At Palmer's school they have a little shoppers program. They send home an envelope and you fill out who you want your child to shop for (mom, sister Emily, etc) and how much they are allowed to spend on each person. Then you send in the money and they take your child shopping at the school's little shop. All of the gifts range between $1-$5. They send home the gifts wrapped and labeled. Palmer was so awesome about it and so proud of himself and that he had something under the tree for each of us from him.
Emily was almost in tears when she heard about it because she wanted to give everyone something from her. So I promised Emily that I would take her shopping and that I promised not to look and let her do everything.
In preparation for her big shopping trip Emily made a list. She wrote out an idea for each of us and made a little check box next to each item (a girl after my own heart with the lists). I wanted to take a picture but Emily said that then I would see what she wanted to get me. Emily also got out her purse and all of the money she has been hoarding (tooth fairy, grandparents, etc). I felt bad and didn't want her to use her money since I gave Palmer money for his gifts. Instead Emily and I traded some money (a few dollars for a $20).
I took her to a $5 below store. They actually have some great things that even I would buy for stocking stuffers. I walked around the store with Emily for a few minutes and pointed out some ideas for Bret and I and helped her find some of the things on her list for her brothers. Then I went to the front of the store and let her shop. She knew just what she wanted because she was back at the front of the store in a few short minutes. The store was busy so she had to stand in line.
I was really disappointed in people that day. Emily patiently waited in line with her basket and there were two registers front to back of each other. Twice the further one opened up first and people practically ran her over getting to the register in front of her. Finally the register right in front of her opened up and she couldn't get her basket up to the counter because it was too heavy. No one would help her and there were several people behind her. I wanted to run over and help her but she would have been really upset with me because she wanted to keep it a surprise so I stood by and waited. Emily unloaded her basket one item at a time and paid for it. I watched the lady count out her change (correctly) and then we headed home. She was so proud of herself. Emily got out some Christmas bags and paper and even "wrapped" the gifts herself. She was so excited.
Here is the difference between Emily and Palmer. Palmer put his gifts under the tree and the only thing he has said about it since then is that they are from him and that we can't open them till Christmas. Emily on the other hand is DYING. She is having such a hard time with keeping the secret. She has tried to give Bret and I hints but we cut her off right away. She asked me today on the way to the bus if I really didn't know what she bought me or if I saw it. I really don't know. Less than a week until we leave for KS and we are all feeling the Christmas spirit here.