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Presents: How Many and What Kind Are Best? (Plus a Stocking Mini Tutorial)

I finally finished our family stockings.  I’m sharing this picture in case any of you are interested in how they turned out but I’m not doing a detailed tutorial for a number of reasons:


  1. If you don’t have stockings for your family on December 23rd then you definitely don’t have time to make them and I don’t want to stress you out.
  2. As is probably obvious, I barely got these done.  Taking pictures to document the process was really not in the realm of possibility.
  3. I don’t feel I’m in the position to advise anyone on any sewing-related projects at this time (see exhibit A on the stocking heel above).
  4. A lot (OK let’s face it, nearly all) of my posts so far have focused on stuff, be it stuff to buy or stuff to make.  Lest you get the wrong impression of me, I’d like to wrap up the MPMK Sneak Peek by focusing away from what we’re giving this year as parents and taking a look at how much we’re giving and how we chose it.
How Many Presents Did You Buy?


All season I’ve been thinking a lot about how many presents to buy for S and C.  I feel like this Christmas is going to set some expectations for the future and I don’t want to screw it up.  I admit, I’m super excited to see the look on C’s face when he comes down the stairs and first sees the presents under the tree.
But at a time when more kids are writing Santa asking for basic needs than asking for toys, I don’t want Christmas to be just about the gifts.  That can be a slippery slope towards a never-ending quest to top last year’s haul.  Plus, there’s this compelling argument for limiting the number of toys at home in general.  For some reason the magic number I keep hearing for presents is four.  That sounds pretty reasonable to me, what do you think?


On a lighter note, there’s the decision of what’s going to be from Santa and what’s going to be from Mommy and Daddy.  On the one hand, I want Santa to give the big gift because it’ll make C that much more excited about the big guy next year.  On the other hand, C’s main gift is something I made and I kinda want the credit!


What Types of Presents Did You Buy? 


Something I’ve read a lot about lately is the want, need, wear, read philosophy.  I like the spirit of this but it feels a bit limiting, especially for a toddler and a baby.  For now, my goals are the following:


  1. To limit plastic toys, especially those with flashing lights and loud noises that can only be used in one specific way.
  2. To give toys that foster imaginative play.  With all of the info. out there on the benefits of imaginative play and the decline of imagination in our youth – this is a must!
  3. To encourage reading early and often.  We have children’s books littering every room in the house and I plan to keep it that way.


Finally, I’d like to share with you this wonderful post (which one of my closest friends recently shared with me) about the real gifts your children will never forget.  Also, these 40 ways to show your child love – because that is, of course, the greatest gift any parent can ever give.


P.S. – Just in case you want it, here’s the stocking template and directions I used from the purl bee. After sewing the felt stockings, I found some shapes I liked online (or free-handed them) and traced them onto more felt.  Then I added a few stitches with embroidery thread purely for show (shh, don’t tell) and glued the pieces to the stockings.  Lastly, I used a stamp to spell out the names.

Thank you so much for checking out the MPMK Sneak Peek.  I hope you enjoyed it and will come back for more beginning January 3rd, 2011.  I have a lot I want to share with you.  In the meantime, happy holidays!!



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