Bubbles & Jesus Turn Eight…….And Presently Speaking

Sorry I’ve been missing in action the past couple of days. My mom is in town and yesterday we began the season of birthdays that my family celebrates. My youngest two had their golden birthday yesterday (eight on the eighth!) so we’re smack dab in the middle of birthday week.

Before we start our Wednesday discussion about keeping our holiday priorities straight and making them easier to navigate, I thought I’d show you a few pictures from our day. I took them with my phone (still having camera issues) so the quality isn’t great, but we’ll get through this.

The kids decided to take Krispy Kreme doughnuts to school to share with their friends yesterday. When we went to pick them up Monday afternoon, I asked the cashier if it was true that they gave away a free doughnut for every A on a report card. This was a fact, which was music to my A Honor Roll students’ ears! We left with 21 free glazed doughnuts. So on birthday eve, visions of sugar-coated goodness danced in their sweet little heads. We decided that we’d begin the day with a celebratory birthday doughnut so they could practice blowing out candles.

I’ll fast forward through the day to save time. We opened presents last night and they both seemed happy with their gifts.


The boys, however, were not happy to see that Grammy had bought their sister the Justin Bieber movie.

That was a speedy trip through the day. I didn’t linger long because I don’t have long to stay today and because thinking about the fact that my babies are eight sends me very close to the edge and I don’t have a lot of time to spend in an emotional state today.

So moving on…..

Let’s talk presents. This may be a more-than-one-week discussion.

I’ll start. I do not have all of my presents purchased. I am not one of those people who has all the presents bought and wrapped before Thanksgiving. In the past, you may have found me looking for last minute gifts on Christmas Eve, but that’s not usually the case anymore. I don’t mind shopping in the Christmas crowds, unless I’m looking for something specific that has already been purchased by every other person and I’m in panic mode.

A few years ago, we decided to try to limi the number of  our immediate family gifts to three. The three gift limit helps us from going overboard and it also reminds us of the wisemen’s visit to Jesus because they brought three gifts. We let the kids make a wish list and then Kelly and I sit down and decide on three gifts that we will give them and three gifts for Santa to give them. We also do stocking stuffers, which are just little, inexpensive gifts I’ve picked up along the year. If I don’t shop with a specific list in mind, I don’t know how to stop shopping and I always overbuy.

I have to buy for sixteen kids for Kelly’s family. This year, I bought the girls bracelets from a store in town that sells jewelry made by women in Africa. They make beads out of magazines and create beautiful pieces of jewelry with them. I’m also giving them each a ring I made from buttons. As soon as I finish making the rings, that is. I’d like to do a similar gift for the boys….something that I can either make or buy that will benefit someone else. Any ideas?

How many of you already all have of your gifts purchased? How many of you will still be purchasing on Christmas Eve? Do you all have a gift limit? Do you make lists or buy as you see something that catches your eye? Do you buy online or from the stores? Do you give homemade gifts? Any favorites that you’d like to tell us about?

Next time, I want to talk about ways to teach our children about giving back during this season. I have a few ideas but I can’t wait to hear yours!



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14 responses to “Bubbles & Jesus Turn Eight…….And Presently Speaking

  1. nwhannas

    16 kids? Isn’t that a small country somewhere?
    I’ve barely started shopping. But I love perusing every last catalog (even though I nearly never buy what’s in them) for ideas. Most of my Christmas is imagined, and then there’s a rush of about a week when I get it all finished in a flurry of sweaty activity and muttering under my breath. Vowing to change that.

    • whimzie

      A small country of the Duggars. Wait. That’s not enough kids to be the Duggars.

      I still have barely made a dent in the shopping but I’m just not as alarmed as I thought I would be. It will get done. It always does.

      “Most of my Christmas is imagined.” There’s a whole book in that little quote right there, Jewels. Yep. That’s a good way to put it.

  2. Sara Campbell

    I can say whole-heartedly that when Jesus says he gives back when we leave father and mother for his sake, it is so true. I have had 1 Christmas back home since we left 14 yrs ago, but He has made Christmas here so very special. Nothing commercial around. We cling to our team here like family, knowing we have to make it special b/c we all miss home. It is amazing. For the kids, we normally get them 3 gifts…some type of toy, some piece of clothing, and some type of educational thing. We sing to the youngest Campbell that morning to wake him/her up, Away in a Manger, with Ross on guitar. I can’t wait for Christmas!!!

    • whimzie

      That sounds absolutely beautiful, Sara. I can just hear “Away in a Manger.”

      I think one of my friends does the “something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read” system of gift giving.

      By the way, I’m bidding on The Birds’ Christmas Carol on eBay. I’d never even heard of it until you mentioned it.

  3. Sami

    I’m almost done with my shopping. Usually if I buy something too early I end up giving it early. Especially if it’s for Frank! My sister and I have always bought a lot of little things… well, fairly little. We never had gifts that were really expensive. CD’s and DVD’s are not stocking stuffers!! Those are actual gifts! I will always shop until the last minute just because it’s fun. That’s another problem with me shopping early. It just goes on and on. Frank is an only child and now his parents just come with my family wherever we are. We’ve been able to still be with my mom’s fam and my dad’s fam every year but it has just gotten too hard. And my sister is now in Georgia with my parents. So this will be the first year that we will not be with extended family. It happened once when we were snowed in one year in college but that’s it! And now that I wrote a novel… 🙂

    • whimzie

      Yes! If I buy too early, I just keep on buying right on through Christmas Eve and I don’t have the discipline to put stuff up until next year. Plus I’d just forgot I bought it or where I put it.

      It may be just our little family of five this Christmas for the first time ever.

  4. Haven’t bought a single thing and I’m in a knot over it.
    My baby turned 8 a month ago and I’m still in denial.

    • whimzie

      Babies shouldn’t be allowed to turn 8 and that’s all there is to it.

      I’m not that much further along the shopping trail than I was when I wrote this post, sadly. But I just can’t seem to get that knotty about it.

  5. Becky Smith

    I made domino necklaces for some of my family one year (Key chains for the guys). Temporary tattoos can be put on the dominos after painting and are permanent after being mod podged or some other protective coating. I love making things for others. My son, nephew, and I even made a simpler version for the kids at my son’s school to sell in order to purchase a memorial for a student who lost his battle with cancer. His support group was called “Trey’s troops” so we painted on a green or pink camo pattern.

  6. Lydia

    I have not bought a single thing, nothing. It could be the trouble of how we are supposed to tote presents 2,000 miles to Atlanta, Georgia and two of my kids want guitars!The whole question is do we give them the big present in advance and then give them little stuff for the day. Christmas was always a big deal at my house and I am bummed that they might not have a big surprise present ,on the other hand toting the big present isn’t going to happen. sigh what to do what to do. Besides that I am still in culture shock with American Christmas. I better get with it soon.

    • whimzie

      The year we lived in Massachusetts, all three kids got Nintendos so we gave them early so they could play with them on the unbelievably long trek to the grandparents’.

      That’s the big reason we decided to tell everyone we could do extended family Christmases any other time besides Christmas. It’s not a lot of fun hauling that stuff around and trying to keep it secret.

      If I were you, I would try not to get too used to American Christmases. I think it may be in need of an overhaul. It can really get out-of-hand.

  7. Alex

    I am just writing to say how I love the title of this post, Bubbles and Jesus turn 8. I think it must be because I so love Bubbles and Jesus… and their brother… and their mom and dad.

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