I am a total gift-giver love language and struggle every single holiday to not go totally overboard with gift buying.
Combine my love of gift-giving with my love of finding good deals and I’m in mega trouble 😉
I thought it’d be fun, and possibly helpful to others, to start sharing what I buy each year!
I have TONS of gift guides (all of which I’ll link at the end of this post!) but it’s also super fun to see what people are purchasing NOW. For this year! I figured this post would also help me in updating my gift guides as well as creating additional ones in the future 🙂
I want to preface this post by saying that, yes, I go overboard. I grew up with divorced parents who BOTH were gift-givers. My little brother and I woke up on two Christmas mornings with a living room overfilled with presents. I grew up with Carnival Christmases and I do continue that with my own children.
We do not buy our children things throughout the year. They very, very rarely get an item “just because” and never buy things from us while visiting a store on an errand run. I even save book buying for holidays – they get a HUGE box of books each year to last ’em till the next Christmas.
I also love bargain hunting and strive to find the best prices on items! I can assure you if I’ve bought it, I didn’t pay full price.
I also like to buy for ALL holidays. I have two December birthdays, 1 March and 1 July. I buy year-round as I see things and save ’em and spread ’em out. This post covers ALL I bought for ALL holidays. Christmas, birthdays, etc! I usually save items for Valentine’s Day and Easter too!
I’m also including in this post items that my MIL or other family members are purchasing as well as items the kids have on their Santa lists! Basically, I’m putting it ALL in here!
Everyone does things differently for their own celebrations. We have cut back significantly on what I buy and I limit the kids to what they ask for to allow for more fun surprises 🙂
However, I know I still do more than most and I fully own that and also won’t apologize for it. I know I get eye rolls and judgments and that’s okay – we can each do things the way we do them for our own families!
I have a solid budget system in place for our holiday spending and with my deal finding do a pretty solid job of staying within that budget. If you don’t currently budget for the holiday season I recommend reading this post – it’ll make buying gifts sooooo much less stressful each year 🙂
I also have a budget for each child but don’t spend equally on them. Some kids’ stuff is much cheaper than others so I lump all the budget together rather than focus on spending a set amount per child.
I am, though, all about keeping the number of gifts they open even! This means the cheaper item kids often have multiple items in a box. I will typically wrap several books together or several items that are the same theme or can go together in the same box in order to help keep the number of gifts even.
We enjoy taking turns opening and that way everyone gets the same amount of turns!
Some gifts this year are experience-type gifts (Britt is going to see FSU play in the ACC Championship for her birthday and Kye went to Disney with his BFF Cousin for his birthday) and some items were purchased at Disney World and are only available in the parks so that is why some kids lists may seem larger or smaller than others!
Now that my warnings and over-explaining myself moments are out of the way – let’s jump right in!
What I’m Buying for my 14 Year Old Boy – Kye
Arcade1Up NBA JAM: This wasn’t something I planned on purchasing or that he asked for. We have a new house and a “man cave” that we want to have some fun games for and this happened to be on crazy good deal for under $100 so I grabbed it as a surprise gift!
USB Hub: This age is when he’s starting to ask for practical gifts and I’m not mad about it 😉
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Nerf Elite Double Punch: This was on his list – how much longer will my teenager realllllly ask for Nerf guns? Of course it was instantly added to cart! (If you’re buying Nerf guns be sure to read this post about our scary experience!)
Gaming Headphone Stand: Another one on his list and I love a good affordable “fun” present!
Everspace for PS4: I’m a “mean mom” when it comes to gaming but I have started to allow T rated games as long as the T isn’t for sexual content. This is a flying strategy game so we’re in the clear!
Splatoon 3 for Switch: This one my MIL is purchasing for him as it was on his list and is another great game option.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope: Another Switch game that he asked for (and is rated for everyone!) this is another G-Mama present
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: I love that Kye asks for the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book every single year. This series is one he re-reads regularly! Looking for preteen/teen boy book ideas? Here are his recommendations!
Fishing Rod: Kye has joined a bass fishing team and for his big Santa gift asked for his own rod/reel combo. Thankfully he and I ran into a friend at the store when we were browsing who helped us figure out a great beginner rod!
Horizon Foribben West PS4: Kye got the original game for his birthday and LOVED it so I grabbed him the 2nd one for Christmas!
