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Mama Claus is Comin' to Town

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

Ho Ho Ho, only 46 days to go!

Is it just me or has this year gone by in the blink of an eye?! I thought being cooped up in our houses would make time drag but here we are - only 7 weeks away from Christmas!

And after the year we've had, you better believe Christmas has arrived early in the Moulton Household! The holidays have always brought me so much joy and I fully support anyone who is already playing Christmas music, baking Christmas theme cookies and putting up decorations!

Christmas Shopping Tips & Tricks

Shopping for Christmas is usually really fun or really stressful, and if I'm being honest, it's mostly stressful. That is, until we came across the easiest "gift giving guide" to follow that has eased the stress for us and our bank account! But first, if you take anything away from this blog, let it be this : An overflowing play room or toy box is not only stressful for you but for the kids too! Notice how the toy bins almost always end up scattered all over the floor and quickly left there as they search for something else? It's overwhelming for their little minds to have so many options! We too, are guilty of this and try to remind ourselves throughout the year to do playroom - cleanouts in preparation for the holidays. @simplyonpurpose (*click to follow) is one of the greatest accounts on Instagram - Ralphie is a genius at breaking down parenting tips and child psychology to help bring more light and joy into our homes including the idea of having a more simple play area for many beneficial reasons.

Tossing toys can be difficult, our littles seem to hold more attachment to the free McDonald's toy missing it's pieces from last year then they do a stuffed animal they have had since birth. One of the most important things we strive to instill in our children is just how truly blessed they are. Comparison of what others have, is starting at a very young age thanks to the YouTube videos of parents who pay $10,000 dollars to the kid who can stay in the pool the longest or gives each child $600 to spend at target on whatever they can grab in 30 minutes or less.

To help with the ease of having playroom cleanout cooperation - We have explained to the kids in order to make room for new toys, we should clean out the ones they don't play with so they can be donated to children who are not as fortunate as we are. It makes them excited to find toys to give away and teaches them the importance of sharing and helping others. Once you go through and see what you have, what you need, what you have room for, it's much easier to get started on your shopping list!

Shop smarter, not harder

  1. Something they want - Our go-to will always be the those super appealing toy magazines from Target and Walmart. The girls love to sit down with a marker and circle some of their most wanted items - We then go through and pick one each to purchase.

  2. Something they need - Anything other than more toys to be stuffed into the already overflowing toy bin! For our oldest, we will be purchasing an alarm clock - She loves waking up early to take a shower before school and her iPad alarm only depends on the battery life.

  3. Something to wear - Most simple of all - Our oldest loves anything with sequins that flip and our youngest will wear anything with characters on them!

  4. Something to read - Story books, coloring books, interactive puzzle books, anything without a screen to help keep them busy!

  5. Something that Santa brings - So far, our girls have managed to stay on the Nice List! When writing their lists to Santa, they choose 5 things they would like to ask for and he picks his favorite one to leave under the tree!

  6. Stockings - Stuffed with a few of their favorite things!

Quality over quantity is our new holiday shopping motto! I promise you, our children are just as happy on Christmas morning as the kids who have presents stacked high to the ceiling - On top of gifts from family and friends, we are still swimming in wrapping paper and empty boxes.

**We love giving and receiving "Experience gifts" in place of toys! It's giving the gift of memories while having fun! Some examples from the past few years we have both given and received - tickets to a whale watch, day trip to the beach, trip to the aquarium, tickets for Disney on ice, trip to the nail salon, movie tickets, build a bear workshop, dinner and a trip to the park, a pottery class, etc. The options are endless and most are very affordable!

Gifts for Family & Friends

I have always been a lover of DIY gifts ! They can save on money - take a little more time - but add a lot more sentimental value. Here are few ideas I have used in the past that everyone loved! (click on the title or image to create your own)

I found the wooden letter at Hobby Lobby, printed some photos using my favorite app FreePrints (Code SMoulton21 to earn 5 extra prints) covered with mod podge and they came out perfect!

Time consuming but alot of fun to make! Pick out a print/colors that the person would love - decide on the size - buy the fabric (from Walmart or other online retailers) - cut 2 inch strips around the blanket and tie together! I made about 20 of these a couple years ago! (Blisters, yes but everyone loved them)

Affordable but most time consuming of all, these coasters were a hit! I purchased plain tiles from home depot for about $0.20 ea - Large squares or cork board from walmart for the bottom - alot of mod podge, printed photos (again, using FreePrints) or if your husband likes beers with cool boxes like mine does, you can use the boxes to cut out squares instead of photos! For an added touch, i wrapped all around the coaster edges with twine to protect the edges and have some texture.

A few other ideas -

  • Custom pillow case covers with names or photos

  • Custom calendars

  • Photo blankets

  • Personalized mugs

  • Personalized photo frames

  • Personalized ornaments

I hope this inspires you to change things up a bit this year, try something different and start creating new ideas for you and your family for years to come.

Happy Holiday Shopping y'all!❤

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