Tis The Season

So….3 months. Long blogging break. The twins are growing right along (they’re both tall….surprise, surprise), and I finally am feeling like eating more normally. Oh, and it’s twin GIRLS! We are super excited. Just one more and we’ll have enough to re-enact Little Women!

E’s birthday was a rousing success. We just did a small tea party with the 3 of us, using an antique child sized tea set I bought when she was a baby.  She hopped around shouting, “My Tea Party! My Tea Party!” And we taught her how to play Old Maid successfully….she whipped us twice without us giving her any aid.

ChristmasTreeForBlog

Now it’s the Christmas season, and I am super excited! We got a small table top sized real tree.  Our first real tree. Rather than break out the ornaments (with the movers coming soon after Christmas), we bought some small gold glass balls that E picked out (because they were “shiny”) and made cinnamon applesauce ornaments and dried some orange slices. E cut out all the cinnamon ornaments and thought it was great fun, so we’ll be doing that yearly.

For presents, I think G and I are skipping the concept of even giving each other a stocking gift this year. Neither of us needs or really wants anything. E will be getting 4 gifts from us: Something She Wants, Something She Needs, Something To Create With, and Something To Read. Then “Santa” is bringing her a small gift, and she’ll have a few smaller things in her stocking.

The thing that I know might seem unusual is this: out of her 4 gifts, only one is something new we bought (an animal stamp set). One gift is handmade (a doll ring sling I am whipping up for her that she’s been asking for), while the need gift is a French Bingo game I found recently at a thrift store in like new condition (good for her to practice her French words), and an older hardback copy of Stuart Little that we found at our local used bookstore. Even her Santa gift is a used vintage metal tractor that is the perfect size for her Plan Toys farmer. Her stocking will have a giant crayon from Target, some handmade (not by me) little gnome/fairy home things, and the typical orange and chocolates.

We like to keep it fairly simple. In the last few months I’ve hunted down some used toys for the playroom that would be harder to find used overseas (Plan City things) that I would never be okay with spending the amount of money for new. She is a child who definitely has enough items to account for a pre-school. Not that they are “hers” per se, but rather they will belong in the playroom for all of our children, but she definitely has more than the average child. So when birthdays and holidays come around, it seems much smarter to keep it simple.

And in our home used toys are simply what we do. I’d almost always rather buy used when it comes to playthings, because it’s more cost effective for the types of things we buy. I recently bought a Roy Toy Wood Fort Set (with all of the pieces and instructions!) used for $3. It’s normally $25-30 new, and E and G will have a blast building it. Building is totally a thing they both love to do. Last summer E thought she hit the jackpot when we hit up the storage shed with G’s old toys. Two buckets of legos, lincoln longs, big metal fire trucks and a tonka truck later she was well set. And almost all of her play food is either felt food made by me or wood play food I bought used from other mamas.

So what are your opinions on simplicity for holidays and buying used toys as gifts? I think it took a while for me to realize that there was nothing wrong with giving a used gift if it was perfect for the recipient, and now I run with it.