life on the funny farm

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holiday Shop for the Kiddos (in lieu of Therapy Thursday)

My kids are all teens now, and other than needing a lift, they pretty much handle their Christmas shopping on their own.

But when they were little? I hated the prospect of taking them all out together, and somehow helping them shop for Christmas gifts for their siblings without anyone seeing what the others were getting for them. Because wrangling preschoolers and toddlers and helping them shop for others when all they can think is MeMeMe is not on my list of favorite things to do.

Taking them out indvidually? That was a luxury in time I did not have.

My solution?

A holiday shop in the comfort of our own home.

I would take one evening to go shopping on my own, while Daddy played babysitter.
I'd run out to Five Below, or the Dollar store, or Wal-Mart, and buy small gifts for each of the kids (plus Mom and Dad), plus several extras. So for example, when I had four little ones, each of them had to buy for their three siblings, plus stuff for Mom and Dad, so five gifts each. Five times four is 20, so I would buy maybe 25or 30 small gifts.

Then one afternoon I would let them play holiday shop. I would set all the items out on my bed (except the "Mom" gifts), and let them come in one at a time to shop. I'd give them a gift bag, and let them select gifts for each of their siblings, and Dad.

You could let them pay for their purchases with allowance money, or by letting them earn tickets with good behavior, depending on their ages and how you handle money with your kids.

The reason I always got extra gifts is so that by the time the last kid shops, they still have things to choose from. Any extra gifts after the last of the kids has finished shopping can go in their stockings, or can be donated to any of the programs that collect toys and other goodies around the holidays.

The process is repeated when Dad helps them shop for gifts for Mom.

The Homemade Holiday Shop works out really great b/c
*the kids don't get so overstimulated,
*they can more easily think of those they want to buy for,
*you don't have to hear "Clean-up in aisle 2" and wonder what your six year old knocked over.

Hope this helps make your holiday shopping a little easier!

Image courtesy:


Don't forget to vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs! Just click on this brown button with the juggling chick. You can vote every day till like, forever.

Top Mommy Blogs - Click To Vote!



In case you didn't know it, I'm like the queen of blog-hoppin' lately. It's kind of like square dancing but without the dated outfits, smelly gym, and elderly caller.

Check out my full schedule over in my sidebar, and come join the fun!


Rudeness disclaimer:

I love all your comments,
I read every one!
But I can't hit 'reply',
I've no time for fun.
Please don't judge me,
Please don't hate.
If you have a question that just can't wait,
Send me an email at,
And I'll answer right back because I'm, you know, the Mom.


  1. I had only two kids and took them Christmas shopping one at a time to pick something out for each other ! Now they are young adults and getting harder to buy for lol ! Great post , Have a good day !

  2. I don't have kids of my own but I've taken kids shopping before, and this would have been great info to have then, ha-ha! While it's fun to watch kids figure money out ... it's also an extremely long and sometimes frustrating experience!! This would/will definitely make it more fun :)

  3. Hi Anne,
    What a great idea! My kids are still little, but I will keep this in mind.
    Thank you for linking up to the Thumping Thursdays blog hop.


  4. Great post, really laughed a bit with the "Clean up n Aisle 2" bit!

  5. Nice having you stop in, folks! Hope this was helpful to you now or someday later.

    Fort Western Stores, so nice having you join as a new follower! See you around!

  6. you are absolutely right! in fact, I spend more time chasing children than shoping when I take them with me. Since last year, I do all my shopping online and I save a lot of time, money and headache! I found a website that compiles inventories of all the best online stores. It is even easier to shop when looking for a product and you can see in one click how much it costs in all stores and it is placed the best price at first and more. I strongly suggest you visit this site to make your life easier and find everything you need in a few clicks and at best price! Hope this help you in your shopping. Go see

  7. Anne, this is a great idea! I can imagine your kids enjoyed it as much as you enjoyed not having to take them all shopping at once. Your joke about "clean up in aisle 2" was a hoot. Thanks for linking up this simple Christmas gift giving idea with the Mommy-Brain Mixer this week.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...