Oh how I love Christmas shopping! Well, okay, not really. I wouldn't mind Christmas shopping if it weren't for the having to choose part. I have five children. We don't overly spoil them with things and stuff and yet somehow they have stuff. I mean a lot of stuff. I know single children who have more stuff than my collective five, yet still we have too much stuff.
When you have children ranging from 9 to 2 the real problem is that if you don't already own it, or something much like it, you don't want to own it. The little ones are the hardest to buy for, not because they care at all, simply because we already have it all.
The older children get, the more expensive their requests. You begin to feel the struggle between balancing getting the great, if slightly more expensive, gifts for the older kids and getting the little ones things they want but cost much less. My husband and I don't feel pressured to spend the same dollar amount exactly on each child. We don't even keep very close track. We try to have the same number of items to open and one cool "big" gift. Of course our definition of cool isn't nearly that of others.
I have tried different approaches to getting gifts for the children. I have tried giving each a gift certificate to do something they've been begging to do ( buy Build-A-Bear clothes for their animals). One year I had the great idea to find that thing in our child we want to encourage and buy gifts accordingly. That helped tremendously with gift choosing.
This year, however, I am stuck. Gift buyers block I guess. Part of the problem is that we chose a cool gift for the oldest. Now to match that for the other four. Actually, the two and three year-olds will be excited with anything (if we can find anything we don't already own!), so we just need great, exciting gift ideas for an eight year-old girl and a five year-old boy! Feel free to post suggestions if you have them!