I promised after showing you some of the ridiculous items found in a catalog I would show you what the little ones found of interest. Just like most adults the little ones enjoy finding catalogs and looking at the pictures. This one brought plenty of laughter, especially the ones which involved bodily noises, while they found them entertaining, they didn’t say they wanted them. I had no problem showing you what they liked because they tore the pages out to show everyone the things they liked. After I show you their picks I have a before and after to show you that will be a Christmas gift along with one bought item which completes my shopping for my one daughter-in-law. As I promised I will be showing you ideas each Monday that I hope will inspire you to stay away from the malls and I think your loved ones may like these gifts even better.
Now for what the little ones picked out from the catalog, not that they will get them.
My granddaughter has a wide range of interests including art, dance, gardening, crafts of any kind and anything that engages her imagination, recall the dinosaur eggs? While I looked through the catalog and found plenty of cheap plastic toys supposedly any child would love, she avoided those and chose these.
In the above collage you will find in the first row: a nightgown and baby doll with matching nightgown, a set of 2 tutus and angels and pony characters In the second row: (sorry for the sideways pictures) there is a floor piano and Disney characters. In the third row: monogrammed journal with pen, seek and find books, a pillow kit, and finally colored gel pens.
My grandson said he would like any of these items:
In the first row: a set of 3 wooden trucks to build and paint, a Spiderman dart board, and the Lego Idea book. In the second row: a 3 in one game, a Spiderman wood poster, and a glow in the dark remote control helicopter.
Of course there were things they both thought they would like to have:
In the first row: a play tent for on the bed and story book collections. In the second row: a bird feeder and a container of chocolate covered pretzels.
I wasn’t surprised by their picks as they match their personalities and interests. They did say they were going to ask Santa Claus for the bird feeder as they don’t have one at their house and “the birds could go hungry”. I did ask my grandson why he would want the glow in the dark helicopter as he is in bed by the time it’s dark. He thought maybe his parents would let him stay up late once in a while.
I think their choices reflect the fact that they don’t watch television and therefore aren’t exposed to the advertising which would show them how many of the toys are supposed to be played with and the pressure to be like everyone else…that and their parents and I have given them many other experiences which engage their imaginations. It really doesn’t matter why, I’m just happy to see they know what things would bring value to their lives.
Seeing their lists did show me that I had done well in what I was planning to give them this year, which I will share with you at a later time, but now it’s time to show you how I came in under budget for my daughter-in-law (the one who decorated the home I showed you last week).
Doing Christmas Right
I showed you my son’s dining room last week, and thank you for such lovely comments about their home. Today I want to show you a corner of their bedroom.
This little table that now sits next to their bed used to sit in their living room. My daughter-in-law and I found it several years ago at a yard sale. I don’t recall what she paid for it but I am sure it was less than $5. It had the original stain which was in sad shape. After moving to their new home it got a makeover to become a nightstand. She has been looking for another stand for the other side of the bed. She hadn’t found anything she liked and asked if she could have the following table. This is the one that didn’t have a top when I found it but used a discarded cabinet door to make a new top.
I had no problem giving this one to her, but it just didn’t fit the style of the room. Then I saw this sitting outside the local consignment store. When I was told I could have it for $4, I sold the above table and got to work on this.
It was a little wobbly but I solved that question when I found the glue had disintegrated where the top was attached. I removed the top and glued it back together. I gave the entire piece a good sanding as well. I knew this was old but was shocked to turn the table over to find carved into the bottom of the table the name of the maker and the date 1770 (no that’s not a typo).
Here’s how the table looks now, won’t it look better in their bedroom than the table I sold? Please excuse the poor quality of this picture as for some reason I can’t get my flash to work on my phone’s camera.
While I know my daughter-in-law would be thrilled with this as her Christmas present, the total cost for this table which will be used most-likely by my son (only guessing that’s the side of the bed it will end up on) being $4 I wanted to give her something else. I had my eyes on Daneila’s, from Frugal Ain’t Cheap, Etsy store. I hope you will consider taking a look at her store. She has many lovely things available, I adore her latest autumn table runner.
With my daughter-in-law making a slow transition to cloth napkins I wanted to give her a beautiful set of napkins. My stenciling skills aren’t perfect so I sent Daniela a message letting her know what I was looking for and if she would have time to make me a set. She must have been reading my mind because she had a set she was readying to put in the store. For a total of $16 which included shipping I received this gorgeous set of 4 cloth napkins. Daniela used a heavy, yet soft, fabric which gives these napkins a special feel and will be perfect for special occasions.
I have a budget for holiday shopping. For the adults in my family (which are my sons and their wives) I limit myself to no more than $35 per person. This year my total for this daughter-in-law came in at $20.
For me the key to choosing gifts is to match the gift to the personality and needs of the person then try to match this information with my values so the gift will be something I am happy to give.
For this person I knew she loved antiques, I knew the size and shape of the existing nightstand and the space this one would need to fit into. Since she believes she is getting the table I sold I also know she won’t be purchasing something else between now and Christmas.
She has a love affair with Italy, similar to my fascination with Ireland. Anything Italian would be a good choice, with the exception of wine which she doesn’t care for, but I also wanted to give her a practical gift she would enjoy. These napkins are white which is her accent color and as Daniela informs me the city is where Romeo and Juliet were said to have lived and the date is the year Shakespeare wrote their story. Knowing this she will love these napkins.
There you have my first holiday tips for a frugal Christmas:
- look for something you know they want but can’t find and refinish it, saving them the work
- Encourage greener options for around the house, but only if you are sure they will appreciate and love them
- When possible use a theme of something they love. This will only make the present appreciated even more for the thought you put into the gift.
- And finally, shop consignment and thrift shops first. If you do need to buy something new, look to buy handmade and avoid giving your money to the corporations. This way your gift is something they couldn’t have found themselves.