Gifts For Kids + Christmas Break At Home

Here are my holiday week plans and great gifts for kids ages 2 through 8!

Christmas is all around us

Back in the day I never scheduled time off. My blog was one big diary that never ended. While that definitely had its perks, I do enjoy that “last exam of the semester is finished” feeling and not having to work overtime while the kids are home from school. 

I constantly struggle with living in the present. I’m always thinking about tomorrow. “If I work today, I can relax tomorrow.” Then tomorrow comes and I’m using the same reasoning to get ahead again. Tomorrow will never come! So I’m hoping to take next week off to focus on the fam, at least from prescheduled posts. I might pop in with an easy lifestyle post!

(What this really means is that all this week I’ve been working ahead on New Years content, so I’m ready to go when Christmas week is up!)

I know you guys will be spending time with your families too, so it’s good that we all take a little break from screens. (Except Instagram – she’s the app that never sleeps!!)

On Simplicity & Staying Home

We aren’t traveling to Hillsborough this year (I can’t remember the last time we didn’t.) We will miss my fam! But it feels like the right call all that’s up in the air right now (literally!!) 

Honestly I’m glad to embrace the simplicity of not traveling.

For as long as I can remember I have traveled for Christmas.

When we were young we drove six hours to my mom’s parents to stay the night and then drove another three hours to Lakewood, New Jersey where we spent time with my dad’s side of the family. We always had a nice Christmas Eve party and woke up to Santa gifts at my grandmother’s house.

On Christmas Day, we unwrapped our gifts, packed up the car and headed to Towson, Maryland where we had a grand Christmas dinner and spent the next few days with our cousins and grandparents. 

As an adult I have nothing but wonderful memories of this trip, but I know it exhausted my parents a little (especially with the gifts for kids hidden in the trunk of our small car – I have no idea how they did it?!)

I do love the excitement of traveling, but now that I’m older and have two kids to pack, I do love the idea of staying home and traveling after Christmas. We aren’t sure what our tradition will hold in the future, but this year at least we’ll be home sweet home. (And we’re lucky to have T’s side of the family right here in Cville.)

I’m hoping to do a special Christmas Eve party and Christmas Day dinner in some shape or form. 

Gifts For Kids Ages 2 – 8

Thomas and I made a list of gifts for the kids and he went to our local toy store to shop all in one swoop. There’s a reason toy stores were invented – it sure was nice to get most of what we needed all at once! He even opted for their gift wrap for a few things. 

I thought I’d share some of our tried-and-true favorites if you’re looking for last minute ideas – toys that have lasted through two generations or are well-loved in our house. Click the links and go buy some household supplies on Amazon. And then go to your local toy store to shop <3 

Wheels

Birch loved on his scooter all summer – it was Mazen’s! And this helmet has been great for a little toddler head.

Birch is getting this bike too after he fell in love with it at a friends. I love that we can push it before it becomes his own. We found it in “free” trade group and it’s in great condition! STEAL! 

This Tonka truck was a hand-me-down from our neighbors and a huge hit all summer! It’s metal and indestructible and the boys love to push each other around in it!

Cooking

Someone is getting a kitchen for Christmas!! Play food is well-loved in this house. We have this pizza set that has gotten SO much use. My niece has this ice cream set that I loved playing with her. Hape makes a ton of great food – so does Melissa + Doug. I love this farmer’s market set too.

Art

Magnadoodle for the win! Ours is still going strong. We also love Water Wow (Birch is getting more of these!) And our Playdoh is going on its second round of fun. These new tools will spark lots of creative ideas!

Mazen received a similar tabletop easel to this one a few years ago and it has gotten a ton of use! It’s a chalkboard on one side (great for Birch) and dry erase on the other (great for Mazen school or when he holds a “sale” in our yard). We also use this to play Win, Lose or Draw!

Shout out to Mom’s art too! Her art is perfect for children’s rooms and nurseries. 

Books

Books are always on my list of good gifts for kids! Where Legos and reading intersect – this is on Mazen’s list. I also found this book at the recommendation of a friend, and it’s great for when the instruction booklets get lost. Also shout out to the Kids Kindle – one of our MVPs!

Play

These horses are one of our boys favorites. They love putting them back in their stalls!

Shout out to Grammie for all the money she spent on Brio Trains over the past 8 years. They are getting a huge encore by Birch, and they’re also a great toy for ages 2 and 8 to play together. (Someone is going to be very lucky when we grow out of them and get to pass them on!) This is a great starter set.

I’ve mentioned this fire station a few times – it’s Birch’s latest obsession!

I hope you all have a lovely holiday week! What ideas do you have to make Christmas at home extra special?