Christmas Presents

This year is the first year that Christmas presents are really a big deal in our house. Connor finally understands that something great is behind the wrapping paper and wants every single present he sees, whether it is his or not. Up until this point, we really haven't bought our kids presents for Christmas. Usually just one or two small things, and it was stuff they needed. But this year is different. And thankfully I was prepared. 

I knew that somehow I wanted to control how many presents my kids got. First and foremost because they already have so much stuff, but secondly (and really this should be first) because Christmas isn't all about the presents. Last year my friend told me about what they do for presents for their kids and I copied her. Three presents per kid and one to share.  

One to:

Wear - Since my kids are still small and don't have a huge choice about what they wear, I tried to get them something I knew they would like for the "wear" category and something I probably wouldn't normally buy them. For Connor that is coming in the form of Mickey Mouse pjs. He really needed some warm pjs and when I saw Mickey Mouse ones (MM is his latest obsession) I knew he would love them. And since I am not a huge fan of character clothing, pjs are a great compromise. 

Play - Except for the "share" present, our kids get only one toy from us. Well, plus some little things in their stockings. But I think this works great. They already have plenty of toys and I know our car will be loaded up with toys from the grandparents anyway. 

Read - This one is great for me. I love to read and want my kids to love to as well. So I will never pass up the opportunity to buy my kids books! 

Share - This is the big present that is for the kids to share. This year we are getting them a play kitchen. In years to come I am sure the things they collectively ask for could become rather ridiculous...I remember what it was like to be young and ask for the moon! 

And another thing about presents, wrapping paper has always been one of those things that I find ridiculously expensive for what it is. In years past, I have bought it on clearance after the fact and saved it for the following year. I am also a little anal and like my wrapped presents to match. This year I decided to go with a simple and cheap theme. And I like how it turned out. 

I used brown mailing paper from the dollar store and stenciled on the gift recipient's initials to the present. Of course, I also quickly learned that most of our relatives have the same first initial, so for the more popular letters, people got all three initials (first, middle and last name, in case you were confused!). And lastly, to add a little pizazz, I wrapped up some packages with twine. Simple. Cheap. Fun. Ok, fun might be a stretch, but I am using mr. sketch scented markers and smell them every time I stencil the initials on to the packages and that is fun enough for me! 

And in case you were wondering about the more colorful package in the picture, that is Connor's present to Ian. He decorated it himself! 


  1. i did most of my presents in the same paper...and just added washi tape!

  2. I've heard of a similar theme (wear, need, want, read) that I think is fantastic! I plan on doing such a theme for my future children's birthdays or Christmas.

    I think your wrapping paper looks splendid. Seriously, it could be in a magazine! I always buy my wrapping paper at the Dollar Store, so I don't feel bad about spending a lot of money, because I love wrapping gifts.

  3. What a great idea! I hope I remember that by the time I have kids. I hate the thought of a kid surrounded by 30 new toys that will blend together. The wrapping is beautiful!

  4. I think your idea of one to share is a great one!


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