Friday, December 4, 2015

Gifts I'm Excited to Give

One of my biggest complaints about Christmas gifts is the fact that for years Gus has asked for some large, plastic, battery operated thing that in some way resembles a dinosaur. There have been quiet a few variations of this request over the years, different dino/ robots du jour  Because I wanted him to get the gift he asked for with such enthusiasm and excitement, I would give in and get these atrocities, even though I had learned that he almost never played with them.  Eventually, broken, they would be relegated to the closest, if they didn't  happen to get a bit of play time and get left out in the rain to die, corroded and oozing battery acid on brown, wintry grass.

At this stage in their lives, I know what types of toys my kids actually play with, the things that get pulled out year after year, during sleep-overs or slow afternoons. The wooden swords and shields my sister bought them at the Renaissance Faire three years ago. The now discontinued Trio blocks that Joanna turned them on to when Gus was Arlo's age. The wooden blocks that stay at my parent's house and get played with several times a week.  Bits and pieces of old Halloween costumes that get reinvented in delightfully weird ways almost every time their friends stay the night.  And so I was able to convince them that these are the sorts of toys they should ask for this year. That plus loads of books.

Some gifts I'm excited to give:

  • "My Favorite Color is Black" coloring book by my bff from the teen years, Jen Poteet. Perfect for those who are more "The Nightmare Before Christmas" than they are "Miracle on 34th Street."
  • "The ABC's of Homesteading" by McKenzie Elizabeth. Also available as a coloring book. My favorite letter might be I: "I is for idealizing everything. EVERYTHING." 
  • "Sonya's Chickens" by Phoebe Wahl. Since the mom in the story is a chubby redhead with rosy cheeks, I like it even more.  If I wasn't already hemorrhaging money, I would probably buy the planner she sells over at Taproot. 
  • Boat kits from Seaworthy Small Ships, a local company run by my friend's family. I'm excited to send them down the creek near our home in the days following Christmas. 
  • A marble run from The Wooden Wagon. Actually, this is from my parents to the kids, but I can still be excited about it, right?
  • A few new dress up pieces I bought online on Black Friday. 

There are plenty of other things I am eager to hand out, but some of those gifts are headed to readers of this blog, so I'll keep those under wraps for now.  If you have any toys that are tried and true winners at your house, please let me know in the comments. Although Christmas shopping is pretty much wrapped up, I have a handful of birthdays right around the corner.


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  3. Sometimes it seems adults get caught up in that moment when a child has just unwrapped a gift and their eyes light up. As if we're chasing av sensation we once had ourselves. It makes much more sense to think as you do of the things that bring most joy over time.
    It seems to me that whatever they don't get too excited about straight away, especially if in the middle of a pile of presents, is usually what they'll use the most. The toys you can't just switch on but will eventually create while worlds around.
    I like gifting craft materials. Stamps or pretty pieces of paper for decoupage or stickers or packages sets of "build your own "- depending on age. It also doesn't add to any pile of toys as it's stuff you use.