Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Dollar Tree Christmas

At Christmastime, sometimes it's easy for the children to get caught up in a case of the "I wants."

"I want....I want....I want....I want...." Sometimes we even encourage the kids by asking them what they want. Repeatedly. And that's okay...to a point. But, do we ever ask our kids what they want to give for Christmas?

We have a tradition in our family (started by The Wife, because she's, you know, awesome!) where every year we take the kids to the Dollar Tree store so they can pick out gifts for all of their family and friends, without getting a thing for themselves. They make a list of all the people they want to give gifts to, and we put each name on a post-it note. Then, the kids go through the store and pick out a gift for every person on their list, attach the corresponding post-it note to it, and we purchase them. Later, the kids wrap all of the presents.

(For those of you who might not know, Dollar Tree is a store where every item in the entire store costs exactly one dollar.) (Well, one dollar plus tax, because The Man has to get his share.)

Dollar Tree: For those times when Walmart is just a little too classy!
We, as parents, love this tradition, and so do the kids. It's fun to watch their minds go to work on picking out presents for their grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Is there a reason Grammy is getting a wash cloth with a picture of The Hulk on it? Why do they think Uncle Jasper needs a glittery bubble wand? What, exactly, is Aunt Sherry going to do with a large foam cowboy hat? Only the kids know for sure.

Superman shops at Dollar Tree.
Prior to this year, The Wife and I would divide up, each taking one of the two oldest kids with us to pick out their gifts. We would let them pick whatever they wanted, only occasionally steering them in a different direction. (Such as, "Instead of getting PopPop something from the toy aisle, maybe we could get him something from the tool aisle?") This year, though, we let Thing 1 and Thing 2 each take a cart by themselves, while The Wife and I helped Thing 3 pick out her gifts for the first time. Some of the choices were even more baffling than usual. Thing 2 picked out a can of green beans as his gift for his six month-old baby brother. When we asked him why, he said, "Because he likes food." (Mmmm...green beans!)

I bet you wish you were getting a can of green beans for Christmas!
It really has been a fun tradition every year. The kids have a blast, and they actually get to spend some time thinking about what other people might want for Christmas.

And even though the gifts are sometimes rather odd, they often make perfect sense. ("Why did you get Uncle John a cake pan for Christmas?" "Because Uncle John likes cake." Hard to argue with that kind of logic.)

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