Gift Guides Holidays

What We’re Getting the Girls for Christmas This Year

For the past few years, I’ve shared what we were buying the girls for Christmas and this year, several people have messaged me asking if I was going to do it again.

You better believe it!

Because writing this post forces me to actually sit down and figure out exactly what each girl is getting and then ordering it.

Basically, this post is accountability for me to not leave it all until the very last moment.

Now I can sit back and wait for everything to show up and then get to my favorite part, which is wrapping it all up.

A REAL gift guide for girls - what we're buying our four girls for Christmas!

Here’s what the girls are all getting this year:

For Ella (who is seven and a half)

  1. Chalk Art Class. My friend Lisa does the most amazing hand lettering classes, and she also has a chalk art class that I think Ella will LOVE. We have a personal size chalkboard, a box of anti-dust chalk, sharpener and a cloth to clean the board with, and I think that she’ll love taking the online course during the holiday break. I might do it with her! (You can use the code EVERYDAY20 for 20% off any of their courses).
  2. Leotard. Remie Girl has the CUTEST little dresses for girls, but they also have a bunch of leotards with ruffles and I’m so so tired of the ones my girls have from Target – I didn’t think they were cute when I bought them, but I needed something THAT DAY and now they’ve been wearing them for two years. I bought Ella the buffalo plaid one, Ani the cranberry one, and Star the dark teal. I like the thought of “something to wear” for Christmas that’s a little more fun than a new pair of jeans. (My children already each have five pairs of London Littles rain boots, but otherwise I think that’d be the perfect “something to wear” gift that’s both useful and fun).
  3. Labyrinth. We looked at this one for her birthday and the reviews on this game are insanely good, so I’m excited to add it to our collection. Plus, Ella is just completely obsessed with games.
  4. Nikes. Bart took Ella rock climbing earlier this year and bought her some Nikes which she LOVED and wore almost every day to school until she grew out of them. So we bought her a replacement pair. (I actually really wanted to get her a pair of Smallbirds, but they don’t go up to her size).
  5. Jacket. The thing about Arizona is that you just can’t think about winter clothing at all until December or you’ll just want to cry. But now that it’s suddenly turned chilly in the mornings and evenings, I’ve discovered that my children own nothing in between tee-shirts and pretty heavy coats. These denim jackets were too cute to resist and such a classic, and I bought one for each of the three older girls.
For Ani (who just turned five) 
In addition to her leotard and jacket, we’re also getting her:
  1. Etch-a-Sketch Freestyle. Ani is a total doodler and I think she’ll love this (Bart wondered aloud if we should get three . . . maybe we should have). Plus, it’s great for car rides and for her bedroom hopefully having at least a few less paper scraps EVERYWHERE.
  2. Walkie/Talkie. This was Bart’s idea (he’s always the one who comes up with fun ideas) and I think this will be a huge hit.
  3. A pair of Nikes. We got her a pair too (a different style) that I think she’ll love.
For Star (who is almost three)
She is also getting a leotard and a jacket and a. . .
  1. Guitar. Well, actually a ukulele. We bought Ella one for Christmas when she was three and a half, and then Ani one for her birthday this week, so obviously Star needs one too. So they can all play ear-splittingly off-key together. Probably should buy them some lessons to go along with them.
  2. Phone. Star is almost never without a little brick from our backyard which she calls her phone, carries everywhere, and has long conversations with imaginary friends on. So when we saw this one, it was an no-brainer gift. Also, then I won’t have to live in fear of her accidentally dropping it on the baby.
  3. Ankle boots. Star is VERY particular about what shoes she’ll wear (she basically lives in Old Navy flip flops or rain boots) so it’s possible she will refuse to wear them, but I like that they’ll look good with jeans and casual outfits or more dressy with tights and a skirt or dress. Crossing my fingers that they’ll meet with her stringent (and totally random) approval.
For Tally (who is ten months old) 
  1. Shape puzzle. I mean, a baby doesn’t really need anything, but I couldn’t resist this classic shape puzzle. It’s so pretty!
  2. An Outfit. Everyone comments on HOW MUCH girl clothing we must have after four girls, but frankly, by a fourth girl, lots of it is not in great shape. So she is kind of in desperate need of a few new items. I love the basics in this one, plus the buffalo plaid vest.
As far as stockings go, they’ll be filled with:
  1. A Small Pack of Candy. Probably Tic-Tacs.
  2.  Water Wow art books. I mentioned these on my $5 gift guide this year, and they are seriously SO fun. My girls are going to be ecstatic.
  3. Shrinky Dinks set. A few months ago, when Ella got invited to a birthday party, she picked out a set of these as a gift for the birthday girl, and she’s been mentioning them ever since.
  4. A pair of colorful tights. I love everything that June & January does and through Sunday night, all their stocking stuffer items (socks, tights, headbands, hats, scarves, etc) are 40% off with the code STUFFER, so it was the perfect time to restock my girls.
  5. Water Beads. This was another pick from the $5 gift guide and whoa, I think these are going to be a massive hit (this actually might have been the very most popular item on this year’s $5 gift guide!).
  6. Mini book library. Have you seen these little book packs? They’re so darn cute! I got The Pinkalicious Teeny Tiny Pinky Library for Ella and the Fancy Nancy Petite Library for Ani.
 (Also, for Star’s first Christmas, I put a diaper and a banana in her stocking at the last minute so she’d have something and the girls still talk about it and now keep asking if I’ll do the same for Tally this year. So I guess I will, just for laughs).
I’d love to hear what you’re getting your kids. It’s so helpful to hear from real parents and I frequently come back to these comments as birthdays roll around!

