Every Christmas, The Man Beast and I try something different in the way we give the Kiddos gifts. One year, we opted for a No Battery Christmas. My MIL, bless her heart, graciously went along with us, even though she thought we were off our rocker.
This year is the Rule of Three - three presents that is.
The idea isn't our own. I read it on a blog; I just don't remember where. The Rule of Three is simple. Each child gets only three presents for Christmas (plus a stocking).
Three presents?!?! Are you kidding me?
No. Three presents. No less. No more.
Every year, The Man Beast and I have worked to put exuberant amounts of gifts under the tree for the kids (usually anywhere from 10 to 20). Unfortunately, what we were finding is that only two or three gifts were really played with. The rest were just added to a pile in their rooms and soon forgotten.
This was such a waste! Not only were we spending more on wrapping paper and other wrapping supplies, but we were wasting money that could have gone elsewhere - like to a joint gift for the whole family or used to donate gifts to others. This is why the Rule of Three (as I've named it), seems so appropriate.
This year the kids got bikes. The Kiddos have been asking for bikes for onwards of four years now and The Man Beast and I had never gotten them. I don't know if it was laziness on our part or the fact that we never had a place for the kids to ride (probably the latter), but the fact was, we never got them.
The Man Beast went Christmas shopping while the kiddos and I were at church. He got Baby Gurl a pink bike with training wheels. You need a helmet to go with the bike, so he got a pink helmet to go with the pink bike. (The beauty of all of this was that we had gone to the store, as a family, and asked the kids what kind of bikes they wanted. I'm convinced that they still don't think they're getting them, so when they finally do get them, it'll be that much more exciting - for The Man Beast and me. Oh yeah, the kids, too).
The Boy got a blue bike - does that sound trite: a blue bike for a boy and pink bike for a gurl? It is. I'm sorry. I know the Man Beast wasn't trying to be sexist. It's the bike manufacturers who are sexist! (When I get my bike, it'll be red. Take that bike makers!). He got a weird green, camo looking helmet. He's gonna love it!
We're all a bunch of amateur photographers in the Turtle household which is why the kids are getting digital cameras. My MIL has made some awesome scrapbooks for the kids and wanted to know if I was going to be able to swing cameras for them. Well, considering that both of the Kiddos take every opportunity they can to steal mine, yes! I will get them cameras.
Man Beast got a fabulous deal on them - under $50! He got the kids each their own color so that they wouldn't get them confused. He got the gurl, um...pink and the boy blue. The camera manufacturers are sexist, too!
I sat the kids down a few days ago to ask them what they wanted for Christmas. They gave me a whole laundry list of things they had seen on TV, things that were over $150 (the boy) and a few things that there is no way in the world are making their way into our house. But there were a few goodies.
Baby Gurl loves Puppy in My Pocket things. Loves them. She's been interested in them for a couple of years now. My gurl doesn't like Barbie. She doesn't like Bratz. She doesn't even like Hannah Montana. She likes Puppy in My Pocket and babies and her toy kitchen (which happens to be Barbie, but MIL got us a great deal on it four years ago...and it's still going strong). Man Beast bought her a Puppy in My Pocket purse - I'm sure she'll love it.
The Boy asked for a Nerf thingy that hooked up to the Nintendo Wii controller. We thought it was $40. We had full intentions of buying it and buying Baby Gurl Mario Kart Wii. (We try hard to spend the same amount of money on both kids as to not show favoritism. I think eventually this is going to be difficult to do as they're probably going to start only asking for a few things and they will be different prices. But for now, this is how we roll).
When The Man Beast got to the store, he found that the Nerf gun-thingy was only $15! So, since the Boy really wanted it, we had to make a few adjustments on Baby Gurl's gift - hence the Puppy in My Pocket.
So, there you have it - the three gifts. Only I'm going to have to break my own rule.
Every year on Christmas Eve, the kids get to open up one gift. Every year, that one gift has been PJs. (The idea behind it is of course is that matching/new PJs make for pretty Christmas morning pictures). So, when I go tonight to get stocking stuffers, I'll have to get PJs.
But that's it. I'm sticking to my own rules.
Most of the time, the Kiddos get gift cards from various family members. In Man Beast's and my perfect world, the Kiddos will collaborate and buy Mario Kart Wii together, since it's a game they have to share anyway.
A parent can dream, right?