By Jen P., Charlotte Smarty Pants
Christmas is my Smarty F-A-V-O-R-I-T-E time of year and gift-giving is the best part of it. I would so much rather give a gift then to receive one. There is nothing better than to see the pure joy when someone opens a gift that you hand-picked. I wish I had a million dollars so I could buy everybody I know fabulous gifts!
Age 7+, entering the new "tween" age, puts you at a new level of gifts and often times, a higher price tag. We have always stuck with one or two Santa gifts plus stocking gifts. This will definitely pay out as we enter the age of electronics and accessories with the higher prices.
-Luggage - Peep this presh duffle or you can start a Vera Bradley collection. Both can be monogrammed and are collectible over the years. They are great for camp, car travel, and sleep-overs and these can even make it to college!
-Mono'd fleece blankets
-Zebra Cupcake Kit - Such a great gift for the fashionista chef, kit comes with delish cupcakes and all the fixings all wrapped up in a groovy zebra lunchbox.
-Mono'd bracelet and ring - So cute!
-Polka dot Chuck Taylors - the hippest shoes at our school, girls and boys alike. Although you may have to pick a more masculine flavor for boys than dots;)
-Karaoke Machine - This may be a better gift for mom, but only if we could download the 80's tunes!
-Perfume - I pick flavors that I like since I'm the one smelling it the most, Lilly Pulitzer is top of our list. Nothing worse than when she enters the car after a 3-scent blend!
-Girls Day Out with mani/pedis - My girls love these. Add lunch and it's a special treat!
Northface Jacket - Nothing screams C-O-O-L like a Northface jacket. Northface is the coveted brand of jackets this season.
Gamefly.com - Video Game Rentals delivered to your door. What could be better than this?!
Street-Surfing Whiplash Scooter - Very hip new twist on the 'ole scooter your boys will be sure to love.
Electric Razor Scooter - Get your OrthoCarolina number handy and ready, these bad-boys are crazy fast! This was the HOTTEST item at our school fundraiser last month, they had to pull it out of the silent auction and into the live auction!
Nintendo DSi: This is the best purchase I have ever made. My kids are very outdoorsy so I don’t risk creating a couch potato! Just remember, you can control the amount of time your kids play with video games. I would definitely recommend getting the “i” version. This has a camera and texting capabilities and is just super cool. Great family gifts b/c you can always use a new game. My girls’ favorite game is Kirby. It’s highly addicting!
Wii gaming systems: Great family gift, has games for all ages to enjoy. I’m actually putting Guitar Hero 5 top of MY Christmas list: new tunes include Duran Duran, Tom Petty, Elton John, Coldplay, need I say more!
iPod Nano w/Speaker – It’s time to throw out the old cd player and get with the times! The Nano is the ticket for your tweens , comes in all colors. If you buy a speaker, it can replace your old stereo system. We often hijack the girls’ portable speakers whenever we go out of town – great to bring your entire music library on the go.
Nikon Coolpix - It will be nice to finally get your child a cam of his own. I'm so tired of saying "be careful, don't drop that!" when I really mean is "get your hands off my camera!"
Netbook - Again, wish I had a million bucks here because I would actually invest in a new iMac for the fam. However, times are tight and this Netbook looks like the ticket with it's $329 price tag and free shipping. Again, so tired of fighting over my stuff - they totally need their own computer to work on at this age. Make sure you set up parental security settings right out of the box. Once they learn how to spell "naked", you better supervise every second of internet surf time!
The TSP girls recommend Images Books from Hearthsong – Rachel ordered these for her niece, who is 10. She had the books open and was hard at work coloring with her colored pencils in no time! You can get books similar to these in other stores, but this specific brand is my favorite because you use the patterns to create your own design instead of the design already being designated for you.
Activities - We've mentioned this in previous gift posts and they work for all ages. Send hints to grandparents about the YMCA dance program, soccer, gymnastics, etc. Also consider your dance studio of choice, gymnastics studio of choice, tae kwon do, etc. Everybody sells gift cards and this will be $ well spent.
Happy shopping, Smarties and share your ideas too! We'd love to hear what your all-time fave gifts are!