We had to be very, very careful with money for Christmas this year. We are still not recovered from being unemployed a year ago. Cutting out everything extra from our budget that we could over the last several weeks, we put every extra dollar we could spare toward Christmas. When you have ten people in your family, even several hundred dollars spreads pretty thin. There were several things we really really wanted to get for certain people that were just too expensive (I think that if I could I would probably spent way too much on my kids for Christmas.) But here's the thing I've learned with kids and Christmas: if you don't have a ton of expensive gifts the magic of Christmas morning can make a $10 gift feel like a $100 gift. And so, even though most of the gifts were in the $10-$30 range, they were very carefully selected so that all the kids were thrilled and said it was their best Christmas ever.
All Peanut wanted was a rocking horse. She kept asking for one repeatedly for several weeks beforehand. So that was one item we spent a little more on, and it was worth it. Oh, she was thrilled!
She loved the horsie in her stocking too.
This little plastic Snoopy in Fish's stocking was a huge hit. A very small thing that was a very big deal to him.
The Rabbit kept telling me about this little bird her friend has that repeats back what you say. Oh, how she wanted one-- she couldn't stop talking about it. I found them at Target and they were only $10. It totally made her Christmas and it was one of the funnest things we played with all day. It's a really cute little bird and it talks back to you in a very cute little voice.
The Badger bought more cheap remote control helicopters for the boys. This is becoming a tradition at our house. They are playing with them even as I type this.
The older four children all wanted to spend their hard-earned money on Christmas presents for their siblings. They each only had around $15, so I suggested that they each buy a present for one person. Bean would buy for Fish, Fish for Roo, Roo for Rabbit, Rabbit for Bean. They carefully chose just what they knew that person would love. Here is Rabbit opening her craft kit from Roo.
Peanut's other present was a dress up snow queen dress. It was a big hit.
Wearing her dress and rocking on her horse and loving every second of it:
Chubby, cuddly twinses:
Fish is about to pass out with joy here. He just opened his Lego set.
This was Frog's big present: the Badger found it at Costco for $30 and knew Frog would love it. He was right!
For most of the kids, the Badger picked out one gift and I picked out one gift. I bought Frog this knight dress-up. He loved it too. I love the combination of knight costume and space pajamas. Little boys are so fun!
My extended family draws names every year, and this year Uncle Horrible Beast had our name. He asked for some suggestions, and we were all thrilled that he decided to buy us another box of PlusPlus to add to our collection. We really love PlusPlus!
Oh, what a wonderful Christmas morning it was at our house this year!