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Basketball: I had no idea you need a specific ball to play outdoors but Kye has been playing basketball everyday at home so this was one of those “we need this so I’m going to wrap it up and call it a gift” presents.
Star Wars Pinball: Yes this is a HUGE gift. In fact, it’s THE most pricey present I’ve ever purchased. BUT we really want our “man cave” to be a fun hang out spot for the kids and their friends and this will be PERFECT! It’s really a gift for the entire family 😉
Goodr Sunglasses: An excellent “guy gift!” I bought him a pair for his birthday and they’ve gotten scratched up with how much he’s worn them so G-Mama is getting him some new ones!
PS4 Cooling Fan: Another practical gift for a gamer to help keep the system from overheating!
Retro Arcade: This was a birthday gift and Kye loved it! The reviews are fantastic and the quality is awesome – a great fun game that can be used for travel too.
The Bonus Gifts
I admit it, I’m the worst about sticking to a budget and a decently lower gift count and then just going wild as Christmas approaches!
I always tend to wanna add “just one more fun thing”
Here’s Kye’s this year – I got him this drone and the reviews say it’s excellent for beginners!
What I’m Buying for my 12 Year Old Girl – Britt
Flared Leggings: This brand is fantastic with awesome quality – I own several of their leggings and when Britt asked for clothes this year I grabbed these on sale for her! Love that they come in short lengths too 🙂
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Hair Straightening Brush: Britt asked for hot tools for hair and I think this is perfect for a beginner in the hair styling world! I asked around and everyone who I spoke with agreed! I also grabbed this heat protection spray for her too.
Apple Watch Band: We are a pretty hardcore delay smartphone for as long as possible family so we love using our smartwatch instead as a way to communicate (especially at Disney!). This band is super cute and will also stay securely on her wrist.
Smiley Face Slippers: Britt received these slippers as a gift from a friend last year and LOVES them. She wears them all the time and now that her foot has grown she needs a new pair. My niece loves them so much when she comes over that I bought her a pair for Christmas too!
Best Sweatshirt: Now that Britt has asked for clothes for gifts I HAD to get her the best sweatshirt! These run big on purpose but you can size down if you don’t want them too roomy. I got her an xs because she does like the baggy look.
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Kendra Scott Necklace: I love Kendra Scott jewelry both for myself and for gifts. Britt is really into football (Go Noles) and she and I saw this necklace while out shopping together. Her face lit up when she saw it so I’m excited for her to open it!
Hoop Earrings: I try to slow roll things with my kids to allow them to be milestone moments. Britt got her ears pierced when she was 9 but hasn’t owned any hoop earrings yet. This adorable huggie set is perfect!
The Bonus Gifts
Britt casually mentioned she saw these awesome Harry Potter books and, naturally, I hadddd to add to cart!
She also mentioned really wanting a soft, cozy blanket for her room. Her bedroom is Harry Potter themed but I found this Florida State blanket that has color schemes that will go with her room while also representing for the Noles!
What I’m Buying for my 9 Year Old Girl – Tess
Holiday Barbie: Tess found my collection of collectible Barbie dolls when we moved and she was so shocked that I never played with them. So she asked for her own collectible Barbie in order to take her out of the packaging and PLAY 🙂
Wall Mount Ring Sling Game: A friend had this at their home and Tess LOVED it. It’s a great addition to our back porch as it gives guests a fun, simple game to enjoy. We gave this to Tess for her 9th birthday!
Reusable Water Balloons: This was another birthday gift but has been a fantastic one. Worth the hype and so fun!
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Large 26 inch Squishmallow: When it comes to Squishmallows apparently kids can never have too many and they can never be big enough. Tess uses hers for pillows! This is a surprise gift I know she’ll love
Karaoke Machine: We’ve owned a couple of karaoke machines over the years but I love that this one is so small and simple! No wires or complicated buttons or plugs. Bluetooth for the win! I got the option with two mics so she can sing along with her siblings!
Scooter: Tess is in denial about getting bigger and wanted a new scooter that still has a wider standing area. It was tricky to find one that should expand tall enough for her and still have the features she was wanting. I’m crossing my fingers this one works!
