What My Daughters Are Getting for Christmas

Gift Ideas For Little Girls

— 1 —

Almost a year ago, I wrote a post on what gifts we were giving Girl 1 for Christmas.  I had high hopes of setting a precedent of non-materialistic Christmases, with just a few simple gifts.

Fat. Chance.

Last year, at age three, Girl 1 didn’t really remember what to expect on Christmas.   She opened up a few presents in her stocking and was pretty psyched.  Then we got to my in-laws’ house for the traditional family gift-opening extravaganza.  Pat and each of his eight siblings (or as many are in town), plus spouses and children, plus his parents,  all take turns opening gifts while everyone else looks on and “oohs” and “aahs” appropriately.

Girl 1 quickly caught on.  And as for my plan to make each individual piece of the Melissa and Doug castle furniture count as an individual gift for her to unwrap . . .

yeah, that went over like a lead balloon.

Fortunately, it was the year that Grams Saved Christmas with The Slutty Fairy, and all was well in the end.

This year, ho boy.  I’m just trying not to go overboard.  That’s all.

And usually I’m not one of those super obnoxious organized people who get their Christmas shopping done early.  But for some reason, this year, spurred on by my soon-to-expire free Amazon prime trial membership.  I’ve bought all their presents already.

So here’s what’s worked or not worked for us in the past.

— 2 —

Washable markers really do wash off easily, so they’ve been okay.  But caps get left off and roll under bureaus and markers dry out, so I’m hoping we can switch to these:

Jumbo beeswax crayons

Supposedly not as breakable as Crayolas . . . ?  We’ll see.

Anyway, the princess coloring books are a solid 10.  We’ve gone through several similar ones.  This year both girls are getting Cinderella coloring books (Cinderella being one of the least offensive of the Disney princesses).

— 3 —

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Folding Princess Castle.  My friend Liz of Catholic Deals, pointed out a great deal on this castle (now expired, unfortunately).  I got it for about half of the regular price.

As expected, it wasn’t  huge hit when we gave this to Girl 1 for her fourth birthday (which was soon after Christmas).  However, she’s starting to grow into it.  She really got into imaginative play in the past few months, and Girl 2 always plays along with whatever Big Sis is doing.   So hopefully the girls will use this more and more, especially since we’re getting them . . .

— 4 —

Disney princess dolls!

Ack!  Disney princesses are distasteful to me on so many levels, but you know what?  This.

Also, I have fond memories of Cinderella and The Little Mermaid as a kid.   As far as I can tell they had no deleterious effects.

So anyway, Girl 1 got similar dolls some time last year, I forget the occasion, and they have been a huge hit with both her and Girl 2.  But several princesses have disappeared during trips to Walmart and whatnot, so it’s time to replenish the supply.

These, on the other hand:

Chopped liver.  Except the prince.  Girl 1 is still fuzzy on the details, but she’s realized it’s nice to have a prince around the castle.

— 5 —

On the subject of princesses (still), last August I happened to find Aurora and Belle dress-up dresses at a rummage sale.  For like a buck apiece.  I did not realize at the time what a great bargain this was.  Disney brand dress-up dresses are really pricey ordinarily and are often of shoddy quality.  Ours are now a little worse for the wear, but they’ve gotten a lot of wear.

Gymboree has a line of dress-up clothes, and I’m hopeful they are of better quality.  But, of course, they’re pricey.

So: Ebay.

I scored a Gymboree Cinderella dress on Ebay for about $16 total.  It’s not in perfect condition, but quite good enough.  Before too long, the girls probably will not be satisfied with pre-owned gifts (or maybe not, we’ll see), but for now I think she’ll be thrilled.

Also from Ebay, I got Girl 2 a princess costume from Old Navy, for cheap:

And an Angelina Ballerina stuffed animal (all to be washed in hot water before use):

She loves Angelina but new Angelina toys currently go for $30-$40.  Too much for a stuffed mouse.  And of course since I bought this, she’s moved on to Barney.  So should I get her a stuffed Barney dinosaur?  I don’t know.

— 6 —

Books!  Oh my goodness, I love buying the girls books.

This has been a huge hit recently:

Read Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young

I picked up a falling-apart copy from the library’s discard shelf, and both girls LOVE it.  The cover has fallen off and the pages are starting to fall out, so I ordered them a new copy.  And also this:

Forget Me Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart

And this (on Rosie’s advice):

And all of these:

Ella Ballerina by James Mayhew

Speaking of ordering books, don’t forget to click through an affiliate link when you order from Amazon!  I don’t have one, but most bloggers do and many charities as well.  Just go to the person’s website and click on any link there to Amazon.  You don’t have to buy the product they linked to for them to get the credit.  They get a percentage of anything you purchase on Amazon after clicking through from their site.  It doesn’t cost you any extra, but some deserving charity or person can earn 7% or so of your order.  So always click through!

— 7 —

Finally: pajamas.

For Easter, I got the girls matching princess pajamas similar to these:

Disney princess cotton pajama set

I got them for cheap at Walmart and the girls LOVE them.  The ones I bought are short-sleeved though, and wearing out.

Girl 2 is now wearing hand-me-down monkey-print footsie pajamas from Girl 1.  She really thinks she’s hot shiz in those jammies.  It’s something else.  And, thanks to a pointer from a loyal reader (Hi, Elizabeth!), I found footsie pajamas in Girl 1’s size:

Carter’s footsie pajamas in big kid sizes

I think she’s going to love them.  The girls love wearing matching clothes.  Come to think of it, they love wearing clothes that match with mine, too.

