Christmas in July

Yes, I'll admit it, I frequent websites like http://www.organizedchristmas.com/ and have my Christmas gift list available at all times throughout the year as I shop clearance sales and usually by this time in the year (yes, its July), I have most of the list completed, or at least know what I'm looking for. Adam's family does a Pollyanna Exchange (basically a Secret Santa) and we have a $25 limit per couple. This year we had the kids pick names as well and each of them have a $10 limit. My family is just my parents, so that's easy.

Here's my list so far:

Gwen -

  1. Lia Sophia ladybug bracelet (I've had it for over a year... she'll love it!)
  2. Thomas the Tank Engine train set (ok, this is more for Daddy, but he suggested it, and I found a HUGE set at a garage sale for $8)
  3. Haven't gotten this yet, BUT, something for her Bitty Baby doll (new outfit?)

Zoe -

  1. Drop and Roar Dinosaur (I got it for $5 at a thrift store)
  2. Snap-Lock beads ($2 at a garage sale)
  3. Haven't gotten this yet, BUT, Roll A Round balls for her Dinosaur

Nephew #1 -

  1. Mr. Potato Head Spiderman ($3 clearance at our grocery store... go figure!)
  2. Cute outfit from Kohl's (always shop 80-90% off clearance racks when I get a 15-30% off coupon)

Nephew #2 -

  1. Wooden scorpion model that he can build (clearance at Kmart)
  2. An outfit, or new swim shirt for the shore. I'll ask his mom what he needs.

Here are the people I still need good ideas for:

  1. My Dad - AWFUL to buy for!
  2. My Mom - She's easy, I'll probably do another digital scrapbook of the girls for her, or give her a gift certificate to Scrapbooks Please to get her digital creations printed.
  3. My sister and brother-in-law who we have in our "Pollyanna exchange".
  4. My in-laws. We all get together to give them something, but WHAT is always the question.

Adam and I don't really exchange gifts... we don't need anything... sometimes we surprise each other with something little, but we usually just get something bigger that we'd like to have (one year was a new computer, next was a GPS unit, etc.) We're going to start a new tradition this year by doing fun stocking stuffers for the girls. Our Christmas present philosophy is different that some people's. We decided before we even had Gwen that we weren't going to go nuts with Christmas presents (too much stuff for kids is a WHOLE different discussion that I won't take time to get into now...). Our rule of thumb is this: Jesus got 3 "presents" from the wisemen, so our kids each get 3 presents. We try to do one bigger item (i.e. - train set for Gwen, dinosaur for Zoe) and then two smaller or related things. Their stockings will hold things like, new toothbrushes, little treats, perhaps a small, dollar-store toy.

We have tried hard to keep the focus of celebrating Christ's birth and the meaning that holds for us as Christians. We do an Advent Wreath and celebrate the 4 Sundays of the Advent season. We also have a really neat ornament set from Family life that celebrates the names of Christ with beautiful scriptures and devotionals to go along with it.

As you can see, I get excited about the holidays early! I'll be VERY happy for this first Christmas with BOTH of our girls! :-)

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