Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mishmash of Christmas Preparations.

Disclosure #1: Dear Aunt Bonnie, I promise I am not forgetting Thanksgiving.  However, since you are cooking, I can prepare for Christmas. 

I've been starting to think about Christmas gifts for Ellie, which also has me thinking about her favorite toys and dolls from the past year so I can try to build on that.  When I hosted the Noonday party, I got great ideas for the grown ups, but Ellie has a ton of stuff and our house does not have a ton of storage.  Feel free to share any brilliant ideas you have for almost four-year-old girls.

Ellie loves my camera.  She always wants to "push da silver button!" to make a click noise on my DSLR.  Since I prefer not to have my camera in the hands of a three year old, this VTech Kidizoom FFP Camera will be her big gift from Matt and me this year.

Ellie is also big on drawing, but despite reminders to "color on the paper," she colors on her hands.  Enter, Color Wonder.  We had some of the finger paints when she was a baby, but the markers are my favorite.  They look like real markers with regular colors but they don't write on skin or my couch or my walls or my carpet.  Win.  So I think more art projects will be on the list.

Christmas flashback - Ellie attempting to eat the gingerbread house.  In the box.

I'll get her a new leotard and new shoes (which she needs) as well as some books.  She loves the "Pigeon" series by Mo Willems and she walked around Barnes and Noble the other day hugging an Elephant and Piggie toy.  Are there any great series I'm missing?  I like books for Ellie that are relatively positive and without super-busy pages.

We try to get Ellie gifts that will help her developmentally but also gifts that are fun.  She loves to learn and loves flashcards and letters, so that helps.

We are also starting some Christmas crafts already.  We spent one morning making gingerbread ornaments.  Since some had sparkles, Ellie called them "Sparkle Mans!"  Some may be gifts, and I'll hang some from the garland on the bannister.

As much as Ellie loves art, fine motor is tough for her (since she can't see up close and won't wear her glasses, no big surprise!) but she worked on these Sparkle Mans for nearly an hour.  I can't find them online, but they're in the holiday section at Target.  Even though they say 4+, they were perfect for Ellie to do with help.

Finally, let's talk Elf.  Matt and I are not great Elf-ers.  We have owned our Elf for two seasons already, and he's lazy.  He forgets to go to the North Pole at night.  No spying required - his only job is spreading cheer, and he isn't even great at it.  I have pinned every cute Elf idea ever, but the bottom line is…. I need to set my phone or something for a nightly Elf reminder.

This is the year I tried to document the Elf, hoping that accountability would help.  I found Elf Day 1-4, followed by these two photos.  And then nothing.
Ellie is old enough to notice if the Elf doesn't move.  She's becoming more observant and more opinionated.  Other parents - how the heck do you remember to move your little friend every single night?  Ellie wakes up too early do move him in the morning!

I know I'm preparing early, but it makes me happy.  I like to have downtime to enjoy Christmas in December, which means shopping and decorating at the end of November.

And Aunt Bonnie, I promise, no decorations are up yet!

Disclosure: Some of these are affiliate links.  Some are not.  All opinions are mine.  Or Ellie's.  Mostly Ellie's.
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