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19 Comments

  • Reply Preethi December 8, 2017 at 1:58 am

    I LOVED the Labyrinth as a kid, and I’m debating between that and Simon or a coding board game (Code: On the Brink) for Nat. Kina will get either Shut Yo Mouth or Simon and Toone will get either a Magnatab or Pickup Stix. They’re each getting a travel bag and that’s it because…we’re surprising them with a trip to Disneyland. (!!!) I’m mega excited. Oh, and baby A is getting the Deveux ABC book.

    Stockings: big erasers, socks, Christmas bandages, jelly beans, bows, and thank you cards. Basically all from the Target dollar section. Oh, and they each get Christmas jammies and a Christmas outfit, but those come earlier in the month.

    Future things on my list are the magna tiles arches set to add to our regular ones, scooters, a basketball hoop, a kid woodworking kit, an erector set, and various classes, a watch, and tickets to various events/shows.

    Also, so much of our original boy clothing is either in not-great shape, or I just don’t particularly care for it. I believe I was significantly less picky with a first child when I was in business school and Dan was in his 2nd year of work and we had zero money, so I’m finally purchasing things I actually like my children to wear.

    ALSO so nice your girls can wear whatever leotards they want (is it for ballet?). Kina’s ballet school is super particular and we have to order specific leotards through them. Giant eye roll.

  • Reply Amy December 8, 2017 at 5:19 am

    Such fun ideas!! My three yo is suddenly obsessed with grown up chapter books, so I’m thinking we might gift her one to read aloud at night. Any suggestions for a 1st chapter book for a little girl? I’d love something simple, sweet, non-scary/sad, and classic.

  • Reply Sarah December 8, 2017 at 5:41 am

    What fabulous gifts, your girls are very lucky to have such thoughtful parents!

  • Reply coolgreendays December 8, 2017 at 5:49 am

    I can’t believe Star is three?? She is still the baby in my mind but obviously not – growing up too fast! Love this post x

  • Reply Heather H. December 8, 2017 at 7:01 am

    I love that you aren’t going overboard and getting them a huge amount of presents. I always try to keep Christmas simple and it usually doesn’t work very well. Growing up, we always got piles of presents, which was fine, it wasn’t too extravagant, but I don’t want my kids to get high expectations and then be disapointed/spoiled. I sort of went overboard with books this year, but I don’t feel guilty as books are life.

  • Reply Beth@Turn2theSimple December 8, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Love your ideas for keeping Christmas gifting fun yet practical! I asked for some of your family’s favorite games for my kids this Christmas. Here are my other ideas for kids: the Less Stuff gift guide:

    https://turn2thesimple.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/the-less-stuff-gift-guide-for-kids-2/

  • Reply katie w December 8, 2017 at 7:49 am

    I have 4 boys (ages 10 – 4) and they all LOVE the game Labyrinth! It is super adaptable for different ages – bend the rules a little for the younger ones, and it is plenty challenging for the older kids (and parents!) played the real way. Aside from the legos/transformers/pokemon that my boys are begging Santa for, I’m getting a few new things to try. My 8 year old is obsessed with Harry Potter (yay!), so he is getting a wizard science kit I found on Amazon. My almost 7 year old is getting a beginning Magic Trick set. My 10 year old loves Percy Jackson, so I got him some ‘choose your own adventure’ Greek Mythology books, I hope they are a hit! And my 4 year old is getting a multitool just like dad (we found one with no knives in it so I can sleep at night!).
    I think what I’m most excited about though is that we got the 3rd illustrated Harry Potter book (Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite HP book!) as well as the illustrated Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. They showed up in the mail earlier this week, and I forced myself to wrap them up without flipping through them first. It was the biggest test of my self control ever, haha. Now I can’t wait for Christmas morning either!

