Shopping for birthday gifts for the twins is kind of tough, since Christmas is just three weeks after their birthday. I now have a new respect for my parents (who dealt with the same situation, with my birthday being just two weeks before Christmas). Discussing possible gifts with my husband and our parents (who are all also trying to shop) makes me feel a little itchy and overwhelmed. I don’t consider myself a good gift giver. I struggle to pick the right thing and I wait until the last minute and I always have SO many possible ideas when a holiday is nowhere in sight, but when the giving season rolls around I come up blank every time.
The current task: trying to come up with suggestions for my in-laws (who asked for some ideas) while also trying to figure out what WE want to buy. (My dad & stepmother have already picked and sent stuff.)
I am going to post a list of ideas and then I would love to hear additional suggestions here (or get me on twitter, @ravelingout):
(this is coming up in a couple of weeks, so we need to get our shit together)
Backpacks for “school”: (sounds boring, but they’ve never had their own before and they are recently very interested in playing with bags and have learned to say “ba-pa,” so it’d be cute as well as useful). Any favorite brands that make toddler sized backpacks to recommend?
Baby dolls: My husband thinks dolls are “weird” but I loved them as a child and the kids are really interested in both babies and baby dolls (they have some at school) and it’s developmentally appropriate, so. I’m thinking the Baby Stella brand is good, yes?
Books: I already bought them a few Christmas-themed books and coloring books, so I’ll probably wrap these up for them to open.
Grandparent gifts include: some cute stuffed elephants from my dad & stepmother and…we still need to suggest something for my in-laws.
(we have more time to decide but now I’m starting to feel stressed)
A play tent for indoors (I’m thinking we could put some pillows and blankets inside for reading books? or whatever?) or a plastic play house thing for outdoors, probably on our porch (I’m not as jazzed about this idea because I don’t like the look, but I’m trying to look outside myself and think about whether this would be more fun for the kids?). Thoughts or ideas?
A wooden train set. I grew up with Brio, but I see there are several varieties now. (E&L have not been exposed to Thomas, yet, so likely will not care about that particular brand). Any good/bad experiences with specific brands? Is the beginner pack enough for a start? We could also suggest expansion packs from the in-laws.
Stockings: Probably some new bath toys (ideas?), toothbrushes, socks, candy, and an orange in the toe, as per KO-family tradition.
I also just ordered some Kohl’s magic blankets (on super sale!) for the whole family, so they’ll get theirs at some point this season, probably as a gift.
Any help or advice you have would be appreciated! Especially if you have brand recommendations, good or bad experiences to share, or thoughts about what kinds of gifts your two-year-olds were most excited about, use most, or have continued to love after many years.