The Perfect Gift

No surprise when I tell you that I love Christmas and gift buying. It is not so much just the joy of shopping but of finding something that the recipient really wanted/needed that they may or may not have asked for. I keep a small notebook in my purse and write things down throughout the year and of course ask. Some people are super easy (mom, sister, and kids) and others are really hard (hubs, dad, and FIL). Even though hubs swears he doesn't read this blog I am not taking any chances by spoiling the surprise here but let me just say that I had something made that he is going to love b/c it is hilarious. I am not sure who will enjoy it more...him or the nurses on his labor floor and clinic. I have been desperately trying to buy a rare set of OZ books that he has wanted forever but have not been able to find anything in my price range. If you know anyone that has something like that for sale please send me their way. Otherwise he gets a few things that he needs and a couple more fun things (games, accessories for his new iPhone, etc).

I have found super great ideas for everyone except my two BIL's and brother. I hate giving gift cards b/c they seem so impersonal but have resolved myself into understanding that some people just want to shop for myself. I am having a hard time making a decision as to what to ask for for myself. Nothing to expensive and something practical....usually something for the kitchen or to wear.

The kids are super easy this year b/c they are really into toys and presents. I am excited because this year they are excited too. Emily's top choices are the American Girl Bitty twins and a stroller with two seats. I know, I know I can't believe we are starting this obsession this early either buy hey at least the American Girl dolls are characters that I think are good role models. She also wants the cupcake maker which was really funny. She saw the commercial and about passed out she was so excited trying to get me to watch it. Palmer is all boy and is into cars/racetracks, Thomas the Train, and dinosaurs. I have had a hard time finding something that is age appropriate for him. Most things say 3 and older but I can't figure out why. He also has a bday around the corner so I always have to leave a few things for him to get then as well.

Bret actually does a pretty good job getting me somethings that I want along with some things he thinks I will like. Before I met him I totally would have preferred to pick out exactly what I was going to get. I gave lists that were super specific (aka catalogs with circles, emails with links, etc). He did not like this and would try to balance a couple of those things with things he picked out. Now I have started to really enjoy that. I think it means a lot that he thinks about what I would like and tries to get those things. Funny, last year we bought each other the exact same game even though neither of asked for it.

Emily is starting to reach the age of understanding things beside getting presents and Santa. I am going to take her shopping to get something for her dad and Palmer. We are also going to buy presents for the Catholic Charities and talk about giving to those who don't have as much. She is very giving and I think this will make her feel good too.

Besides the shopping and holiday music that I listen to non-stop I also have a huge Christmas candy making and holiday baking weekend. Stay tuned for some of my favorite recipes and pictures of the kids decorating cookies. I always give baskets for hubs' work departments, my office, teachers, neighbors, etc.

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