  • Reply Aleta December 8, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Does your family “do” Santa? I always have a hard time deciding which gifts are from him and which are from us! We are doing a book light, books, a pop up castle tent that glows in the dark, and flashlights. (And probably a few other things.) our kids love character bandaids, baby puffs and yogurt bites in their stockings. (Even the big kids!) Thanks for so many great ideas. We don’t watch a lot of television (so no commericals) and my kids don’t come to the store often, so they don’t ever ask for much. While it’s nice they have few requests, it also makes shopping pretty difficult!

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw December 8, 2017 at 11:30 am

      My girls don’t really believe in Santa (we don’t make a big deal out of it, and they know he isn’t real, but we hang stockings and it’s just kind of a non-issue).

      All the gifts under the tree are for SURE from us because I want the credit – I have to be the mean mom so much of the time (“go to bed, clean up your toys, eat this food, etc”) that I don’t want some made up person getting the credit for giving them the perfect gift. This was my parent’s stance growing up too, so it seems normal to me.

      • Reply Diana December 8, 2017 at 1:12 pm

        Hahaha…that’s largely why we don’t do Santa either! I bought all these, I want some of the credit!!

  • Reply Abby December 8, 2017 at 11:52 am

    We are filling my 3 year old’s stocking with herbal tea—he recently fell in love with hot tea and I need to restock 😉

    My 1.5 year old will get bubbles. Both kids will get Terra farm animals and water animals from target (my kids love adding animals to sensory play like in water beads or our bean box)

  • Reply Linda Taylor December 8, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    We are getting our two year old a play kitchen ! The one from Ikea. Plus jeans, shoes, a few old school (ie used) little golden Christmas books and that’s it. A few things I’ve bought she’s had already, because I feel like it makes the day a little less crazy! My inlaws go crazy overboard , like when everyone is tired of opening presents but half the pile is still left 😳. This year I sent them handmade Christmas aprons, 20+ fluffy huge Pom Pom snowballs, Tiny handmade boat ornaments and two Christmas books for the cousins, all to be opened early !

  • Reply Diana December 8, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    This is just so interesting! And yay for being a motivator to get the shopping done!

  • Reply Caitlin December 8, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    For my almost three year old son we got a pair of London Little boots, an indoor basketball hoop, a baseball mitt, and a little wooden cash register. I love the idea of character bandaids for stocking stuffers someone mentioned!

  • Reply Beth December 8, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    The Target Dollar Spot has good activities right now. Lacing shapes, a felt spaceship with astronauts, and a magnificent tin. So those will be in stockings with Band-Aids and candy. We got a few movies, connect 4, and labryinth for the family. A new backpack, Ikea art smocks, and the coveted pj masks figures.

  • Reply Jocelyne December 8, 2017 at 10:16 pm

    Great gifts! We follow the want, need, wear, read and I love that it keeps things practical and useful, while still fun. I do bend the need to be more of a something you need to help you learn something though – science kit for my six year old, a tabletop easel and paint for my three year old, and still undecided for my thirteen year old still.

    We don’t really ‘do’ Santa here, or rather we don’t make a big deal out of it at all. The stockings are hung, they get filled, the end.

  • Reply Csc December 9, 2017 at 5:00 am

    I appreciate how thoughtful, reasonable and specific your holiday lists are. Thanks! I recommend Castle Panic as another game to consider in the future. It’s great across a range of ages. We loved it until we got an expansion pack. Don’t ever get an expansion pack. It just makes the game long and tedious and kind of killed it. But I still highly recommend the original.

  • Reply Heather December 9, 2017 at 9:16 am

    I so wish shoe birds came in bigger sizes! My
    son is only four but in a size 12/12.5. I asked for a pair for myself for Christmas but I know
    My son would love them. Do you know if they will launch past toddler any time soon?

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