For the first time in as long as I can remember, my Christmas shopping is just about done, and it's still two weeks until Christmas. I've been much more organized this year, given that we're living on one income and I have to be much more careful about what I spend, and when. So far, I have to say it's actually turning out quite well. Instead of worrying (incessantly; this is *me* we're talking about) about purchasing numerous gifts for each person in my life, I'm choosing one or two gifts for them, very, very carefully.
My first criteria is no gift cards. Gift cards are wonderful, but I really want to see my recipient actually open an item that I've selected for them. More excitement that way :) The second thing is that I want it to be something that I really feel that they will enjoy and use, but of course it can't break the bank. So, I've had to be creative, and my Christmas spirit is much higher this year than in years past. I'm liking this. Instead of getting a lot of toys for Hank this year, (his grandparents will do that, in abundance :) I've been changing up my buying choices. I got him a very inexpensive Play Doh ice cream factory. Glutton for punishment? Perhaps. But Play Doh does inspire creativity, and is much better for the kids than watching tv. The one thing I did relent on was an inexpensive car toy where he can launch the cars through a spiral thing. I got him some wonderful books at the Scholastic sale, including one with vinyl clings of the characters that he can place in the book himself, and an accompanying small stuffed Wubbzy complete with a bendy tail. I also got him a wood puzzle of the solar system, and his own magnetic calendar.
Of all of the toys that he has (which is a lot, sigh) the one thing he plays with every single day since he got it is a wood puzzle of the United States. This thing is cool. *I* enjoy playing with it. Such a feeling of victory when one places the last piece in :) It cost under $10 and I had nearly forgotten that we'd tucked it away for him. I'm truly excited to give him the things that I picked out for him. Plus, they all take up infinitely less space in our house than the gigantic plastic toys - bonus!
So, this year, I'm honestly feeling better about Christmas because I'm not making myself crazy with an endless list of things that I need to buy. It's a good feeling :) *halo* Well, it's also partly that I'm being cheap, so don't think too highly of me just yet.