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Santa Claus on a Budget
As a writer, your budget isn't as loud as your words...
Well as many of you know, as a writer, you have a voice, but not always a budget. It is the most rewarding career, the one I love, but when it comes to pay, well, it isn't the career to have if money is your goal. As a free lance writer, and a stay at home mom, well I have to use my wild imagination when it comes to what Santa Claus drops off!
My children are 2 and 4 years of age, they love to read and watch their shows, but lately they seem to love commercials even more. As they sit there paying attention to these commercials, of all sorts of toys, I always hear the same line "mommy, can you get that for me? Mommy can I have that?" and my typical reply is "we will see" and that makes them happy enough to forget about that toy and ask all over again in the next commercial.
Choosing creative gifts over expensive toys
This season I decided to take a different approach. I may only have 4 years of experience in being a parent, I have learned a lot during this time. For example, buying your daughter a 50 dollar huge bear will bring smiles and giggles for about an hour, after that, that bear is forgotten, and all you can see, is 50 dollars laying there, in the corner of the closet. It has been years since we bought her this bear, and still she pays no attention to it. Well this year will be different.
Santa wont be bringing anything too big, or too expensive, because Santa is getting smart. This year, is all about books, as well as paint, stickers, educational games for their leapfrog, music, and little things here and there. I play with my children everyday, for hours, and I see what they love. I remember last year my daughter went through her lalaloopsy stage, and I remember searching everywhere for the specific one she wanted, and I remember how happy she was when she opened her gift, and how the excitement only lasted a few days, because she still preferred to paint, to create, rather than sit there with her doll.
This year I took notes, and I realized, she wants a doll, and she will get one, only one. I feel she will enjoy more the Play dough set of making your own princess. My son loves cars, but he also loves destroying them, so he will get cars, lots of the hot wheel ones, as well as a lego duplo set that lets him create his car and use his imagination. Things like this is what I am going for, and of course in a budget. I believe that at this age, gifts should be simple, and they should inspire to create and use imagination.
This year, I will be going to Michaels, and seeing what sort of crafts they have for their age. I know my daughter wants the Sofia the first amulet, which she is getting, but also, how can I teach her to make a matching tutu. Not only is that teaching them but it is amazing quality time to spend together, and what greater accomplishment for her to say she made it!!!
Keeping It Humble
Also, as all the previous years, we will be donating toys, which they love to do, to teach them that life is all about sharing, and helping those in need. So for those of you out there that may think that presents have to be expensive, or big, think again. Watch your child, and you will learn how they choose simplicity over the size and worth of the object. Enjoy these years when they are small and loving to just string some mac and cheese noodles, because eventually, you will be spending a lot, when they are older. So keep the magic alive, and that imagination on pointe, and stay on budget. Because after all, what really matters for Christmas is the Magic, and the love that comes from it all.