Terrible, I know. I'm terrible.
I have a sort of unstable homeschool/craft supplies budget, taken entirely from whatever money that I earn from my freelance writing, etsy sales, and blog advertising each month. My tricky trick is that for the couple of months before Christmas, I sneak away the purchases made from that budget into the Christmas stash. Our wonderful family gifts the girls with a few wonderful toys (or science projects, or books, or art supplies, since I send my mother a selection of catalogs in mid-October)--
--and it's very exciting, as you can see--
--but other than a couple of small, sweet treasures that are just for loving--
--our gifts (and Santa's gifts, too, oddly enough...) are the kinds of homeschool enrichment supplies that little unschoolers love the best:
Look--Santa loves the Clickety Clack etsy shop as much as I do!
Other Christmas treasures included a big snap circuit electronics kit, a magnetism project set, sketch pads and a gigantic box of crayons, a nice new leaf press (from my mother), a miniature cupcake maker for the young chef (also from my mother), an art sticker book, magnetic pattern blocks, real clown make-up, a pogo stick (much, MUCH more on that later) and this most special gift, something that I just knew would be perfect for my big girl:
A thrilling new hobby, yes?
To their credit, my generous girls have always been just as excited about seeing others open the presents they've made or chosen for them as they are opening their own. In particular, this year I let the girls choose whatever they wanted for their father (subtracting their own outrageous purchases from my own budget for him, ahem). Each girl chose for him one ridiculous flashlight, one giant bag of Twizzlers (EACH!!!), and one LEGO set--they know him THAT well. I love listening to the selling points of this pricey LEGO set:
My own favorite part of Christmas morning is witnessing how well those little girls love each other, whether it's spending a very long time decorating a present with an elaborate picture of a dragon, for the girl who loves dragons--
--to the other one spending her own money to buy her sister a very unusual gift that's just right:
And yes, yes it begins crazy with the presents, but from the Game of Thrones box set for Matt (which I immediately stole from him) to the picture book about weather for Sydney to this brand-new book from Willow's Grandma Janie and her Poppa--
--this is always how Christmas morning ends in our family.
At least until the feast!