We did our Christmas shopping a little differently this week. Taking advice from another large family, we divided our kids into two teams.
Mom's Team: Eden (12), Zeke (8), Malachi (4), Obadiah (8 months)
Dad's Team: Micah (14), Caleb (almost 11), Josh (6), Tirzah (2)
We had a suggestion box where kids have contributed ideas for each other for the past couple weeks. I opened the box and made lists for each team. We set as a rough goal something fun, something useful, and something educational for each person. But it was just a guide...we didn't stick to this plan strictly. Mitch and I each had other guidelines--not to expensive, not too many parts, and not too much noise. :)
We split our teams and did our shopping yesterday (maybe next year we will pick a different day). It went over fairly well, but Mitch's team did need a little rescue from mom. Once my team finished, Eden babysat for me at home while I tried to help Mitch complete his list and cheer their spirits.
Coming home again was the part we didn't prepare for so well. Too many chatter boxes wanted to tell about the presents they had bought. Some of them were a little too young to get it. This is the conversation we had this morning...Mitch and I listening/responding from our bedroom, the little guys out in the living room (a "shout" away).
Zeke: MOM! Malachi told Josh what his presents are!
Mom: Did he tell him everything? What did he tell him?
Zeke: Yes, he told him everything!
Malachi (remember he is shouting): Nuh-uh! I didn't tell him about the ball for his pet!
Oye. We just laid our heads back and laughed. We deciding the snooping, secrets, etc, is just part of the fun and will be a part of Christmas as long as there are gifts. (But we still encouraged them that they really should not, that it steals joy away from the giver.)