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I love gift guides! They are helpful for me to see what things are out there and what interests a certain gender or age at the time. Every year new children’s toys are released and it can be overwhelming trying to decide which is best.
Last Christmas we used these four categories as a guide for our then 2 year old: Want, Need, Wear, and Read. This helped me not buy too many things and we could invest in things she would use and love. Plus, extended family gives her gifts as well and she usually gets so much she can’t play with it all. With a tight budget those four categories are totally doable and I am excited to do them this year for both girls.
For Christmas this year I want:
Princess Dress: I shop at thrift stores often and have been able to find some princess dresses for super cheap! I also used Ebay to find a specific one I wanted. If you are lucky enough to be reading this before Halloween definitely check out your local thrift stores for costumes. You could also wait for Halloween clearance and grab one. Look at dance wear in your children thrift stores because I have found several fun dress up clothes in that section. Dollar Tree has all the accessories you would need like crowns and wands.
Adventure: There are a lot of things we could take our kids to do that they might want as well and you can make cute cards for them to open to reveal the adventure. Sometimes vacations are revealed this way, especially a trip to Disney World. On a budget, you can create a fun day for them too. Think of things in your hometown that would be fun for them like a visit to a donut or ice cream shop, playing at a big park or the beach, and visiting a jumping castle or trampoline place. You could plan a whole day of fun for them! These memories will stay with them and they will love telling people about their special day.
Toys: They are so many out there and my kid would temporarily love them all. My goal is to get her something she wants but is a good deal and not just something that she will play with once and be over it. Some of the “winners” we have had our a baby stroller, kitchen set, tea set, and toy cars. A thrift store find they love to play with outside is a Mega Blocks Truck. My girls are also recently obsessed with this Frozen toy microphone.
For Christmas this year I need:
New Bike: This is a popular gift at Christmas because usually the child is outgrowing their current bike and are ready for a bigger one or they are ready for their first bike ever. This could be a great option for a grandparent or relative to get because they are a awesome gift on their own and readily available. Affordable options are to look online for used ones or start looking earlier in the year (summer) when bikes are put on sale regularly. You also may have the funds available earlier in the year when the budget isn’t as tight.
*One of the easiest ways I am able to save on gifts is buying them throughout the year and setting them aside for birthdays and/or Christmas. I can grab clearance items which helps save even more. I have a bin I fill and then when the holiday comes around I usually have most of my shopping done.
Art Supplies: Craft time is one of Izzy’s favorite activities and she loves coloring in the car. Affordable options are note pads, crayons, chalk, construction paper, and a roll of tape. Their imaginations can soar and it gives them a creative outlet for quiet time or when you need to get dinner ready and they won’t stop running around the house haha. I would recommend getting the washable crayons and paint so that clean up is easy, especially when your toddler gets creative on the walls or table (has happened too many times).
Bath time fun: My girls love bath time! This year I’ll be getting them each a new tooth brush, bubble bath, and measuring cups. I saw a post recently about a mom giving her kids measuring cups in the bath and they loved them! You can get a set at the Dollar Tree.
For Christmas this year I’ll wear:
Clothes: Some staple wardrobe pieces would be a good investment. To make it more interesting to a toddler you could pair a new pair of jeans (or thrifted!) with a t-shirt with their favorite cartoon character. If you have girls like I do then anything sparkly or a cute dress would be exciting for them. If you are potty training then some new character underwear would be fun for them as well!
Shoes: Kids feet grow pretty fast and you will probably need a different size shoe for your child then you did last year so Christmas is a good opportunity to get some. A new pair of gym shoes, cleats, or ballet shoes would be a big hit. This is the time to check your store ads and the interenet for possible coupons. Buying online can sometimes be a better deal because you can find a coupon code to use. Just do a Google search for “store name coupon code” and see what comes up!
Pajamas: This is one of my favorites gifts to get my girls, especially now that they can match. I will be gifting their matching set that I got on clearance last year ahead of time so they can match all December long. I also got Izzy a few nightgowns in great condition at a garage sale and on clearance. You can find pretty affordable pajamas brand new and with the characters they love!
For Christmas this year I’ll read:
Coloring Books: You can find ones that cost $1 at the Dollar Tree, Walmart, or even some craft stores. You can get character themed ones or ones that includes activities like connect the dots etc. My daughter loves getting new ones especially when they have the character she is currently obsessed with. We keep one in the car as well for easy entertainment on longer drives. Washable crayons are my favorite so that if they color outside the book (clothes, table, walls, car seat….) it’s easy to clean.
Storybooks: We love books! I read one each night to Izzy and soon Ellie will join that tradition. We have so many we love that I will be writing a blog post with them soon! I am always on the look out for discounted books at end of season clearance, discounted book stores, thrift stores/garage sales, and online. Amazon prices change all the time and I have found some books priced pretty low at times. Books are my favorites gifts to give as well. If you haven’t heard of the Indestructible Books check them out for the little ones – I currently keep one in my diaper bag for Ellie.
Search & Find: We have several different ones and they are the best entertainment for traveling. They make good quiet time books because they take longer to go through.
***For more gift ideas check out our Summer Favorites HERE
Letter to my Daughters
I am so excited for this Holiday season with you both. I am looking forward to sharing with you the real reason for the season and help you learn the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Although I will be buying you both gifts I also want you to experience the joy of giving to others. I desire for the joy of the Lord to fill our home and be the center of our celebrations.
Never forget the amazing gift we have of Jesus Christ. He is our Savior and Friend. Praise God for sending His Son knowing full well that Jesus would have to eventually suffer and experience a painful death. I am so thankful that God holds you in His hands and that by having faith in Jesus you girls can be His forever.
My goal as a mother this Christmas is to give you experiences you will remember and enjoy: go on walks to enjoy the Christmas lights, make cookies and treats together, go to the park (life in the South), and create surprises for our friends and family.