Matching PJs with Mommy: Tess is my hardest kid to buy for because she’s not super into something and is also just TOO easy and just likes everything! I want to do something for her that she will really LOVE and that is tricky to figure out. I decided to buy her this set of pjs that match the ones the kids bought me for my birthday. I’m gifting her a special sleepover night with Mommy where we will wear our pjs, eat popcorn and watch a movie of her choosing and then sleep in Mommy’s bed together on a night when Daddy is traveling. I hope she likes it!
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Slippers: My neice asked for these slippers for Christmas and Tess saw me order them and said she’d like them too! They are so cute and will help her stay comfortable with our hardwood floors and avoid slipping on the stairs.
Wish Graphic Novel: Our family really enjoyed the new Disney Wish movie and Tess loves graphic novels so I ordered her this book – it doesn’t release until Jan 4th so I’m printing off a picture of it and it’ll be a fun post-Christmas gift to receive!
The Bonus Gifts
I struggle with Tess the most and I chatted it over with a friend who recommended this game! I think she’ll enjoy it and it’ll give her something to do just for herself 😉 I also wrapped it with the Hardest Hidden Picture book as she enjoys brain puzzles!
Tess really loves any sort of bag and is really into American Girl dolls so I found her this book bag set that has a matching book bag for herself and one of her dolls! I’m also wrapping it with this adorable gerbil
What I’m Buying for my 6 Year Old Boy – Spear
Pokemon Cards: I know nothing about these – but lucky for me neither does he. Kye gave him some random cards he had during our move and Spear says “I’m into Pokemon Cards.” He loves to look at them and carry them places (and then promptly lose them). So I got him this storage binder too.
Storage Shed: How many 6-year-olds ask for a storage shed from Santa? Spear “researched” them himself and wants his own place to keep all of his “tools”
Scooter: Tess is asking for a new scooter and Spear said he wants one too – his got tossed in our move because it was left outside so long it rusted. Pretty confident this one will face that same fate (unless he does, by chance, put that storage shed to use!) so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on this and bought the one that had the best deal and that came in red (his fav color)
Paver Construction Truck: Spear specifically asked for a “paver truck” and I love this brand as they tend to hold up pretty well and aren’t crazy expensive so it doesn’t hurt my heart when they do end up broken!
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Glow Ceiling Stickers: Spear inherited Kye’s old bedroom set when we moved and Kye had a set of these stickers on the bottom of his top bunk that have literally stuck (and continued working) for a decade! I wanted to get Spear a new set to add to them.
Animal Planet Shark Submarine Set: This one he did ask for! He loves playing with these sorts of toys in the bathtub and shower!
Arcade Claw Game: I’m actually pretty excited about this as I think it’s a toy that ALL the kids will love and enjoy. It’s a real working claw game and comes with little containers to put prizes in and the review say it legit works!
Recycling Truck: This is another item Spear did “research” on. We decided on this one because it is easy to operate and can open and shut to dump the trash in.
Sled Junior Fishing Shelter: This title makes me laugh because we live in South Georgia and it’s a gift for a 6 year old. But we have friends who have one of these and Spear used it in their pool and LOVED it. I had to get it as his surprise gift from Mommy!
12V Dump Truck: We swore we wouldn’t own any more power wheels type vehicles but here we are. When we moved we threw all of ours away because they haven’t worked in ages and even replacement batteries won’t help ’em. Spear rescued one from the trash pile and has been PUSHING it around our yard. So we’re letting Santa bring this dump truck for him 🙂
Dinosaur Airplane Launcher: This looks so fun and the reviews talk about how it’s easy to assemble but also a cute, quick quality time moment together. Which I love! I can picture Spear on Christmas morning in his pajamas rushing outside to play with this.
The Bonus Gifts
Can’t leave Spear out of a few bonus presents! I scooped him up this fun forklift toy set that he’ll enjoy!
I LOVE buying gifts and have put together several gift guides over the years to help give others gift ideas and hopefully make this time of the year a little less stressful 🙂
Here are ALL my gift guides – sure to cover everyone on your list this holiday season!
- Best Stocking Stuffer Gifts
- Gift Ideas for Kids Who Have Everything
- Favorite Things Party Gift Ideas
- Gift Ideas for Parents , Grandparents and Inlaws
- 8 Year Old Gift Ideas
- Best Gift Ideas for 7 Year Old Girls and Boys
- Best 6 Year Old Gift Ideas
- Best 5 Year Old Gift Ideas