I am rather dismayed to even be thinking about Christmas in November as I do feel like it it is a bit early, but I have learnt over the years that if I don’t start early then I am a basket case by Christmas Eve. I want to be drinking prosecco on Christmas Eve not panic wrapping. I do always start early, but this year it just hasn’t happened.
You know that river in Egypt well I have been in it! Looking at Instagram and Twitter and seeing how many people are reporting that they have finished their Christmas shopping I have started to feel the pressure and I am not going to lie, feel a bit panicked that I have barely unpacked from our summer holiday. I kid you not the beach tent is still awaiting its’ ‘proper pack up‘ so is still languishing in my lounge. It is time to accept that Christmas is definitely coming and started to get on with it! PLEASE NOTE THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS
SPREAD THE COST
With four kids to buy for I do need to spread the cost across two months. It is an expensive business this Christmas malarkey. So, the great shop has begun, but the problem is that children are fickle beasts (aren’t we all) and what they love today they may hate tomorrow. I remember when I was a tween I momentarily loved New Kids on the Block. In case you are too young to remember them here is my gift to you – you’re welcome….
Anyway expensive concert tickets were duly purchased by the parents, but by the time the concert date rolled around I was a bit over it…. I still went as my mother might have strangled me otherwise and I did enjoy it on the quiet, but that memory makes it hard for me to buy in advance. I feel a bit safer doing it for the younger members of the family as the girls seem to be less concerned about things at this point and if it is a toy they are all in! I am planning to just keep pumping the boys for info and if something keeps being repeated as being the thing they desperately need then that will be what Santa will be bringing.
SAVE A BIT WITH THIS DISCOUNT CODE
As if a video of NKOTB wasn’t enough of a gift I also have a fabulous discount code for you all. I have partnered up with What2buyforkids to bring you a 10% discount on items bought from their site (please note this is an affiliate scheme so I will receive a small financial incentive should you use the discount code, but it costs you nothing in fact you get a discount!). All you need to do to get your discount is enter NAVIBAB218 at the check out.
I think this site is great and love that you can find toys broken down by age group, by type or by theme. They have a fab section for educational toys and also a dedicated section for those children with additional learning needs which I am certainly going to be checking out for my little love with her speech delay. There are some toys on this site that I haven’t seen anywhere else so I have been impressed.
WHAT SHOULD I BUY?
I can rely on the boys, at this stage, to give me a highly detailed demand list better know as a letter to santa, but the girls are too little for that. So what do you buy for two 3 year olds who have all of their brother’s old toys already? Well I have been going for some wooden toys this year as I am really trying to stay away from plastic. Here are some of the things that have caught my eye:
Now I know some of you will be slightly apoplectic about the fact that I am buying kitchen related items for my twins girls, but panic not. They already have access to a large collection of cars, trains, transformers, blocks, magnets and basically most types of toys so I am just trying to redress the balance and make sure that they have some more home related toys which I know they will love as all four of them adore to pretend they are running a restaurant from their play kitchen and take our orders. I also think these type of toys are great for helping my daughter with her speech delay as she can gain vocabulary through their imaginative play and associate the words with each type of food.
I am also thinking about adding to the canal system that we have as this is truly one of the best toys we have ever bought for them all. I cannot praise this toy highly enough really and I am saying this only as a paying customer. They play with it so much and after 7 years of use some of the boats etc… could do with a refresh.
CHRISTMAS EVE BOXES
Last year we also started the whole Christmas Eve box thing and so will be doing that again this year. It worked really well to be able to give them something after mass and then have them settle down with a movie or the drawing that they had found in the box. This seems to be something that is really taking off as there is so much more choice this year. I am planning to do a Christmas movie, a small game for everyone, a nativity themed sticker book for when we to to church and hot chocolate bags with marshmallows.
So I am getting there with shopping for the girls for Christmas, but not for the boys…. Ideas gratefully received.
MY TOP TIP FOR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING FOR KIDS
Christmas should be a time of celebration and fun and not a time of stress so my top tip for Christmas shopping would be budget. This is my number one tip, but to see the other things that I do to make sure that my Christmas is stress free check out my Christmas planning post. I work out what we can reasonably afford and then set a budget for each child. I do not go over that budget. I also try to be sensible about that budget. I want them to have amazing memories of Christmas, but I know that isn’t about the number of presents under the tree. One of the gifts that I can really remember from my childhood actually comes from my parent’s skint Christmas. I don’t know why we were broke that year, but we were and so my dad made us a clock patience board. I am sure there were other gifts too as I am well aware that our broke was still no where near what some people experience, but let me tell you that gift is the one I remember. I loved it and played with it for years afterwards.** Even as a child I knew that the thought really was what counted and I hope that my kids will also feel that way. They do get lots of gifts at Christmas, but it is within reason and within our financial means.
**My mother commented on my facebook post to this blog that they still have the clock patience board in the loft and will be getting it out. I am so excited and so that is what I will now be doing on Christmas Day this year!!