I have been blessed to get what I consider to be a very reasonable budget for Christmas this year. Since, I was worried it was going to be zero, I find the amount that Josh scraped out for me to be wonderful. I don't want to exactly say that number, because it may seem sinfully high to some and pitifully low to others. So, let's just stick with the fact that is is exactly the amount I hoped to use. We are a truly CASH only family now, so getting every last dollar out of my budget is essential. But I don't want to buy the kids a bunch of crap that they will never use.
My goal with the presents are to get Max stuff that we can use as part of preschool. My number one goal for the girls is to get them each refurbished iPod touches. Excessive for a 7 year old? Maybe, but I really want my iPhone back. I do lots of "family presents" and then each kid gets the same number of presents for themselves. The costs are not usually equal - because the little guys don't care.
I got on Amazon already and got the shorties and nieces these things: (the initial at the end is for who it is for, G is for group)
"wreck this journal"E and "this is not a book"L
These are for the girls, and I can't wait to get into them
Rush Hour game - a reasoning game G
Oil Pastel Crayons G
Squeeze Rockets - for stockings G
Play and Freeze Ice Cream Ball G
Mindwares Pattern Play M
Blast of Color - a science kit G
Tub Fountain - for the littlest niece
Soy Rock crayons - suggested from pink and green mama G
Button art M
Design and drill power tool workshop M
I had written out a list with these items on it, but by using the low prices on Amazon and the free shipping I saved 38% over my original budget!!!!!!! 38% - love it.
Still left to buy:
2 refurb iPods - don't judge
One watercolor set for each kid
Renew poster paint supply (the art party used it all up)
Blue, purple, brown, and pink
Renew colored masking tape supply
Smecils – colored pencils and are scented, what fun!
Nice Toy Store
Block buddies - for the older niece
Kite for Max
One other toy for Max
Two other toys for Lily
Two other toy for Emma
Singing fridge letters for Max
Vintage snoopy snow cone maker for Lily
One movie for each kid that goes in the stockings
Some Mac makeup for Emma
One item of Hollister clothing for Emma
Gift card for sushi dinner - a request from Lily
My Mother is getting Max 10 classes at the children's museum, a tennis racket for Emma, and renting a violin plus lessons for six months for Lily.