Thursday, December 12, 2013

Toddler Girl Wishlist {for the Toy-Disliking Mom}

The moment I digest my turkey and sweet potato casserole, I immediately raise my proverbial glass to Christmas cheer.

There's nothing like Christmas spirit. The twinkly lights, mulled cider, flannel pajamas, display of family holiday cards, and All I Want for Christmas is You on repeat.

I'm perpetually in a good mood from the day after Thanksgiving until New Year's.

And now that we have Lyla, Christmas takes on a whole new meaning. The traditions we began as a young, baby-faced married couple have been coupled with new traditions to include our latest mini-us. And luckily, we are currently in the toddler phase. A phase where we can test-drive our traditions and pick and choose the ones we love and want to carry on.

But, with Christmas in particular, I want to get it right. Because to me, it's the most special season of the entire year. It provides memories that are turned into stories and traditions that we want our children's children to carry on.

But it's a fine balance.

I adore the magic of Christmas, but I also want our family to always understand the reason we celebrate. And I'm still trying to figure out what that looks like exactly. I want our children to experience the enchantment of Santa, and I LOVE the idea of modern traditions like Elf on the Shelf. However, I simply don't want the focus to be on those things, and I especially do not want to embrace the commercialized belief that Santa + Presents = Christmas. 

But I absolutely love getting together with family and exchanging gifts. It's such a thrill to watch as your loved ones carefully unwrap their pretty packages and discover what's inside. Then add the act of gift-giving to include your offspring - Aye-Aye-Aye. I seriously think there were over two dozen things that Lyla "HAD to have because they NEVER go on sale" on Black Friday. {Sucker Alert}. But I restricted myself and only bought a few things.

I must admit, I did go a little more overboard on gifts than I had planned for Miss Beans this year. But you guys, stuffing a stocking for a toddler girl is SO.MUCH.FUN. {Hello toddler head wraps, infinity scarves, and headbands}. I originally wanted to embrace the idea of the simple gift giving philosophy: want, need, wear, read. It limits the gift-buying and prevents overly enthusiastic parents from doing things like purchasing every single item marked as a favorite on Etsy *ahem*. And honest-to-goodness, I would love to and plan to incorporate this idea next year!

That being said, when you have a one year old daughter who is the first {and only} grandchild on both sides of the family, it's next to impossible to implement a "No-Gift Policy". And I don't necessarily want that kind of a policy. I simply don't want Christmas to become a time where Lyla gets an accumulation of stuff.  Besides, how much could a 15 month old actually need...when I still have gifts from her birthday that I'm "saving" for a rainy day.

So I compiled a list of a few things on Lyla's Christmas Dream Wishlist. In other words, I *happily* compromised on a few things on her list this year and bought cheaper versions. Just like the PBK table and chairs that I've had my eye on for awhile. Instead, we bought her the Melissa and Doug version , which will be just as cute when we paint them!

I am not a huge fan of toys in general, {more like the accumulation of cheap, tacky toys a.k.a. clutter}. But I realize that I'm just going to have to get over that, and I've already begun the bonding process with Little Tikes. It's just that there's something wonderful about simple toys that don't have bells, whistles, and painfully annoying musical sounds. Therefore, I often love wooden products because they are classic, durable, and don't scream "My-house-is-now-a-Fisher-Price-factory". And I also love all-things handmade.

But of course I make exceptions and buy the "fun" toys every now and then.
After all, no one likes a buzz kill.

Gwendolyn Raccoon and Flora Fox: I am absolutely obsessed. Aren't these organic woodland animals just the sweetest things you've ever seen? I almost bought one at 40% off on Black Friday, but I'd already sworn myself to no.more.presents. But Gwendolyn's dress is perfumed with lavender and mint sachet. I mean...

Wooden Doll Pram: Lyla definitely needs a stroller for her baby. I'm obsessed with doll prams in general, like this one from Amazon {I do not, however, love the almost $200 price tag. Seriously???} or this one from Land of Nod. However, I think we may have to graduate to the wooden pram next year as I last-minute added this Fisher Price Walk-Along Stroller to her Amazon Wishlist - more developmentally appropriate for where she's at with walking.

Wheely Bug: Oh my goodness. I love these classic yet modern ride on toys, particularly the lady bug and the bee. But since she would only use it for another year or so and the Wheely Bugs run about $65.00, and because I had a leftover gift card to Wal-Mart {given to me from my students almost 3 years ago}, I decided to go with this Push and Ride Doll Walker. 

Mini Cooking Set: Ly currently uses Mom's pots and pans in the kitchen and absolutely loves them. So I thought it would be fun for her to have a set of her own. She loves anything that makes her feel like she's doing adult things.

Musical Instruments:This kid loves nothing more than music. I mean loves. She currently has a set of Bert and Ernie maracas from when I was a child, but she could use a set of her own instruments. Besides, we're starting a toddler music class this winter, and she may need some extra practice at home.

A few other items on Lyla's Amazon Wish List:

  • A teepee. Obviously. Although, this can't be too hard to make. Right?
  • Finger puppets. Seriously, Lyla thinks absolutely nothing is as hilarious as finger puppets. 
  • Washable paints. We're going to be doing a lot of artsy crafting at our new table
  • Pantone color flashcards. I'm not sure how well it's sticking, but we love working on our colors. 
  • Anything educational. Melissa and Doug *of course* has all kinds of fun educational things like this number puzzle or this see and spell
  • Anything from Etsy. This mama went crazy on the hand-mades this year. This mama also should probably learn how to sew {and craft for that matter}.


Anne said...

Don't know if you've seen this floating around, but its funny toO :)

10 Month Old's Letter to Santa

Sarah said...

Hi Angela - Somehow I jumped over to your blog and was excited to see another Kansas blogger! I was also born and raised in Kansas and although I have lived in Ohio for the past 4 years, our friends and family still live there. What part are you in? I'm from Overland Park! Anyway, have a great week! :)