Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Start of a New Tradition?

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!


meegz said...

How funny. I did the exact same thing(minus Denny's, but our kids think the same of that darn machine -- I tell them it's a machine that steals their money, even though Garrett got a toy first time)
Anyway -- I had the same sick feeling, same budget, same happy kids.
Hope you had a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS. The quilt was very much appreciated. Both by me and my Mom.

Keryn said...

Michelle, I don't comment much, but you are totally my hero. I want to do something like that for my kiddos (when they get a little older, that is...), and I'm so glad you posted about it. You are such an amazing example of the way I want to mother--thank you! I'm so glad you are my sister!

Kim H said...

We started a similar tradition with our kids years ago at the dollar store. They had a hard time at first, as it is quite a distraction when you see things YOU would love to have. But, they quickly learned the JOY of giving! The funnest part was trying to hide your purchases form each other. Now we have moved up to Target and a $10 limit, but it is still one of their favorite Christmas traditions!

meegz said...

Hi Michelle...again thanks so much for help with my quilt! I'm going to call you when I get home to find out who did it so I can call and thank them! What an extra mile!! I also laughed as I read your last post because Megan, Clint and I did the same thing with her three kids on Christmas Eve...they loved it and we had fun too. I have no idea what we did with my kids when they were young! Hope you guys had a great Christmas!

meegz said...

Michelle, this is Jan...that last comment was from me...I'm at Meg's and forget that the computer is set for her!