Anyone know where to get grown-up footsie jams?  😉

Happy weekend!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary Clan Donaldson!


17 thoughts on “What My Daughters Are Getting for Christmas

  1. Target also has footie pajamas for older kids–my sister always gets jammies for my kids for Christmas and usually finds them there.

    Grown up footie pajamas can be found online–same sister got a pair two Christmases ago for herself! Just google it. 🙂

    Also, do you know about the Katie Morag stories? I got them on Simcha’s (I think!) recommendation and they are great! I got the Big Book of Stories and the Island stories and they are so much fun. My boys even like them.

  2. This is great! We are on similar pages for kid gifting. I had that book of rhymes growing up, and it was fun to rediscover it with the boys the last time I was home. I, too, always click through someone’s affiliate link. One thought, I love the appearance and presentation of the Faber’s beeswax, but the color leaves something to be desired. When we were in Korea, I accidentally bought a form of pastels for kids, and realized that, for creating a wonderful art experience, they are unparalleled (in vibrance and ease of use – you don’t have to press so hard). Not as much fun to clean off walls, though…(but my boys learned quickly to not earn my wrath that way!)

  3. Yay! Footsie pjs!

    I have a baby girl after two boys and I cannot WAIT for princesses! I Love them unapologetically.

    Read tending the heart of virtue by Vigen Guorian (a good one for a book review) on how fairy tale princesses and other stories are important for helping children understand virtue. Of course the Disney version of princess tales tend to edit out the parts of the story that lead to those kinds of insights (for instance the original little mermaid fairy tale is about aspiring to a higher and better and more virtuous life and after her sacrificial death she becomes a heavenly being) but I have no problem with hijacking the Disney imagery and putting some good old fairy tale mojo behind it. The book talks about boys and fairy tales as well. Required reading for parents IMO.

      • Yes I’m good for footsie pjs and practical philosophy.

        Another way it just occurred to me to think about princesses and little girls. A love for princesses can be used to help encourage and teach a little girl to grow up to be a Madame Chic.

        How I desperately wish my mother had taught me the lessons of Madame Chic when I was growing up.

  4. Great stuff, Laura! I love these ideas. My aunt and uncle used to come over every Christmas Eve and bring us new PJs to wear to bed that night- we loved that tradition. Oh, and I saw some stylin’ adult footsie PJs at Walmart. 🙂

  5. My kids are older and they still don’t care about pre-owned gifts, so I don’t think you need to worry about that really.

    Those are all great gifts. We’ve had that exact same Cinderella dress and Angelina Ballerina mouse at one point (we still have the mouse, the dress has been worn to tatters).

    I think we’ve had all those Disney princesses dolls at point too..they do get lost easily..good idea to replenish the supply.

    And, I also second the recommendation for the oil pastels. They are awesome…bright vivid colors, don’t require too much pressure.

  6. This post made me – for the first time – grateful that we will never be able to spend Christmas with any family, because of Tom’s job and where we live. I guess it is a blessing that we get to set our traditions and dont’ have to compromise…although God help us if we ever move closer to anyone!

    • It must be nice to set your own traditions. I do hope, though, that I didn’t disparage in-laws’ way of doing things, b/c I LOVE spending the holidays with them. In fact, the one-by-one way of opening gifts (complete with thank-yous to the gift giver) is a lot better than the typical free-for-all frenzy. But it’s just one instance of many where parenting ideals have to compromise with reality.

  7. Thanks for the shout-out! I have almost all my Christmas shopping done for the kids, but I realized that I totally forgot about the twins… But babies don’t really *need* presents and their birthday is in just a few weeks, so I’m thinking we can probably just set aside some birthday presents and re-gift on Christmas! I also need to head to the used book store (McKay’s in Manassas, if you’re ever out that way) to start building a library of *good* books, rather than mostly disposable & board books… I’m also letting the kids get each other presents this year to start getting them thinking in that direction, so I’m taking them to the dollar store probably on Christmas Eve or something, and letting them each pick something for each other. I’d like to do it before Advent even starts, but I think the experience would be lost on them!

  8. We’ve also done Papo Princesses in our castle. Our castle is in four pieces right now, which is not a reflection on Melissa & Doug but upon the fact that I seriously need to sign us up as product testers. My sister meanwhile just scored that same castle at a consignment sale for $24, probably about the same amount I am going to spend on woodglue to fix ours. ;)-

    We LOVE those coloring books and they are always under our tree.

    I shall have to look at the Ella Bella Ballerina books for my eldest daughter and third eldest niece. The two of them watched an Angelina Ballerina marathon two weeks ago (compliments of Netflix and Grandma babysitting while my sister and I went shopping), and they’ve been in a ballet frenzy ever since. 😉

    • I hope you like the Ella Bella books! I don’t like Angelina completely: the books and the earlier cartoon series deal with things like bullying and “hating” your baby sister, which my 4 yo does not need to learn about yet. The newer cartoon series is inane and 100% worse artistically, but the subject matter is inoffensive. You win some you lose some.. .. But it’s awfully cute when 20 month old Girl 2 starts spinning and arabesque-ing whenever the theme song comes one. 🙂

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