Gift giving is NOT my love language.
I find gift giving really stressful, and for years, Bart and I basically just opted out of buying each other things at all for any major holidays.
But now that we have children, I’m pretty sure they would not find it a magical childhood moment for me to say, “Sorry kids. I think gift giving is stressful, so I’m just bailing on that part. Have a cupcake.”
Of course, one of the reasons gift giving is stressful to me is because I usually leave it until the last possible moment and then it feels ULTRA stressful and I feel dumb for being like “here’s your late gift” and so forth.
So this year, I was determined not to make the same mistake this year and a week before her birthday, Bart and I sat down, figured out everything we were going to give her (a small list) and the next morning, I forced myself to just order them, reminding myself the whole time that it would never be a more convenient time to do it.
And then I didn’t have to stress about it the rest of the week.
This planning ahead thing has more merit than I’ve previously given it.
Here’s what we decided were the perfect gifts for a seven year old:
- Tangram set. Ella is a massive puzzle fiend, and I’ve thought for the last year or two that she’d really enjoy a tangram set. And then, of course, I never bought one. This year, I found a wooden set with good reviews for $7 and then I ordered this book of tangram puzzles to go along with it.
- A watch. I bought Ella a watch for Easter a couple of years ago and she LOVED that thing, but it was a $2 plastic watch and after a few months, it completely fell apart. This year, she mentioned it was something she’d like and I was on the hunt for something that wasn’t covered in characters, was simple and feminine, and decent quality without being wildly expensive. I think this one hit that sweet spot.
- A harmonica. I included these in my $5 gift guide last year and said I was going to get them as stocking stuffers, but when I went to actually order them a few weeks later, the price had jumped to $6 each and I was less interested in spending almost $20 on three of them. But now I was willing to buy one for Ella’s birthday. (When I told Bart about this gift, which I added at the last minute, he was like, “Are you really ready to hear a harmonica non-stop around the house?”).
- Loot. As you know, Ella loves games more than almost anything else, so Bart and I looked through a ton of suggestions and ended up picking Loot since it’s a quick card game and those are like gold in our house. The reviews are killer and I’m crossing my fingers it’s a hit.
There were, of course, a couple of gifts from the grandparents (my parents bought her this dress-up costume and Bart’s parents sent her this sticker activity book) and we did some of our other birthday traditions and it was a fantastic birthday with our best oldest girl.