Christmas boundaries and stocking stuffer ideas

In my last post I talked about how I was really struggling this year with the pressure of making Christmas magical for my girls. I think it probably had to do with the fact that Charlotte is four and half now. This is the first Christmas she will probably really remember, so I want to be super intentional with the traditions and expectations I’m setting. We are really trying to set limits on both gifts and the activities we are filling our schedule with this holiday season.
When Charlotte was still a baby Chris and I decided we wanted limit Christmas presents to something to wear, something to read, something you want, and something you need. It’s still hard for me to reign it in (this year they are getting a couple things in each category) but this at least gives me a framework to work with rather than just buying every cute trinket or multiple big ticket items just because I know it would be exciting for them. When tempted to splurge I remind myself that I’m going to have to find a place to put everything, and ask will they even still want to play with this six months from now? Is this something they might play with every day or just once in a while? Does it require me to set something up or supervise it? Will this be super annoying to clean up or keep organized? This usually helps bring me back to reality when I start getting carried away with my shopping cart.
I’m setting similar limits on stocking-stuffers this year too. Obviously space is limited in a stocking, but I’m still trying to only get things that are practical or will truly be loved and played with. Here’s a list of what I’m getting each girl:

My mom handmade these gorgeous stockings using one of those kits you can buy. Yes, she sewed on ever single sequin by hand. These are heirlooms I will treasure forever.

Charlotte (age 4 1/2)
1. sticker book
I love the paper doll sticker books from Usborne
2. Magic pen book
Melissa and Doug has some cute ones
3. hair bow
She loves wearing big flowers – Hobby Lobby has some great options
4. Hair bands
C’s hair is so thick I have to use the same ones that I have for my hair. I like the ouchless ones
5. nail polish
As I’ve mentioned before I love the InstaDry line from Sally Hanson
6. nail stickers
I ordered some cute owl ones off Amazon. Of course Jamberrys are super fun, but they take a long time to apply and C tends to just peel them off after a day or two
7. Small calendar
C is obsessed with the months of the year, holidays, and birthdays, so I think getting her a calendar for her wall will help her visualize the year. Plus she can cross the days off if we are counting down to a special event
8. play silk (I bought the real thing, which is pretty pricey for a stocking stuffer. I’m banking on it being a huge hit. I’ll keep you posted)
9. Card game (I’m thinking Old Maid or Go Fish. We played Uno with her on Thanksgiving and it was so fun!)
10. Card holder (She has trouble holding all her cards and spreading them out to see what she has, so I think this is the perfect solution)
11. Stuffed animal (we need more of these like we need holes in our heads, but I found these glow-in-the-dark Care Bears and I just couldn’t help myself)

Tessa (age 1 1/2)

1. Care Bear
They both need one of course
2. Play silk
3. Hair bow
I found a super cute silver curly ribbon one at Gymboree on clearance for like a dollar
She loves the Usborne’s “Not My” series and anything by Karen Katz or Caroline Church
5. Socks
Ordered a cute six pack from Old Navy. I like that they have no-slip pads on the bottoms
This is really for both girls. I’m hoping C will entertain T with some of her creative storytelling.
7. Straw sippy cup
T is obsessed with drinking out of my water cup. I’m hoping buying her a sippy cup version will help fend her off
8. Kid-sized fork and spoon
Apparently second-born kids start wanting to feed themselves much sooner. Or maybe just mine?
See the previous item. Unfortunately T started pulling her bibs off way too young, but she can’t manage to yank these off yet (the snap is nice and sturdy). They are also huge and wipe right off, which is a necessity obvs
10. Toddler granola bars
Because snacks are always a hit
I hope this gives you some inspiration for stocking-stuffers that won’t get broken or forgotten the day after Christmas. What would you add to the list? Anything you are saying no to this year to make your holiday season more meaningful and less busy? Please share!

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