Sneak Peek Under the Tree: What Our Kids Are Getting for Christmas

 As I've shared the way we give gifts with experiences, the want, need, wear, read method, and the non-tech toys, I wanted to show you exactly how it looks, so in this post you get to see EXACTLY what our kids are getting for Christmas this year. Come take a sneak peek under our tree!

I've been sharing our Christmas gift strategy in a few different posts. In this post I shared how we give 4 gifts in the want, need, wear, and read categories along with a free download full of gift ideas. In this post I shared our focus on experiences instead of things and a free download full of experience ideas that start at $0. Yes, free. You don't have to spend any money to have amazing experiences with your family. I shared our 30 favorite non-tech toy ideas in this post, because we allow our kids minimal screen time. 

If this is a new concept to you, it can be overwhelming, so to give you the overall picture, I'm sharing exactly what our kids are getting for Christmas this year. And hoping they don't come in while I'm writing it and spoil their whole Christmas. Because I'm finished! Christmas is done. I'm waiting to see if anything we want goes on sale tomorrow, and all I have to do is click, click, buy, then go eat my pie (ok we are breaking with tradition and eating cheesecake this year, but you get the idea). 

A brief recap: Their big, main gift is an experience, then they get something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read, all related to fun stuff. Here we go! This is your sneak peek under our Christmas tree.

 

11-Year-Old Girl 

Experience - This is always their main gift. Ski school and season ski rentals. She loves skiing, and our local rec center has a program that they bus them up to one of the ski resorts every Saturday in January. They get a 2-hour lesson, then ski the rest of the night. It's a total of 5 hours of skiing each time. They pack a lunch, a bottle of water, and take a thermos (which was a previous need gift) full of hot chocolate. She has begged to get this again.

Want - She very specifically asked for this doll, and she is mature enough and has proven that she will take care of something this pricey, so we decided to get her the doll, the hair brush and 1 outfit (that matches a dress she already has).

Need - She has gotten really into doing her long hair, and is always asking to borrow my hair dryer. She is getting this travel size hair dryer so it's lighter and easier for her to handle, and my 1" flat iron because it's too big for my pixie, she's the only one I use it on, and she has been learning how to use it. So it's not new, but it's a really nice one, and it will now be hers.

Wear - Usually it would be any new ski/snow gear she needs. It depends on the year. Everything from last year still fits, so she is getting jewelry. She wants a necklace and a few earrings. 

Read - American Girl has a series of books about body changes, how to navigate tricky friendships and all the tween-y hard things. I try to give my best advice, but this will be a little library of advice we can go through together and discuss. She is getting this one, this one, this one, and this one.

Ornament - An ornament from her trip to Harry Potter World. We had an unbelievably special wand experience that was hands-down the best part of the trip, and so I splurged on this ornament.

Grandparent Money - They usually get money from the grandparents, and we will encourage her to save some, and possibly spend some on a few more outfits or accessories for her dolls. She really wants to style her doll's hair, and there is a kit for that here

 

11-Year-Old Boy

Experience - This is always their main gift. Ski school and season ski rentals. He loves skiing, and our local rec center has a program that they bus them up to one of the ski resorts every Saturday in January. They get a 2-hour lesson, then ski the rest of the night. It's a total of 5 hours of skiing each time. They pack a lunch, a bottle of water, and take a thermos (which was a previous need gift) full of hot chocolate. He has begged to get this again.

Want - He loves, loves, loves, Legos. We are getting him two of the less expensive sets he wants (this one and this one), because the next price point is this one, and that is way too much. 

Need - He has specifically asked for another bath robe, so he is getting that along with personalized warm ups and bag for his soccer team. 

Wear - He is getting whatever ski/snow gear he needs for ski school, and he needs new ski pants, gloves, and goggles.

Read - Our kids go through books so fast, and they love to read fantasy series. We bought this series, and we are dividing it up among the boys, 4 books each. 

Ornament - An ornament from his trip to Harry Potter World. We had an unbelievably special wand experience that was hands-down the best part of the trip, and so I splurged on this ornament.

Grandparent Money - They usually get money from the grandparents, and we will encourage him to save some, and then go in with his brothers on this set that they all 3 want.

 

11-Year-Old Boy

Experience - This is always their main gift. Ski school and season ski rentals. He loves skiing, and our local rec center has a program that they bus them up to one of the ski resorts every Saturday in January. They get a 2-hour lesson, then ski the rest of the night. It's a total of 5 hours of skiing each time. They pack a lunch, a bottle of water, and take a thermos (which was a previous need gift) full of hot chocolate. He has begged to get this again.

Want - He loves, loves, loves, Legos. And he has spent a lot of time the last year trying to make vehicles and moving creations. He has always loved learning how things move, work, and go together. We are getting him this set, and he will love it.

Need - He really wants a sport watch, so he's getting this one.

Wear - He is getting whatever ski/snow gear he needs for ski school, and he needs new ski pants, gloves, boots.

Read - Our kids go through books so fast, and they love to read fantasy series. We bought this series, and we are dividing it up among the boys, 4 books each. 

Ornament - An ornament from her trip to Harry Potter World. We had an unbelievably special wand experience that was hands-down the best part of the trip, and so I splurged on this ornament.

Grandparent Money - They usually get money from the grandparents, and we will encourage him to save some, and then go in with his brothers on this set that they all 3 want.

