Santa’s Bag Tips from a Mama of Two

Thanksgiving is two weeks from today, which means Christmas is around the corner. Eeeeeeeeek. I’m putting together a gift idea list for Caitlin. I don’t want to go overboard, without Santa seeming stingy, and I want to give her at least one quasi educational toy. Amelia, of course, would be happy if I stuck a wooden spoon in a gift bag and will be far more interested in the crinkly paper and tasty tissue and twinkling lights. But for appearances sake, because of big sister, she’ll have at least one Santa present and one mama and daddy present under the tree Christmas morning.

I did most of our shopping online last year (which was wise seeing as I was pregnant and Christmas shopping and raging hormones and fluctuating blood sugar levels don’t mix). Plus the one and only time I braved the mall with Caitlin she thought it would be hilarious to play hide from mommy while I was in line to pay for something.

I thought I’d share some helpful websites for educational gift ideas. I order a lot of gifts from Amazon.com, but even they don’t have everything. I was looking for classic Raggedy Anne dolls and they were no where to be found on their site.

Click here for the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio winners. Genius Babies lists ideas for baby’s first Christmas and first birthday. The eeBoo brand toys are really cool with nice graphics. Melissa & Doug wooden puzzles and toys are great and I would qualify them as “generational” type toys…you know, the ones you will save for your children’s children. Hint, you can find them pretty reasonably priced at TJ Maxx. For the Nashvegas toy tradition, you can’t beat Phillips Toy Mart on Harding Road in Belle Meade. They celebrate their 60th anniversary next year. Some fun online shops include The Warm Biscuit Bedding Company (Sarah Jessica Parker supposedly shops there) and Oliebollen.com.

We’re big on books for the girls. I grew up in the country with not much to do but read all the time. The American Library Association lists the Caldecott winners since 1938, which is a great place for ideas. Some of Caitlin’s favorite books are ones from my childhood and it’s fun to share them with her.

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