Monday, December 1, 2014

Doing Christmas on a Budget-

How we're doing Christmas magic on a believable budget-

Those who know us know that our financial situation has changed, and in a BIG way.  We realized that even with it being Aisley's first Christmas, we needed to budget ourselves to really make it work. We wanted to fill her world with magic and our memories with joy, but without going overboard or bankrupt.

Those who don't know me should know, I tend to be a little more of a baby minimalist.  I just dont think that kids really need alot of blaring and bleeping plastic pieces of crap.  The more they have, the more get left in a corner un-played with.  My kid thinks this too.  Her favorite thing for the longest time was a king size sharpie.  Seriously.  She didn't want anything else.  So when it comes to holidays, I don't want to go overboard.  I saw something on Pinterest where parents were encouraged to buy their children one thing they want, one thing they need, one thing they wear, and one thing they read.  That's it.  Four gifts.  While I'll definitely go past this and also get one thing she'll watch, and a pair of pajamas on Christmas (in addition to what she gets to wear), it's not a bad concept.  I've doubled this while she's so small, and might continue to do so.  Her wear for the year is $6, so why not get her two?

Two things she wants:

This year, Aisley has asked for mama....and bacon.  No such luck, little girl, no such luck.  Instead, we've picked her two toys that are great for her developmental age, one catered to gross motor skills, and the other to fine motor skills.

B Kids Roll Around Shape Sorter- $11
          Aisley is at a perfect age to put things into and take things out of a container.  She's a little young to do the shapes perfectly, but she'll grow into it nicely, and in the mean time, it rattles and can be manipulated in five or six other ways around the outside.  I bought this on Zulily on a great sale.  Its comparable to other shape sorters in price, but once again, offers many more options than the classic hammer-the-block-in-the-hole.
Fisher Price 3-in-1 Elephant- $23
          I picked this up at a phenomenal price at Target.  I used a $5 off coupon from Fisher Price, as well as a 25% off coupon from Target that made this an unbeatable deal.  For now, she can sit on or next to it and play with it, and later, she'll be able to bounce on it, push it as a walker, or ride on it. 

Two things she needs:

EasyPouch Independence - $9 
          Aisley loves pouches.  She looooves them.  She loves that she can feed herself and suck the food out at her own pace.  She also loves to squeeze the living daylights out of them until they make a mess everywhere.  Enter EasyPouch.  Aisley can now feed herself again.  Mommy's happy.  Baby's happy.  Need=met.

Melissa & Doug Grasping Toy-  $7
          Aisley needs all kinds of crap like this.  Yes, I said it.  Crap.  This is the kind of thing she'll carry around forever and happily sit with in her car seat.  It's great to manipulate with her little hands, not to mention natural wood and colorful.  She likes little things she can take with her.  It's exactly why she loved that sharpie for so long.  It was just her size.

  Two Things She'll wear:

I picked her out 2 rompers in size 12 months for $6 each.  Why?  I like rompers.  Romper + Shoes = Full outfit.  Not Onesie + pants + socks + sweater + redo it all each diaper change.  Busy mamas don't have time for that.  She has all the clothes in the size she's in, so I picked 12 month clothes that'll fit just in time for late spring (she's always a couple months behind in sizes).  Besides.  They're adorable.  

Two things she'll read:

Baby Signs - $4
          We sign with Aisley. She has all the classic books, so we love to integrate signing in with this cute board book.  There shouldn't be a book for babies that's made of regular paper.  Just Saying.

          This is a trick.  Aisley hates reading books, but loves eating them.  Trick's on her because this book is vinyl.  It's meant to be wet.  She can literally chew on it all day and nothing will happen.  Bonus: the fish change color in warm bathwater.  I'm setting her up to read books and drink wine in the tub in her adult life, but if that's wrong, then I don't want to be right.

So that's a well rounded Christmas for a baby, all for $70.  So where did the other $30 go?  To the normal Christmas Traditions.  Pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve (that I scored for $2.80-seriously), an outfit to wear on Christmas (that I scored for $7.44), and stocking stuffers.  For Aisley, it was a few Ella's kitchen pouches, some fruit, some travel size lotions, and her favorite snack puffs-its a perfect baby-friendly version of what we always had as kids!

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