This morning I woke with inspiration. I have not done well helping my kids all get presents for one another. It has been troubling to me, but this morning was Christmas Eve Day and I obviously hadn't found a solution yet. So this morning I hopped out of bed and ran downstairs to wake all the kids. John thought he was dreaming when he saw me up before him. I kicked him out of bed too.
I marched around warning everyone we were leaving in 10 short minutes to go to Wal-mart. All children would be given a $20 budget to buy sibling gifts (this breaks down to $5 per gift since each kid has 4 siblings). I was pleasantly surprised as their groggy looks turned to smiling excitement. 12 minutes later we were on the road. Because it was only 8:00 in the morning, Wal-mart was still extremely quiet considering it was the last shopping day before Christmas.
We divided up. Gabe, Seth, and Elise got their own carts and John & I took Jackson and Jebb in our separate carts. With my help Jebb got his 4 gifts picked out and we self-checked them out. After double bagging them, we went to find the other kids. One by one, I took them up and checked them out, and carefully double bagged the goods to maintain secrecy. It was SO FUN! The kids all had a blast! They were really excited about the things they had picked out and they were excited to get home to wrap their treasures up.
We made one more stop before heading home. Since we all missed breakfast, we decided to go to Denny's. Yum-a-roo for breakfast! It was so fun.I did have one complaint-Denny's has one of those hook machines that cost $0.50 and my kids are fascinated with it. Gabe plucked an Iron Man doll out of it last year on his first try, so all of my kids think that's normal.
Elise always has cash for these kinds of things. Wouldn't you know it?! Gabe plucked out a donkey...first try!
When we got home, each kid came into my room with me and wrapped their gifts. They happily ran out and placed them under the tree-this was the signal for the next kid to come in and wrap. I am SO pleased with how the morning went-I think this could be the start of a new tradition!