This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Best Christmas Present Ever!

Our new Cle*rPlay DVD player is awesome! I can't wait for Santa to bring it for the kids! I found a used one on Eb*y and started downloading filters. Originally I was thinking it would just be great for expanding the kids' movie repertoire to include PG-13 movies, but Hubby and I have used it to watch a couple of rated R movies and while it cut out a lot of the movie, it still made sense and was entertaining, so as long as the basic themes are appropriate it might be OK. Either way, I can't believe how many movies are actually PG-13.

The cool part is that now I can buy older DVDs that we couldn't watch before (used DVDs from S*lv*tion Army or $3 movies from Big L*ts). Since they're not new releases they're MUCH cheaper. This has really increased my options for my teens- who mostly asked for expensive electronic stuff we couldn't afford.

To try to handle gifts in my house without going overboard, I use an Excel spreadsheet. I have 2 columns for each child. One with the gifts I plan to get them, and a second column that I move the items to as I purchase them. This way I don't end up buying more than I intended to, or horrors! "shortchanging" one child.

There's a row for:

  • Christmas Eve gifts (pajamas and a book).

  • Santa presents (Santa tells me in advance - to prevent duplicates). He gave us the Cle*rplay player in advance so we could get the filters loaded, nnd he'll bring the kids a couple of DVDs.

  • Grandparent gift (grandparents sent us a financial gift and we purchase a gift for each child and us from it - and the leftovers we can use for whatever we need - LOVE IT!)

  • Gifts 1-3 (each child gets 3 gifts from us. It was good enough for Jesus.)

  • Stocking Stuffers - I help Santa with this.

  • There's an additional section for other family members (Grandparents and little brother, sis and her family, Hubby and I. -Yes, I buy my own gifts. I get Bob to wrap them for me though.).

We also have Christmas lists aka Santa letters for the kids, but adults are supposed to write lists too. I didn't realize this wasn't normal for every family until recently when my sister's new husband questioned it (he didn't write a list either so I really struggled with what to get him. I can handle people I know without a list, but I don't know my BIL that well yet).

My Dad's love language is gifts so we're used to him telling us exactly what he wants. My stepmom makes it really easy by sending different lists to everyone so I don't have to worry that my sister got him the same thing! Convenient, right?

Hi Mary, Remember how your dad always has things on his list that are no fun to buy, but that he really, really wants? Well, for him for Christmas he has specified the following: Megui*r's web site -- 1) "Gold Class" Carnauba wax (G7014); 2) SwirlX (G17616); 3) Soft Buff Towels (X2050). Use code VYX for free shipping. So I send you those as a suggestion for him. For me -- easy! I love books, so a gift certificate to a good bookstore would be great. For {New Little Brother} -- any xbox 360 game, (not all are expensive), I don't recommend any baseball equip(I know he's obsessed with baseball so I'd asked). He has alot, and our neighbors work for Sp*rts Auth*rity and bring him the neatest things free because the store is changing seasons.

Hubby was frustrating for me this year, because he doesn't want clothes (bad memories from childhood) even though he needs them. He has very little time for hobbies, except scuba diving, which is pretty expensive and very specific, and food/candy is good, but of course too much isn't good for him. I ended up just telling him to pick out some movies while we were shopping for the kids at a used movie/game store. *sigh* I prefer to find great gifts that will be a surprise.



Now all I have to do is wrap it all! Luckily Bob apparently got my "wrapping gene" and volunteered to do all my wrapping (she can't wrap her siblings presents though). Unluckily, she got overwhelmed (My sister has 5 kids and we got them a bunch of little gifts) and apparantly bored, and now there's wrapping mess in the family room, and a ton more presents to wrap.

Well, better go. I'm being naughty and extended my bedtime curfew. Gotta run upstairs!

Finally got Christmas pictures and post them tomorrow!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Funny how every kid is different, and also each adult, too. My second son likes surprises so he doesn't give me a list at all. He asked for one game, so that'll be his Santa gift. He's 22. The rest of us make lists. I expect to get what I ask for, but Duane likes to surprise me so I get lots of items I would never ask for. The secret is to just go with whatever the recipient enjoys, while still having fun giving!