Christmas Presents

December 26, 2007

Where have y’all been? Oh wait….that’s me. Hope y’all all had a wonderful Christmas!

Here’s something to know about our family at Christmas time…….we don’t spend much on our children at Christmas….or any other time, for that matter, except for food. That’s kinda important.

So, a few weeks ago, I gave each of the children the name of the sibling they would be buying for, and then we all went to the Dollar Tree and had 30 minutes of pure chaos and insanity because THIS group of children could not see what THAT group of children was picking out for them, and then we switched aisles and shuffled everyone around, and did it again. 27 times. Because when there are 8 kids involved who need to buy presents for each other without the other siblings seeing what the gift-giver is picking out for them, and the younger ones not allowed to see what ANY of the siblings are choosing because they may tell the gift-getters, kinda like whenever they play hide-and-seek, and tell the Seeker where the Hiders are hiding because isn’t that what they’re SUPPOSED to do, as cute, young, toddler-ish siblings? Basically, you need to be an actuary with a PhD in actuary-ism in order to pull this off. And you must be slightly insane. And maybe even suicidal.

Let me just say now that these gifts that cost $1 each, and were probably over-priced by $.99, totally won the What-is-the-Best-Gift-You-Got-This-Christmas Award, even though MUCH more time and money was spent on the gifts given by parents and grandparents. I spent the equivalent of getting dressed, driving an hour to the nearest good mall, finding a parking place that didn’t require camping equipment and hiking attire, wandering the mall searching for gifts, finding the car again, driving all the way back home, plus all the extra money needed for gas and meals while I’m gone……I spent the equivalent of all of THAT, on the computer at home, searching and researching, finding the best educational stuff I could, and then finding it at the cheapest places, hopefully combined with as many other gifts as possible in order to save on shipping. And I did it all in my jammies!

So the point is that I spent a TON of time, energy, and money, finding EXCELLENT kid gifts that are stimulating, educational, different, and unlike anything you could ever hope to find at a (shiver) MALL!

And my 9-year-old’s favorite gift was a $1 package of clay that his older brother spent 21 seconds picking out. And my 5-year-old’s favorite gift was a sparkly, polyester dress that I found for her at Goodwill, and spent $6 on. Because ANY STORE WE GO INTO that has any item of clothing that sparkles, MUST BE HAD by this child, or she will stand up in the buggy and wet herself. Okay, not really, but I’m always fearful that she will, such is her reaction to my saying, “That is the ugliest item of clothing I have ever laid eyes on, and I will not spend Daddy’s hard-earned money on it, nor will I have a child that is SUPPOSED to have my genetic make-up wearing anything of the sort!” Which she takes to mean “NO!” and thus, must have some sort of violent reaction to.

She has not removed the dress since yesterday morning except to sleep, and even then, I had to tell her 3 times to strip it from her body.

And Clay Boy has formed an entire zoo from his collection of 10 sticks of clay. With appropriate foliage and landscaping. Tomorrow, I’m told that he’ll be crafting the zoo employees which will consist of Minority Employees, Trash-Picker-Upper Employees, Employees That Wear Perfectly-Formed Pink and Green Glasses, and Employees That Require Colostomy Bags.

Next year, I’m gonna set a $5 limit per kid…..$2.50 from the grandparents and $2.50 from Mommy and Daddy, and I’m gonna divide my time between the Dollar Tree and Goodwill. The only down-side?

No jammie-wearing.

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