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4 Ways to Tame Your Kid’s List for Santa

santas-listAs our kiddo grows, the Christmas season gets even more fun and meaningful for our family each year. We share her joy seeing Christmas lights appear around the neighborhood, and of course we adore her off-key renditions of Christmas carols sung loudly. We’ve also noticed this year a new and growing interest in the presents that will soon be under our tree. It’s official: our Grinch days are over.

Here’s my Christmas confession: we didn’t buy our daughter presents for her first Christmas, and I think for her second one, we got her one small toy (a doll?) and maybe some chocolate in her stocking. Is that terrible?! We knew she didn’t understand the tradition and, like every other baby since the dawn of time, she enjoyed the wrapping paper and bows more than opening and playing with her own presents. We also knew our child would truly not go without: she is blessed to have grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins near and far who delighted in spoiling a baby girl.

So last year, McHubs and I made up for Christmases past, and we ensured Santa left plenty under our tree for her. Aaaaaaaand…she excitedly opened the first present, squealed at the toy, put the box down, and wanted to get back to playing with our Christmas decorations. We redirected her back to the tree, but the task of opening five presents soon seemed like a marathon for a 2-1/2-year-old. She had already opened quite a few presents at Nana and Pop Pop’s the night before, and we wondered: did we overdo it in shopping for her?

This year, we’re going for a for a happy medium, with four ways to simplify shopping for my child and bring some method to my madness. You may have come across this idea before online; I think it’s genius!

Shh! Don’t tell my daughter; here’s a sneak peek at her Christmas list.

 1. Something she wants.

This is the first year she’s mentioned any toys that she is specifically interested in, and it’s a princess castle. I think we might go with this one, although I wonder if it’s a little too young for her – that maybe she would lose interest in it? On the other hand, some of the other bigger, more detailed castle play sets seem to be going for $100+ (even on Amazon!), and we are so not going there.

 2. Something she needs.

Does my kid “need” anything? Nope. But I am on the hunt for an new bedside lamp for her room that has a switch on the base, so she can turn it on and off by herself. When I was little, I had a lamp that turned on when you touched the base, and it was great for playing or reading in my room in the morning before my parents woke up.  So far, Santa is having zero luck on this one. If we get nowhere on this one, we’re also thinking of this simple clock for her room.

3. Something to wear.

This one’s easy! My toddler has grown into a tall preschooler this year,  and she would love a cozy new fleece bathrobe, like these ones. I may also throw some new undies in her stocking, too (because potty training UGH).

 4. Something to read.  

This one’s also easy for us! I try not to have many preconceived expectations for who my kid will be, but one thing I have always hoped for my child is that she would have her parents’ love of reading. So far, so good! So she will get a new set of books: maybe something by Mo Willems, or one of the “Llama Llama” books?

Whats’s on your kids’ wish lists this year? How do you set a spending or gift-giving limit in your family?


About Annie McFarland

Annie McFarland
Happily married to her former neighbor, Annie is mom to three kids age four and under. She (mostly) balances life at home with working full-time in brand and media licensing. Off the clock, you can find Annie on the couch with her nose in a book (or pressed up against the Kindle), thinking about maybe doing some scrapbooking, or listening to NPR podcasts (she's what you call "indoorsy"). If it's football season, she will faithfully support her Southern husband by cheering on the Auburn Tigers and Atlanta Falcons.