Monday, December 22, 2014

on what we're getting our 5 month old for Christmas

Truth be told, Matt and I didn't plan on getting Ryan anything for Christmas this year.
A. Because he doesn't need anything
B. He doesn't know it's Christmas
C. He has clothes, toys, and books that he hasn't worn, opened, or read yet

But we quickly learned that saying "We actually hadn't planned on getting him anything" doesn't go over well with other people and the awkward pause/blank stare kind of makes you feel like you're the worst parent in the world for even considering for a second that your 5 month old wouldn't be opening any gifts on Christmas Day.

So after about the 4th or 5th time we answered the, "So what are you guys getting Ryan for Christmas?!" question incorrectly (we're a little slow on the uptake) we decided we should come up with a plan so as not to scar our baby for future Christmases to come.

But first, let me explain that our thought of not getting him anything was purely naive (and clearly off base). 

We're new to this whole parenting gig. Of course we can't wait to watch him get excited about Santa and baby Jesus's birthday (maybe in the opposite order) and will probably not sleep on Christmas Eve as we imagine the look on his and his future siblings' faces when they see the presents under the tree.

We just knew that this year he'll be just as happy about his meal in the morning as he will about anything new under the tree.

So that was our thinking. I mean it seems sensible enough, right?!

But the reactions of others, as funny as they were, did get us thinking about what we want Christmas to look like in our family for this year and years to come. 

Like most parents I would imagine, we want to tow that fine line between giving our kids everything they want and need and teaching them to appreciate what they already have.

We want to raise them to be generous givers and grateful receivers.

We want them to understand that Christmas is about so much more than the gifts under the tree, without taking away from the joy that Christmas morning and opening gifts brings.

We want them to experience the joy of serving others and see that is as much a gift to them as it is to the people they're serving.

Most importantly, we want to teach them that the greatest gift they'll ever receive is their relationship with Jesus.

Lofty goals, right? 

And I don't even know where to begin with teaching those lessons, so thankfully, our 5 month old doesn't even know it's Christmas. 

So what are we going to get him this year?

My friend Meagan shared this cute little phrase for gift giving that Matt and I are big fans of and it goes like this:

Something they want
Something they need
Something to wear and
Something to read

So that's what we've adopted for Ryan for this year (and maybe years to come?), and this is what we got for him:

His something he wants:
The Sassy Wonder Wheel. I put this on my 15 gifts ideas for the babies in your life after reading about it on Amazon. I also saw a one year old playing with it at brunch yesterday morning, so it seems like a toy that will be a big hit for awhile.

His something he needs:
Since Matt will be traveling to Pasadena next week for the FSU game, Ryan and I made an impromptu decision to drive to Charleston to visit my friend Meagan and her two kiddos. Since it's a 6 hour drive, I decided the BRICA light-up travel mirror would qualify as a need. Ryan loves looking at himself in the mirror, and the light show and music on top of that have potential to be a big hit. Here's to hoping. ;)

His something to wear:

We picked up this plaid jumper from Baby Gap this weekend when the whole store was an extra 50% off, so we ended up getting it for $9! Cute, right?!

His something to read:

We have a book called Baby Faces (this one to be exact) that Ryan LOVES, so I thought it would be fun to get him this Global Babies book so that he has even more baby faces to look at. I also liked the idea that it has pictures of babies from all over the world instead of just one race.

So that's our plan for this year. But I'd love to hear what has worked for y'all. What kind of traditions do you have regarding gift-giving? And if you've started any other fun family traditions for this time of year, I'd love to hear what they are!



  1. Love it all! Last year we got Finn the Jesus storybook bible and Scout the leapfrog puppy. This year we got him a couple toys and the rest were from family or leftover birthday presentsperks of a Sept bday :)

  2. We go with the 3 presents like Jesus. I also like the want, need, wear and read camp. 😊🎄

  3. Oh my word I can't believe people would look at you sideways for not getting your five month old anything. This is my problem with the season... This is obviously my opinion but I'm on the same page as you... We didn't get our daughter anything for her first Christmas because she was only two months old... I like the phrase you adopted :) it's the one we use every holiday (birthdays, christmas, etc)

  4. I totally agree that you don't have to get your five month old baby a gift. When we have kids, I plan to ask friends and family to contribute to a bank account we set up for them. Just whatever they might have spent on a gift earmarked for college or something down the road.

  5. I love the want, need, wear and read theme! So fun!

    While I don't have children now, one of my favorite things as I look back on growing up was that a month before Christmas, my parents had us go through all of our toys and donate a few items so that we knew what giving to others meant. My dad was also hugely involved with Toys for Tots and we always got to pick toys to purchase for others during that time. Obviously, Ryan wouldn't understand what is going on this year....but it would be cool to start in a year or two.