Gots to make it quick, this morning, because I promised my mother that we'd go see her again today. And I have a lot to do this evening, so I need to make sure I get over there early enough to where I can spend some quality time there, and don't feel like I'm running off too early.
That not very flattering picture is Peanut and I making our last stop to an extremely long and fun day of shopping, P-Momma visiting, and spending some quality time together.
There is definitely a big benefit of my oldest daughter no longer believing in Santa, and that's the fact that I can now take her Christmas shopping with me. As much as I love Christmas shopping by myself, it was even better having a sidekick helping me make decisions and picking stuff out for her little brother and sister.
I don't know how many years I've gone off shopping by myself, for Christmas, and spent hours and hours aimlessly walking around stores trying to find the perfect gifts for my kids. Often, coming home empty handed and trying again the following weekend.
This year, I realized that Peanut is the perfect shopping companion...and she's really good at it. We spent a few hours walking around stores, but we managed to get just about everything I needed and wanted for Butter and Jelly. I definitely did for Jelly. She's done. Finished. Finito. Butter has a few more things that have to be taken care of, but I know what they are and just have to get them next weekend.
Peanut even managed to find herself a couple pairs of shoes that she's been wanting... but being that it was Christmas shopping we were doing, she has to wait until Christmas to get them.
I loved having Peanut there to help me shop for Butter and Jelly, but I'll go out next weekend shopping for her. I still can't handle shopping for Christmas stuff with one of my kids there picking out stuff for themselves. Christmas has to be about surprise. Not knowing. Unwrapping gifts with the suspense and excitement of wondering if the package contains what they wanted, or something they didn't even realize they wanted.
I also have to point out that I was highly impressed with some of the lingering Black Friday sales that were still taking place. I'm really glad I didn't wait to do all of my shopping until next weekend. I scored some AMAZING deals that wouldn't have been there next weekend, and for that I am very happy. And, it helps me realize that I don't need to wake up at ungodly hours to go shopping, or have to leave my family on Thanksgiving day in order to find a few bargains.
What I'm most happy about is the fact that I was able to get Jelly everything that was on her "list" and a few extra items that I think she'll really love, but didn't think about when I was asking her what she wanted. She didn't actually write a list, but yesterday morning she and I sat down with my iPad and I let her peruse around on some websites coming up with ideas for what she wanted for Christmas.
It amazes me how tough it is for a five year old to come up with gift ideas for Christmas. She had a couple of items that she's been wanting for ages, and she didn't need my iPad to tell me about them. Two toys to be exact. Two. That's it. That's all she wanted. Trying to get her to come up with more stuff was tough.
Then again, that's what I love so much about her. She's pretty easy to please. She's the kind of kid that doesn't need tons of toys and games and stuff to keep her occupied. She's the kid that plays with ALL of her stuffed animals, reads (tries at least) ALL of her books, and is perfectly happy sitting down with her dad and I watching TV or playing video games.
She's a minimalist to a point. She's very much like me when it comes to Christmas. She doesn't really care about how much is under the tree, just as long as we're all together and having a good time. Which says A LOT for a five year old. Sitting her down with my iPad to come up with gift ideas wasn't the fun, pick out everything she saw situation. She struggled. It was hard for her. I finally just asked her to come up with a couple of toys that she thought she might want. Her response? A new baby doll...that's like a real new baby, and a toy cat. That's it. Done. Finished.
She's not the only one like that, either. All of my kids share that same trait. Coming up with Christmas gift ideas isn't a very fun ordeal for them. I've known kids that can create Christmas lists that are pages and pages long...regardless of how much stuff they already have. With my kids, it's like pulling teeth trying to get them to just give me a few ideas.
Except Peanut. HA!! She has a list that's pretty extensive, but the majority of the items are things like bobby pins, hair ties, posters, creative stuff so she can make things. Not many big items... besides CLOTHES. She always wants clothes. She is 13, though, so it's not that surprising.
I'm happy that I have raised kids that aren't too worried about materialistic items, but it sure doesn't help when it comes to Christmas shopping for them.
Butter has reached that age where toys aren't really his thing anymore, and clothes aren't appealing. It's extremely difficult to come up with ideas for him. His sister was a big help, and I think he'll be happy with what we picked out.
All in all, it was a very fun, exhausting, productive day. Coming home with two thirds of my Christmas shopping done was a huge accomplishment.
Next weekend, I'm going shopping for Peanut, and to finish up the last few minor things I need for Butter. I should have everything taken care of by the end of next weekend, except for stocking stuffers. But who knows, I might even knock that out, too.
OK, time for me to go and get ready to head to my parents' house.
Have a great Sunday, everyone!!