Tuesday, November 25, 2008

In No Particular Order...

We had an early Christmas in Michigan on Sunday, which is roughly three hours each way. So is it at all shocking to say that by the time we reached home, we had acquired FOUR Madagascar Happy Meal toys? Toys which emit such charming little one-liners as, "I know I'm every hippo's dream!" and "Holler at'cher boy!" If that's not annoying enough, these are motion activated toys, but they don't work all that well, so rather than just shake them you have to actually bang them on a hard surface before they'll release their garbled, mechanical quips. And um, did I mention FOUR of them?

Eli is throwing major, albeit short lived, tantrums these days. He throws his head back wildly, usually into his crib or the corner of his arch nemesis, the changing table, and then screams even louder in coupled fury and pain. Or he crumples miserably to the floor, after hurling his toy or book or milk cup across the room, and wails piteously for about ten seconds. Then he's done, and on to the next thing. Head bumps and spilled milk aside, these little fits are actually more amusing than frustrating. (Unlike those occasions of hour-long bedtime screaming, which feel like a kind of relay race: "Okay, your turn to try to settle him while I sit here at the computer and gather my strength for the next passing of the baton.")

What do you guys usually do for stocking stuffers? Do you DO stockings? And what's a reasonable price limit for stocking gifts? Because it seems to me that small does not necessarily equal inexpensive, even for kids' stuff.

What is your take on Christmas decorations? Do you feel they should be bright and fun and clash-y, and that in fact therein lies half the fun, or do you prefer your decorations to at least BLEND with the rest of your all-year-round decor? And who can guess how I feel about the subject?

Jim and I have been watching season two of Rome the last few nights, and holy crap! Has anyone else (who is familiar with the show, obv.) noticed that there is WAY more nekkedness and sex than in the first season? And not even fun sex, but kind of disturbing, this-is-the-opposite-of-a-turn-on kind of sex? Still, it is addicting, that show. Also, unfortunately, not conducive at all to getting sleepy.

12 comments:

Jana said...

We do stockings, but small/cheap gifts only. This year the kids are getting books, cute hair bows/pigtails, patterned tights and bathtub crayons. And none of our Christmas stuff goes with our regular decor. It's not tacky or overly bright Christmas stuff, but it certainly does not coordinate well with the rest of the house.

And I am so with you on Rome. I stopped watching it after the episode with not one, but two very disturbing scenes involving some, uh, backdoor action. My husband watched the rest of the episodes and said they were really good, but I just couldn't watch anymore. Blech.

Jill said...

I'm going to Michigan in a few weeks to visit my parents and am super excited. I haven't been home in over a year!
So far all of our Christmas decorations match pretty well with our regular decor, but I know my mom has a box of ornaments from my childhood that she's just itching to bring to our house. Probably in the next few years our decor will go from matchy to kid created.
As far as stockings, what about big(cheapy) things like individually wrapped sidewalk chalk? Or Madagascar 2 toys that will be forgotten by then anyway? Or a new princess toothbrush or something?

CAQuincy said...

The dollar spot at Target is my favorite stocking stuffer shopping center. They always have fun knick-knacky things that the kids love--for a buck! I also like to throw a bit of candy in there (they usually get a pez dispenser). And yes, I've put fun toothbrushes in there, too.

By the time I was a teenager, my mother made it a bit of a joke to put SOCKS in our stockings. But really, I didn't mind--she always bought me cool colored ones that matched the clothes she had bought me.

Oranges are supposed to be traditional, I think. I have thought of starting that.

My husband likes to blend decorations. I'm all about the FUN and mess and "memories" of it. Heh.

BTW: noisy happy meals toys have a tendency to "disappear" rather quickly in my house. Where do they go? NO ONE KNOWS. Hey, keep your hands OFF the Goodwill bag! Who left that lying around?

LoriD said...

We fill the kids stockings with kid shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, socks and other little things that they'll use up throughout the year. We definitely don't spend a lot - maybe $15/kid tops. The adults in my family draw names for stockings and we put a $30 spending limit on it.

My living room is painted a deep green and my den has a red wall, so our Christmas decorations just kind of naturally match.

Pickles and Dimes said...

My family does stockings, even though my brother and I are the youngest participants. We usually do candy or little trinkets. No set dollar amount, but we'll usually spend about $10/stocking.

For decorations, we change our color scheme every year, so we don't try to blend in with our existing decor. Our living room is painted with neutral colors and our furniture is hunter green, so the tree ends up matching anyway.

Mommy Daisy said...

We do stockings. My mom fills them with cereal bars, beef jerky for the guys usually, chap stick, pack of gum, just odds and ends little things. I put a coloring book in Zachariah's last year and a pez dispenser, just some little things like that.

I am guessing that you like your tree to fit the the house decor. Mine is about half and half. It does match, and I do a lot of cute gold/silver things on it. Then I have some old ornaments from my childhood that I sometimes throw in. And I'm sure as our family grows and child(ren) get older, there will be plenty of homemade things to add.

d e v a n said...

Stockings in our house usually have one small toy under $10 and a big cookie or some candy. Socks or underwear? Chapstick, candy bracelets, an ornament...

Jess said...

I don't have kids so I can't really answer your question about stockings, but I can say that my family still does stockings despite the lack of children, and my parents deal with it all except that I am in charge of Torsten's, and OMG it's a pain in the ass. Nothing that I get for him is small! I have to go out and buy a bunch of junk that he will hardly care about just to fill it! It takes a lot more time and creativity than any of the other presents I get. And sometimes that stuff adds up in price, too. Ugh.

Stacy S. said...

In regards to the stocking stuffers.....you need to go to www.plumpstocking.com - 'nuff said!

Happy Turkey Day!!!

Bug-N-Bee said...

Christmas stockings here are BORING! We do toothbrushes, lip balm for chapped winter lips and stuff like that.

Swistle said...

We do stockings, and I shop for them all year 'round in the clearance sections of Target. When party favors go on 75% off or when small toys go on 75% off, I pounce. Then when Christmas comes, I buy candy to fill in the gaps: those Lifesaver books take up a nice chunk of space.

I don't try to blend the Christmas decorations. I get whatever jumps into my cart begging to come home with me.

Astarte said...

We do stockings, but in lieu of candy everyone gets an apple and an orange (or pear, etc) in theirs. It takes up a lot of room, is traditional, and somehow the kids are thrilled to have them. Don't ask me why - it's not like I didn't just take that apple OFF THE COUNTER BASKET and throw it in there.

I love Xmas decor, and I like funny things, or colorful things. If it blends in, it might as well not be there at all, in my opinion.