Every year, I vow not to go overboard for Christmas, only to end up going overboard anyway.
And every year, I vow to figure out what worked and what didn’t for that year so that I don’t repeat the errors again. Here is my assessment:
Smartwool socks: Even the ones for my kids are hits! Who knew that a 4 1/2 year old would be happy with a pair of socks! OK, so he wasn’t the morning of Christmas -- he tossed them aside quickly -- but after all the snow, he loves his blue stripey socks. And my husband loves his, too.
Twilight Turtle: These always looked neat to me, and I finally plunked down the nearly $30 for a glorified stuffed animal. I am really impressed. My daughter yells “TURTLE” every night before bed, then she points at the moon and announces it as such and then falls asleep. (In my dreams… I didn’t tell you there is a half hour between the sleeping and the cute moon part.)
Legos: Despite the age-6 labeling, the Lego sets we bought for my son were a huge hit. When have Legos not been a huge hit?
Eddie Bauer flannel and down throws: My mother-in-law bought us two of these. My first thought was “more blankets.” I have quilts that I have made, afghans crocheted by my grandmother and a multitude of other blankets. I hate to say that they can all go in the closet now because these throws are amazing.
Artsy Fartsy stuff: I took my kids to paint pottery for presents at Artsy Fartsy around Thanksgiving. So the whole "keeping it a secret" was a miss -- he was just too excited about his yellow cup with monsters painted on it. But personalized gifts from the kids for Dad and Grandma and Grandpa were an instant hit and so much easier than dragging them to the mall.
Photo books: Oh so very time consuming to make. Especially for me. I just have no spare time. But oh so very appreciated by everyone who received one. (And those of you who didn’t, you ARE on my list.) And I am partial to Blurb for these -- a Washington-based company.
Chocolate: No need to expand on that topic.