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What to do for Christmas

Thursday, October 20, 2011
There's a slight chance that I go a little overboard at Christmas time. Brad has even tried to find a nice way to suggest that I'm neurotic about it.

I am choosing to ignore his opinion.

Honestly, I can tell you that I love Christmas so much because I really do love finding ways to surprise and give special gifts to the ones that I love.

So, you can just imagine how I am about my babies.

This year, I am trying... with all my heart... to find ways to give special, memorable gifts. But, with a catch... I want gifts that really do encompass my children's personalities and really capture their imaginations. I want to give the kids some of their Christmas wishes (Jake's Batcave, Bailey's Scooby Doo figures, etc.). BUT... I also want them to be surprised by things that I know they will love and things that I know will have a more lasting impact.  I want things that make them pretend... the really encourage their creativity.

Now, I could easily spend $1,000 on Jake and have everything in the world that encompasses his personality. He is easy. He loves all things superhero and could spend every waking moment playing with his superhero figures and video games. Nothing would make him happier... and nothing could be easier.

However, Bailey is a little tougher. She loves her toys... but she does not play with them the way other kids do. She gets bored easily. She needs constant entertainment. She plays well when she has people to play with. She loves arts and crafts (no clue where she gets that). She loves to perform skits for us.

So... I've spent several hours on Pinterest and online, searching for the best ideas.

And, I'm compiling ideas about what *might* make the cut.

Here are some of my favorites.

An art area, where Bailey (and Jake, but likely to be mainly Bailey) can go to create quickly and easily... without dragging a bazillion things out onto the kitchen table, where momma has to put them all back up.

Photo and design plans compliments of http://ana-white.com/2011/05/lego-art-desk

Photo and design plans compliments of http://ana-white.com/2011/05/lego-art-desk
I'm hoping to use some combination of these ideas:

Compliments of Chasing Cheerios

Compliments of Pinterest

What else? Not another iPod... but definitely some angry birds.

An angry birds game in real life. I think this one might really need to be a *family* gift, because I think Brad and I might just love it as much as they do. :) Thanks for sharing, Cheryl!

Photos and ideas provided by Alpha Mom

A puppet theater/lemonade stand. This one is probably going to get pushed back and probably isn't going to happen until Spring. I want it SO much (notice the I WANT IT - am I living vicariously through them?), but I'm worried that there's not enough time (plus it might be tough to make with the kids at home and then find a spot for it, too)...

Photo compliments of Ana White

However, this one might be able to make the cut at this point.

Compliments of Skip To My Lou
... but if I do puppet theaters then I have to do puppets... hmmm....

The superhero fort kit...
Compliments of Meg + Andy

The homemade tic-tac-toe game.

Compliments of My Little Gems
The colored rice bin.
Compliments of Share & Remember
The indoor hopscotch kit.

Compliments of Tip Junkie 
The homemade checkerboard.
Compliments of Sun Scholars
The magnet board (but I think I'm going to have letters with superheroes to help encourage Jake to care about learning his letters. :))
Compliments of Nic and Kate
Now you might really think I'm crazy. There's no way to do all of these projects, right? :) So, which ones do you think I should eliminate? I just can't decide. I think I'm as excited about some of these as our kids would be!

What are you doing for your favorite kids this year? Share the creativity!