One of my Facebook friends posted a status asking how much people spend on their children for Christmas. Now I'm curious as to how much all of you spend or have spent in the past! What did you buy? Why did you buy what you did?
For us we like to live clutter free. When we were married and had friends with children we would be shocked at the overload of toys that can take over someones home. I can understand having a designated area for toys, like a playroom but to have toys scattered about your entire home is just too much for either one of us. Not saying it's bad if you do this, just saying that we don't want this for our home.
Another thing is that we are firm believers that Annika (and soon Annabel) need to use their imagination while playing. Annika loves to color so I buy her crayons and paper, a lot! She also has some blocks and a lot of stuffed animals and TONS of books. We restricted TV for Annika until about 18 months old (our original plan was 2 years old but we started to allow a few TV shows on Nick Jr at 18 months and a few movies) and we plan on not allowing Annabel to watch TV or movies till at least 18 months old too which means Annika probably won't be watching anything for a while again which is fine, she's not too interested anyway.
Anyway, back to Christmas. For us we don't like spoiling with gifts. I am constantly told by people that know us how wonderful it is that Annika is spoiled with love and not material objects (totally not saying that it's wrong to do this, we just don't). For Christmas Eve this year she will get some Christmas pajamas and an Olivia Christmas DVD to watch with us before she goes to bed. On Christmas morning she will get 3 Olivia books that I bought her and a tricycle. That's all and honestly I feel like that's all she needs. We'll open the books first, probably read all three of them, then let her go out and ride around on her tricycle until we go to my aunt's house. I can't even figure out what I could spend $300-500 on for her for Christmas like some people do (so please leave a comment letting me know what you plan to buy, I'm really curious!)! I buy her clothes all year long so I don't plan on giving that as a gift and my family will probably buy her more clothes and maybe a toy or two so I don't really have anything else I could buy her.
I know that a lot of people do electronics for their kids when they're older too and that's another think that Josh and I both agree on not buying. We are both firm believers that if we survived childhood without something that our girls can too. We never owned video games or had our own TVs in our room (I got my first TV in my bedroom at my parents' house when I was 19 and bought it myself with my own money!). Again for us it's the whole imagination thing. Now once the girls start school I will be open to getting them a laptop if they do actually need one (our nephew is only 7 and actually needs one for school already!).
I'm totally not saying it's wrong to spend hundreds of dollars on your children. I'm also not saying that we aren't able to, I could easily go to Target right now and pick out a cart full of things for Annika and blow $500 but I just won't, it's not how we are. I guess we're just more simple than most!
I am curious though as to how other people are so please put let me know your input! I also plan to take some pictures this week of our house, which I've never done and been meaning to do since we moved in back in January, so you can see how clutter free we live and how our home isn't overrun with toys!