I sorted and wrapped Danny's holiday and birthday presents today. Lucky kid, an inter-faith family that celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah, and a birthday smack in the middle-how cool. I don't like December to become a big month-long toy fest, so I always make sure he gets educational presents as well...like these animal kingdom cards, for example. We bought these in a second hand store before Danny was even born. I've waited five long years to see the look of wonder on his face Christmas morning as he tears away the wrapping paper and sees his early 1970's treasure.
Then again, movies make a swell gift. I must admit, I got a laugh wrapping this in Disney paper-like I've comitted some sort of heresy. In case you're wondering (I'm sure you are) I bought Danny the dubbed version because although he can read fairly well, subtitles is asking a lot of a five year old.
Vintage board games are nice too.
Before you assume I'm the world's cruelest parent, let me assure you he is not going without toys and enjoyable gifts. For Christmas I bought Danny a Thomas The Tank Engine flashlight, snowshoes, story tapes, playing cards, and a vintage light-brite knock-off I found for three bucks. For his Birthday, Danny is getting my microscope (supervised use only, of course), a recorder (instrument) bongo drums (yeah, I don't know what I was thinking either) and a tambourine. He's also getting some movies. Hanukkah, we stick to small gifts-two yo-yo's (yes, they were mine and yes, they are real Duncan yo-yo's), some light-up lollipops, stickers, a set of pick-up-sticks, and a mancala set. So here's the fun part-everything (granted, some of it was mine as a child) including the er...gently used wrapping paper, came in around twenty bucks. The flashlight was the most expensive item. I'm a firm believer in buying things when you see them, and then hiding them in the attic. I have some sturdy metal shelving upstairs (where Danny is not allowed) where I keep my sorted toys, learning materials, etc. I'm never without a gift for Danny or anyone else, really. I also detest holiday shopping, malls and the like.
Now I have two weeks to focus on the birthday cake.