 

9-Year-Old Boy

Experience - This is always their main gift. Ski school and season ski rentals. He loves skiing, and our local rec center has a program that they bus them up to one of the ski resorts every Saturday in January. They get a 2-hour lesson, then ski the rest of the night. It's a total of 5 hours of skiing each time. They pack a lunch, a bottle of water, and take a thermos (which was a previous need gift) full of hot chocolate. He has begged to get this again. He is actually too young for the program, but they made an exception because he was already an experienced skier, had shown maturity, and was there with his 3 older siblings. It went really well last year.

Want - He loves, loves, loves, Legos. We are getting him this one, and a set of Pokemon cards.

Need - Personalized swim parka (this is his first year on the swim team).

Wear - He is getting whatever ski/snow gear he needs for ski school, and he needs a coat.

Read - Our kids go through books so fast, and they love to read fantasy series. We bought this series, and we are dividing it up among the boys, 4 books each. 

Ornament - An ornament from our trip to Costa Rica. The kids were obsessed with sloths, and we were able to see some on our trip, so I got this ornament.

Grandparent Money - They usually get money from the grandparents, and we will encourage him to save some, and then go in with his brothers on this set that they all 3 want.

 

7-Year-Old Girl

Experience - This is always their main gift. She is too young for ski school, even though she skis. She isn't old enough to go without a parent. While the older kids are at ski school, she gets a special date with mommy and daddy. We will do some of the things listed in this post. 

Want - She wants the same doll as her older sister, but she is very hard on things, and very careless with them. She loses and breaks things on a regular basis, and I suspect she really wants it because her sister wants it. We decided to get her this much less expensive dupe as a try out and an outfit. If she shows us she really does play with it and takes care of it over the next year, she could get the real thing next year. 

Need - She has also really gotten into jewelry, and has asked for a jewelry box to go put her earrings in. We got her this one because she will also have fun decorating it, and because her favorite color is purple.

Wear - All of her ski gear fits, so she is getting a Dolly and Me outfit.

Read - We have several books from this author, and she loves them, so she is getting this book.

Ornament - An ornament from our trip to Costa Rica. The kids were obsessed with sloths, and we were able to see some on our trip, so I got this ornament.

Grandparent Money - They usually get money from the grandparents, and we will encourage her to save some, and then there are a few things on her want list that she isn't getting this year, like this Lego set.

 

4-Year-Old Girl

Experience - This is always their main gift. She is too young for ski school, even though she skis. She isn't old enough to go without a parent. While the older kids are at ski school, she gets a special date with mommy and daddy. We will do some of the things listed in this post. 

Want - She goes to preschool in the mornings, and is usually bored in the afternoon because no one is home to play with her, and mama can't entertain her for 3 hours. She loves the doll house at my friend's house, and will play with it for a few hours. It's something we can move around the house wherever I am, and she can play next to me. This one is very similar, and I'm getting her these critters to go inside.

Need - She THINKS she needs makeup. My makeup. She's gotten into it a few times, and is constantly asking to wear it. She also tells me she is 16 (where did she hear that number?). When her sister had this problem, I got her this, and she was suddenly satisfied and left my stuff alone.

Wear - She needs new snow boots and a balaclava. 

Read - After 5 siblings in quick succession, we have tons of books for her, so this year we are doing something a little different. She loves to play school, so she is getting this little school set to play with her dolls. Another good choice would be this workbook. She uses it every day. 

Ornament - An ornament from our trip to Costa Rica. The kids were obsessed with sloths, and we were able to see some on our trip, so I got this ornament.

Grandparent Money - They usually get money from the grandparents, and we will encourage her to save some, and then...we'll see. She is OBSESSED with Disney princesses. She wears her dresses all day every day. I actually got her this set  for a killer deal, and that might be what her grandparent money goes to, but honestly that many dolls feels overwhelming, and I might return it and help her choose something else. She might be old enough for a bike instead.

 

Stockings

They always get an orange, because it's a family tradition. This year because of our trip to Harry Potter World Orlando, they are each getting a chocolate frog and a sugar quill. Last year they each got a box of peppermint JoJos from Trader Joe's. I'll be getting one or 10 of these in my stocking, but they have enough candy coming and won't be getting any cookies. They will each get a $5 Coldstone gift card, a $10 bowling gift card, a $15 movie theater gift card (because that is the denomination they come in), and a Smashburger gift card. These are activities we will go do as a family. We'll do one of them over Christmas break, and save the others for different days throughout the year. I'll buy them at Costco and save 20-25%.

 

What about mom and dad?

My husband always picks great things for me, and we stick to the same ideas we use for the kids. I try to pick great things for him. This year, we are getting a new bed. We got an adjustable frame and a really nice mattress, and I told him that could be my Christmas. Since that's not very interesting, I can tell you that last year he gave me a long weekend with my friend who moved to California. We went to Palm Springs for a girls getaway. He also gave me a spa package at this amazing Japanese spa. Two amazing gifts that meant the world to me. He couldn't have given me anything better. If you want something you can unwrap, check out this post for what you should buy yourself on Black Friday, and a more comprehensive round up here

Last year I gave him hiking and camping stuff. He loves, needs the outdoors, and as hard as he works and as crazy as the last 11 years have been, he hasn't gotten nearly enough. I was trying to encourage him to go do these things again, and it worked. We did!

 

I hope it was helpful to see exactly what we are giving our kids and how we apply the methods I've shared. With all of these posts I hope you have TONS of ideas to shop for!

 

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