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Who is starting to panic about gift giving this year? Specifically about how much money you are going to drop because there is so much cute stuff at Costco this year? I'm so tempted.
Related/unrelated, have you seen these cute personal trees at Trader Joe's???
It is particularly hard because Jinora's birthday is three days before Christmas. She'll be four in 12 days, which seems impossible, and for the first time she is realizing her birthday and Christmas are strangely close. So when she told me earlier this month that we couldn't set up Christmas decorations until after her birthday, I almost had a panic attack. I am NOT waiting until December 23rd to put up lights, a tree, stockings, and the like. And here's why:
I don't like the dark or the cold. I live in the wrong part of the world. So Christmas, for me, is a beacon. It's a time for magic and joy to permeate everything so we can celebrate being half-way out of the dark instead of the fact that we only get about 8 hours of daylight. And if you live even further north than Seattle? May the lord bless you and keep you, you poor poor thing.
Luckily I was able to sway my daughter into feeling extra special because everyone was setting up sparkly lights and glittering tinsel for her birthday in addition to Christmas. So I got to set up for the holiday season, but that doesn't really help with the stress of gift giving.
This year I made a pact with my husband that we would have all gifts purchased and wrapped by Thanksgiving, because I am so susceptible to advertising... and we did it! And this is what will be waiting for us under the Christmas Tree this year.
1. Woodland Park Zoo
The whole thing.
And I am only kind of kidding. We bought a family passport this year, which pushes on $200. If you go more than once it pays for itself, but it is a big gift for us to give. Our kids LOVE the zoo and we just haven't made it a priority in the past due to the expensive nature of it and our kids being a little too young to feel like it was worth it to spend $60-80 for an experience they probably won't remember. However, this past Summer my Uncle took us to ZooTunes at Woodland Park and we couldn't believe how beautiful it was. Neither of us had been since we were kids and it blew our minds. Woodland Park (and most of the zoos and aquariums in Washington State) works hard at conservation and rehabilitation of animals, which we love. We thought about doing Point Defiance, because we love that experience as well, but decided we prefer to drive in the direction of Seattle in general...
2. Avatar The Last Airbender & The Legend of Korra
If you haven't seen this show, I question whether or not you have truly lived. We've been talking about purchasing this for years. It is our kids favorite and Mark and I will ALWAYS watch it with them. It is a phenomenal show. I am typically a digital copy girl when it comes to movies and shows, I just don't want to tote around DVDs, but the BluRay was $30.00 for all three seasons while the digital was that much per season. That seemed like a no brainer. Definitely grab the BluRay from Amazon while the discount lasts.
The sequel to Avatar the Last Airbender, this show comes in close second for my entire family to the one above (I like it better than Avatar, don't shame me!). We have similarly been discussing the purchase of this series for years - our daughter is named after a character from this very show - but we haven't. And then, I saw that the BluRay was $30.00 for all four seasons. Get out of here, digital copies. Mark and I are considering both this and Avatar to be for ALL family members, because we definitely benefit.
3. All the Dinosaur Things
Remember when I said Jinora is turning four this month?
Dinosaurs are the posh thing in our household. We watch all of the Dino Dana, Jurassic Park through Lost World Fallen Kingdom, and desert dinosaur digs. Yah, it's intense. Earlier this year I bought a fossil dig kit from National Geographic and it was such a hit in our house that I knew we would be doing it again. So we are - for Christmas.
We also bought this really cool amber kit to add to the dinosaur magic.
In case you didn't notice I really like National Geographic products. They're not a sponsor (I WISH, please sponsor me, National Geographic), but genuinely, everything we've purchased from them has been amazing.
4. Osmo Detective Agency
We bought our Osmo kit 2 or 3 years ago now and they don't sell the specific kit we purchased anymore. It was the Genius Kit + Awbie Coding and our kids have loved it. Rory adores coding, the Newton and drawing apps, and tolerates the math and spelling ones. Jinora mostly just plays Tangrams and draws at this point, but she desperately wants to learn the coding game. If you don't have Osmo, but your kiddos have a tablet with a camera I highly suggest it. For the longest time it was the only thing we let our kids do on the iPad. You can snag the Genius Kit here.
The Detective Game was one we hadn't seen before and seemed like a good one to add to Rory's arsenal as he is obsessed with board games, but we aren't always available to play with him. I think he'll really dig the complex puzzle piece of it.
5. Stocking Stuffers
My rules for stocking stuffers: Edible first thing in the morning or able to be played with immediately so Mommy can get some peace of mind. However, I refuse to buy crappy toys that will break or be unusable post Christmas morning... so this is where we landed:
National Geographic Mega Slime Kit
We opened it up and individually wrapped each slime so the kid would have all the options Christmas Day! Again, I freaking love National Geographic.
Trader Joe's Chocolate Coins
I linked it to Amazon, but you can just pick these up at your local TJ's if they are nearby. It's the perfect amount, some of the cheaper off-brand ones only have 4 or 5 coins in them.
And, obviously, oranges and pomegranates.
6. For Him
Beard care - it's real.You want to kiss that cutie next to you so much more when they are taking care of themselves, true story. Your man doesn't have a beard? Get a new one. No, I'm just kidding. Love the one you're with.
Try some kettle bells
Joe Rogan is a part owner in Onnit and he's basically the Oprah of men, so anything he endorses, odds are high the guy in your life is all for anything Onnit sells.
7. For Her
These journals from The Hollis Co. are precious. Such an amazing practice to keep you on track as you pursue your goals and stay grateful! I am loving mine.
8. Tribu Colectivo
Although I am very seriously considering taking this table off the store and never telling Mark, I am not gifting myself anything from our store for Christmas. But I would probably not be the best business owner to not mention our adorable little store and all the Christmas goodies we have. The above pallet signs, custom ornaments, and more! Go check it out.
We have some other things that are smaller, handmade, etc. that will be hanging out by the tree this year, but this is the key Christmas List. Hopefully it helps you as you look for gifts for your loved ones!