Thursday, December 22, 2011

Santa Claus is coming to town

Presents for our children are still very simple to buy. The twins are oblivious and just assume to continue ripping apart my magazines, unrolling the toilet paper in the bathroom, and destroying anything within their reach. Ella just wants anything she sees in a catalog or store.

That being said, we still put a lot of thought into their gifts. Ultimately, we decided to find gifts that we thought would provide the most play time. We also felt like we needed to make sure there were some masculine gifts added to our house of princesses and ballerinas. Ha!

I have mentioned before, that Ella loves dolls of any sort. But, her favorite and most played with dolls are either her madeline dolls or those small princess figurines (some of them come with rubber clothes and some don't have clothes that come off). Last year she got a small Angelina Ballerina House that she loved and still plays with daily.
Click here for details

She also, later in the year, (a just because gift), got this other little Madeline House. I got it off ebay because it is an older/used item. It is a small house for polly-pocket size figures. I couldn't find a picture, but it is super cute. Anyway, it doesn't fit her regular size Madeline dolls, of course, but she loves it. She sets these houses up side by side and all the figures visit each other and play together. She has her own little neighborhood! Oh, and the princess figurines fit in there too.

So, the point of the story being, we (I) really wanted to get her a larger size dollhouse. You would not believe the choices out there. Originally, I was wanting a classy, wooden type house. But, they were either too big (for now), needed to be completely put together (meaning it was just a kit), or just more money than we were wanting to spend. I mean, buying the furniture alone gets expensive. And the girl is only 3 remember.

Anyway, originally, I was thinking this one at Pottery Barn Kids:

Click here for more info

I've loved this dollhouse for a long time. And her room is the same color, so aesthetically speaking, it would be beautiful. And they had it on sale for $159 completely assembled. It only had three rooms, but they were spacious and would fit her larger dolls.

But, then I saw this stupid thing below.
Click here for more info

So hear me out. I don't really mean it is stupid. It is actually completely fabulous and COMPLETELY Ella! It is similar in size to the Pottery Barn one, yet it comes with all the furniture, dolls, decorations, and other fun features that she will love for $149. It also has 6 or 7 rooms and the thing folds in half so it can store easier. It is classy. But, it is plastic. That was my biggest hang up about it. But, now, I want you to scroll back up and look at the two. The latter just looked way more fun for our little Ella. So, at the end of the day, I put my desire to have the more "neutral" toy aside and went with what I thought Ella would like best. (Oh, and her bigger Madeline dolls do fit in it as well.)

By, the way, this is technically a gift for both girls. (Oh, and Andrew was ok with either house. But, he agreed that the plastic one would probably be more fun for her.)

As for Jacob, the boy likes balls and anything with wheels, so that was pretty easy. Andrew thought he would enjoy one of those ride-on toys (not electric, just one you push with your feet). Of course, I immediately start looking for the classiest one I could find:

From Pottery Barn kids, but no longer available

Of course, my idea was immediately disqualified because of cost (over a hundred dollars). Again, Andrew was thinking "plastic toy" (because of cost). I don't know what my hangup is with plastic toys. I guess because my dad has always done wood working as a hobby that I appreciate a well crafted wooden toy...ok, and because they are less tacky sitting out in my house. But, I just love wooden toys!

So, much like the dollhouse, we were able to find a much cheaper ride-on toy that was really cute and not just another plastic toy. Here is what we got (about $35) and I let Andrew make the decision since I'm the one who makes most of these decisions. He's always wanted a little, I'm trying to let him pick out fun things he would like too:
Click here for more info

I don't usually have such a big snobby attitude about toys, except when they are things that will always be sitting out and not stuck in a toy basket.

I would also like to add, that the majority of these gifts were bought with gift cards. I only mention that because I know we have said we are on a budget right now and I did not want to give the impression that we aren't still trying hard to stick with that.

So, those are their Santa gifts. That's it. Each child will also get about $10 worth of "things" in his/her stocking. Ella is getting a Sleeping Beauty plush doll ($12) and a coloring book. See below:

Audrey is getting a little dalmation puppy. Jacob is getting a few different little cars.

As for gifts from us, Ella is getting a puzzle, two books, and one "Flynn" doll (that is Tangled's "prince"). Andrew's parents got her the Tangled doll (Barbie size). Audrey is getting a Dumbo stuffed animal from us. And Jacob is getting this really cool London double decker bus that holds the cars from his stocking.
Click here for more details

So, I feel like in my heart, we did pretty good with not buying too much. There were so many other things that would have been nice to get (ie-more clothes for Ella's dolls, a doll stroller, etc.), but I have to keep reminding myself there are plenty of years ahead of us.

I can't wait to see them play with their new toys!! I secretly want to play with Ella's dollhouse too!

1 comment:

Rob said...

Someone told me one time (before we had kids) that they only bought their kids 3 presents each to represent the 3 wise men... we started that tradition when Kinley was only a month old for her 1st Christmas and still continue with it. I like being able to connect the two in yet another way and it helps keep cost down b/c once they get older, they know they will only get 3 presents from us. We also are doing a joint Santa gift this year (that doesn't count in the 3).