"Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify." - Henry David Thoreau

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Monday, November 30, 2009

I've Been Making a List

I've been making a list and checking it twice but it hasn't helped me with my Christmas shopping so far. But then I came across this comment from Emily of Remodeling This Life on The Nesting Place's post Do Less, Be More and I think it is going to be my motto this year.

"I am buying the kids four things this Christmas - something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read."

It is right on the money, if you'll excuse the pun.

It is so hard to get Christmas right. We all say it isn't about the gifts but turn on the TV or open the paper with all the "Must Have" lists. How is a kid supposed to think that it's not about the getting?

So starting with something they want - that's tough, is it something they really want or something they just think they want? Number Three Son thinks he wants a cell phone, he's seven years old!? What he really wants is a Christmas party with just his friends, I have already agreed to it. So I will be sending the older boys out while he and five buddies decorate ginderbread houses and make "stained glass" candles with tissue paper and play road hockey in the driveway.

Number Two thinks he wants a new gaming system but he really wants is riding lessons so I will wrap up a helmet and give him the little toy horse they gave me last year when I got Jazz for Christmas. (I think that will be the fifth type of helmet he will have, none are multi purpose)

Number Three is a hard one, he says he doesn't want anything and he really doesn't so I will have to think a little harder for him.

Something they need ... hmmmm ... Number One needs a new ski jacket and the one he did say he wanted is expensive so maybe I can kill two birds with one stone with that one. Of course, it is also something to wear but I don't think I can roll them all into one.

Number Two needs a room of his own but that isn't going to happen this year but maybe I can make curtains to go around his bunk so that he has some privacy and he can keep his light on and read a little later than Number Three. And the youngest needs more one on one time with either of his parents so I have to find something that he and I can do together without the other boys.

Now as for something to wear - that's easy, they all go through ski socks, mitts and long underwear as if they were made of paper so I will stock up on all of the above and throw in some cool hoodies and hats to make it fun.

Finally my favourite - something to read. Number One is a bookworm but reads so fast and we are lucky enought to have a wonderful public library that he visits on the way home from school as often as he needs so finding a book that he hasn't read is a little harder. He loves series, devoured Pokemon when he was younger, then the wonderful Screech Owls hockey books by Roy McGregor and now is into the Darren Shan Cirque de Freak which the movie The Vampire's Assistant is based on.

Number Two hasn't taken to reading the way I thought he might but if I get that curtain made he might be more inclined if it means he can stay up later. There must be a horsey series with a boy for a main character out there.

And for Number Three, he is struggling so hard with his reading I want to encourage him with something that he won't find too young and will capture his interest without discouraging him if it's too hard to read. If you have any suggestions for any of the above, please let me know.

So that's the four things for the kids, as for My Other Half who always spoils and surprises me I am always at a loss. Maybe I'll go with the four things for him as well, not that that will make it any easier. Sigh ... let's hope we can stay up late enough on Christmas Eve so we don't get caught stuffing stockings again.


  1. Cid I love this idea - it's so hard for me to follow through though. Every year we say the kids have too much & we're going to cut back - and with 4, the tree looks full even if each kid just gets a few :)

    Good luck with finding the books you're looking for, and ideas for the hubby - I'm stumped there too...

  2. Excellent idea. I'm threatening to buy shirts, ties & socks if the boys don't come up with some ideas soon. I always try to come up with something totally unexpected which often makes for a good laugh, if nothing else!
    This particular Santa is getting tired of lists...

  3. We always had two Christmas lists, the fantasy and reality lists! Fantasy list had a dirt bike, the reality list had a monopoly game! haha!

  4. I like the fantasy list idea, Otin. Kind of like looking through the Neiman Marcus catalogue. I'll take two of those diamond encrusted Porches!

  5. What a great idea! I'm going to try this...

    Thanks for stopping by!


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