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Countdown Advent(ures) 2016

>We legitimately try not to spoil Little L too much, although the temptation is definitely there since she's our one and only. For her part, Little L doesn't ask for too much either; she still has zero exposure to commercials so she has no idea what popular toys she's "missing out" on. She doesn't have any interest in going to ToysRUs or the local toy store situated a mere four blocks away, and she prefers books and stickers to just about anything else in the world.

What then is one to do about her Christmas gifts? I have family members and friends who want to bless her with presents but haven't a clue where to begin with my curious little lady. 

As her mama, I am at a loss too. I am still mid-purge with her old toys, so I'm not keen to lose the space I'm only now reclaiming. I also strive to find a balance between being extravagant and practical, intentional and fun. It is no easy task.

This year, because of our travel plans over the holidays, I didn't want to save up Little L's gifts for the 25th. I also take issue with kids opening a bazillion presents all on one day; it is overwhelming and doesn't allow for the practice of appreciation and gratitude. On top of all that, I also prefer experience gifts to toys. 

All of these factors led me to devise a 25-day advent with a mixture of gifts and experiences leading up to our Christmas flight. I tried to balance big ticket presents with small, practical gifts, and costly experiences with more cost-effective ones. As it so happened, many of our annual Christmas traditions happened to fall nicely into this advent schedule, so they became a part of her countdown calendar quite seamlessly. 

Here then, in no particular order, are the gifts and experiences that make up Little L's 2016 Christmas present:

A bamboo spork for her school lunches*
A pair of grippy Christmas slipper socks
An Easy-Bake oven (on sale for $19.99!)
A box of Christmas bandaids
Usborne sticker and activity books*
A robe*
An Elephant and Piggie book*
Some winter accessories for our snowy travels*

Two "Yes!" days to be claimed*
A trip to the Vancouver Christmas Market (which has turned into multiple trips)*
Movie night at home with popcorn and hot chocolate*
Baking sugar cookies with Mommy*
Decorating a mini gingerbread village*
Making Christmas crack chocolate bark with Mommy

While that list may seem extravagant, note the asterisks behind some of them; these would be things and activities we would have done anyway as part of our holiday traditions, so they're actually just being reframed as gifts! 

I've also been tasked with getting Little L some gifts on behalf of family, and a few of the things I will be looking to pick up during our travels include:

- kinetic sand
- pajamas
- more sticker books
- baking mixes for her Easy Bake
- LEGO sets
- a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 polaroid camera (it will be her gift from Nana and YeYe)
- a stuffed whale from Finding Dory

... And now I'm out of ideas. Little L also has a birthday in early Feb.?!?!

What are you gifting your littles with this Christmas? I seek gift inspo! 


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