I promise I will move on soon, but I'm still mentally hashing out Christmas. We did manage to keep Christmas smaller this year. I was very proud of myself for only purchasing two more gifts per kid after we wrapped all the presents mid-November (I shop all year round so I was done by October). And one of those presents were new towels, which I had planned to buy anyway and realized I could turn them in to a cool Christmas gift if I got them personalized (and they are GORGEOUS towels and still on sale)! The other gifts were $5 DVDs I found on Black Friday. But once the gifts were all under the tree, it still looked like too much. Plus then the grandparents and aunt showed up with their gifts!
I carefully watched over the week after Christmas to see what was played with and what was not. There were two highlights in that week: 1) Sarah's video camera and 2)the board game Mancala.
My parents bought the video camera when Dell had a super hot deal this past fall (and it's PINK!). If you have a pre-teen I HIGHLY recommend one of these little guys! Not only did Sarah have an absolute blast video taping EVERYTHING we did, she would turn the camera around on herself and commentate. It is hilarious and such a precious memory for her when she is older.
The Mancala game I picked up at a yard sale for $1! They fought over that game all week and Ella is still playing with it on a daily basis.
I've heard of families who limit Christmas gifts to three like the Wise Men who brought three gifts to the baby Jesus. I've been hesitant to try it out because I just love giving Christmas gifts! But honestly, all those other gifts we got them are buried somewhere in with the other toys (except the water bottles from Mimi -- those get daily use!). So I think this year I will closely watch the sales, go yard saling and choose very wisely -- only three gifts per kid from mom and dad. Then I'll stash all the other money (albeit not much!) in the fund for a new(to us) car!