton set and net, a foose ball table, table tennis (ping pong) table, or a air hockey table for the whole family to enjoy, a set of dvd's for the family to watch.   You could take all the money that you might spend and send us on a one day experience at a place like Roaring Springs. The children would know that the money they got bought them a day at Roaring Springs and that would be something to look forward to as a family.  "One year the grandparents paid for all the materials to build a wood fort for the children in our back yard and then after Christmas their grandpa came and allowed them to help him build a really cool fort that they could all play in.  Or maybe the grandparents could build a lemonade stand out of wood and paint it for the children to use all spring, summer and fall.  They could give your children a huge amount of playdough, and lots of gadgets in a rubbermaid container. This is a wonderful group gift (or individual) gift. Your children would have hours of fun with this!  We allow our children to play with playdough outside at our little tykes table...all spring, summer and fall. We LOVE this as the play dough that drops, doesn't matter! The crumbs just go into our grass and not in our carpet!"
If you’d rather not combine the money. Then for individual gifts...maybe books, art supplies, a piece of jewelry, a subscription to a magazine for children, like Nature Friend, or Highlights, or Moody's World magazine for kids (this is a gift that gives all year long!)  Games are also expensive and something that we as a family just don't have money for all year long...so this would also be a great idea....games like Apples To Apples, or Blokus, games for the whole family or also just kid age-appropriate games.  Try to avoid games with tiny little pieces that can easily get lost, or worse yet: eaten!  :)  Lots of games are expensive but sooo fun and educational as well.  Another idea is to buy things like Kinex, Legos, Playmobile items or Magnetix (magnetic balls and sticks to build with) which all the children can use to build forever!  Some other items I’ve found include the Build-A-Saurus (http://www.amazon.com/Constructive-Playthings-Set-Build-A-Saurus-Dinos/dp/B0010AK3PG) and the Matchbox MEGA RIG by Mattel (http://shop.mattel.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4378921) and (http://shop.mattel.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4002327) it looks like there are a variety of BUILDING SYSTEMS they make (construction, fire squad, rescue crew, etc.) ...these things last forever!  You may want to get them used on ebay to get more for your money.... We DEFINITELY don't mind getting used items!!!!!!!!!!  A present is a present! 
As the kids get older (perhaps 10+) another individual idea is to purchase tools and or wood for boys that are wanting to build and make things. Or a wood burning set. Maybe, for girls, something like a cake decorating set and a book for them to use.  Or a beading and jewelry making book (WE HAVE THE BOOKS NOW 11/2010) and some beads and string or wire and the tools they’d need to do this. Gardening tools (HAVE TOOLS 11/2010) and a gardening book with a coupon for plants of their choice come spring.  How-to-draw books (cartoons, horses, dinosaurs, cars etc) with pencils, paper, paints etc. Special watercolor paper is really nice as the children get more proficient in their painting.  Another idea is that Klutz has wonderful books that help children do all kinds of things like juggling, origami, and craft items (like making fairy dolls out of flower petals, wood balls and pipe cleaners, these books and sets are wonderful….and last all year long.)  They help the kids learn a skill or a craft and to add to their knowledge and abilities. Klutz has sooo many to choose from, you might want to go online and take a look at them.  Dover coloring books are AMAZING! They are intricate and beautiful AND they also combine history or science with it. You should go online and check out these books. They have soooo many to choose from.  They even have free pages you can print off and sample!  Two other websites to look for gifts are:  Timberdoodle: their catalog is amazing!  Vision Forum: Their catalog is amazing as well.  On this website they have lots of wonderful old fashion toys like slingshots and drums and things for boys and things for girls.  Both these sites are owned by wonderful Christian families! 
I hope this helps everyone…  May God Bless you and your family this season…

Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

Just caught up on your blog -- I know where you got that gift list and I love looking at it every year. :) I have a funny shaving story too. Just recently my hubby made a comment about my leg hair being poky, and he said it should either be non-existent or really long. (He just didn't want it to be poky.) So I took it to heart and didn't shave for a couple of weeks. When he finally paid attention to my legs again he was pretty shocked. I reminded him of what he had said and . . . well, let's just say he decided he definitely only likes it non-existent! Made me laugh. :)