I waited until December to put out this Christmas post, although I have seen that some of our very eager friends already have all of their Christmas shopping and decorating done (insane!)
In our family we wait until December and then we go full-on Christmas with decorations, carols blasting on the radio, crafting, eggnog, festive recipes, etc. Since we have celebrated so many Christmas’ abroad we have come to see that, for us, this is the only way to get into the Christmas cheer on the boat without the snow and a 6ft tall tree.
Every year I try and outdo myself with getting personalized, unique, and meaningful gifts for everyone that are also purposeful (not buying stuff for the sake of buying stuff) and space-smart (have to be able to store them on a boat). Every year I find myself sifting through websites trying to find the newest things on the market that fit our needs and desires, and this year I’ve decided to make one of our own to share with you…in case anyone is at a loss and interested as to what will be under our tree.
These are all items that I have actually looked into and are sitting in my Amazon Cart waiting for Eben’s approval (I decided to do all my shopping online this year). I most likely won’t get all of these, since that would be too many Christmas gifts, but they are all very viable options. I have told Eben NOT to read this post and ruin his surprises and PLEASE, if you bump into us don’t mention any of this to the girls!!!
FOR THE KIDS: (Too many cool options for them right now, must dwindle down a few!)
-Arias is a pet lover. We go to the humane society weekly so that she can get her animal fix, but as of late that is not enough. She has asked Santa for a robot pet (since we won’t let her get a real one! No pets on this boat.) After reading lots of Amazon reviews I found that the Chip Dog by Wow Wee seems to be the coolest, most capable robot, that will not break within the first week of owning it. It’s a bit on the higher end of the price scale compared to other robot dogs, but that’s the thing, is that the other ones are not comparable, this one is of higher caliber in its tricks and durability.
-Ellia on the other hand asked for something much simpler, and cheaper from Santa. She requested a Reusable Sticker Book by Usborne. Mainly because Arias got one (ballerinas) for her birthday and she wants one of her own. The girls spend half an hour a day(may not sound like a lot but in “kid entertaining time” that’s gold) playing with Arias’ book, and so I can totally justify buying a second one for Ellia.
-Ellia loves food. LOVES it. 90% of her games revolve around food in one way or another. She has this cheap tea set that she uses every time we go to the beach, to make me every flavor of ocean tea possible. Over the years the pieces have started to go missing or breaking due to age and sun-damage. So it’s time to get her a new set, and to expand her tea shop with some bonuses. Instead of a tea set, I’m leaning towards this coffee set, because Mama can never have too much coffee. No just joking, I like this one because the cups are bigger and the set comes with treats that she can serve up, adding to the beach time fun. In addition, she will also get a Melissa & Doug Sand Cupcake set and/or their Sand Cookie Set. The more food options she has the better, and again, these are the types of toys that can keep her entertained for long periods of time, BONUS!
-We do A LOT of crafting. We do it as part of homeschooling, we do it for fun, we do it to create decorations, we do it on rainy days when we’re trapped inside, and the girls do it to pass the time. Every year I have to restock our supplies, and what we seem to go through the quickest is construction paper and crayons. The girls are finally old enough to delve into the world of markers without me having to worry too much about it ending up all over our settee, so I am finally going to get rid of the pencil case full of half-broken wax crayons and get them this beautiful Crayola art case. They will have every color and style of pencil/marker/crayon they could want, and the best part is that everything has its spot inside the case, meaning cleaning it all up and storing it after will be a breeze.
I’m a total sucker for any type of “toy” that has an educational side to it. This year I have come across three that are very interesting.
-The first are the Roominate sets. These are building sets geared towards girls, to encourage problem-solving, spatial and fine motor skills, creativity, and basic circuitry. Using these engineering skills kids can build all sorts of creations that actually come to (battery-powered) life after. How fun is that!
-The second is also made by Wow Wee (same at the Chip Dog above). It is the Coder Mip robot. This toy is a hands-on approach to teaching robotics and coding by allowing kids to customize their robots with different codes via the app. With the blog, coding has become part of what I do, and to introduce this to the girls at a young age I think could be quite beneficial. That and the fact that it’s a cool robot I think will make this present a winner for our entire family (I can easily see Eben playing with Coder Mip with the girls).
-The last of the three isn’t so much a toy, and I remember as a kid receiving books for Christmas was never the coolest present, but our girls both REALLY love the Now I Can Read books and so I think they would be excited to unwrap some. Arias has moved on to chapter books now, but Ellia is a beginner reader and these books make that fun with quirky stories and funny characters. They are “levelled readers” that build on themselves, so as she works her way through them she is broadening her reading skills. And as a fun extra, the box sets come in compact little boxes that store the books, keeping them from getting crinkled or humid on the boat.
-The final of the options for the girls’ presents, which would be a major one, are a couple of mermaid tails. The girls tried the monofin tails while we were in Tanzania. A friend of theirs had one, and ever since the girls have been saving up their every penny in the hopes of buying their own one day. It has been a slow process though since our girls don’t really get an allowance, so it has been them collecting gift money and such. We are considering helping them along by gifting them these for Christmas instead. Both of our girls are good swimmers and had no trouble adapting to swimming with a monofin on. The girls had a blast being mermaids and living on a sailboat, they have every opportunity to continuing doing so daily. There are so many brands out there, but the ones that the girls have used and loved were by Fin Fun. Instead of getting them just the tail, which you can buy, I am looking into the Deluxe set, which not only has the tail but also the matching swimsuit, teddy, backpack, storybook, and poster. I mean this Deluxe set could be all of their Christmas presents in one, which is something that is extremely attractive.
Looking over the above list now I definitely need to eliminate a few of those, because our girls definitely don’t need that many presents for Christmas. I’ll probably save the rest in my shopping cart for other times, like birthdays.
FOR EBEN: (Fewer options, because I know how his brain works and what he would see as a good gift and what would just be a waste of money)
-For the last year or so, Eben has been asking me to get him some sweat towels. But not just any sweat towels, he thinks it would be cool to have them monogrammed with our boat logo. Since I am not that level of crafty I enlisted some help! I got him three turkish towels (hand towel size) and got a seller on Etsy that will customize them with our logo for him. I figured these towels would be less bulky to carry around in his back pocket all day long.
-I have not chosen just the one yet, but I plan on getting him a beer flight on Amazon and getting a few different types of beer (on the island). We both enjoy our date nights where we go somewhere and sample different kinds of beer, this way we will able to have those same date nights, on our boat, after the kiddos have gone to bed.
-Usually, Eben and I both use Christmas as an excuse to get each other more perfume/cologne. One bottle a year is usually sufficient as we don’t wear the stuff every day, just those days when we go out and don’t want to smell like sailors! It’s our way of going incognito! I will most likely get him a bottle from the local perfumer since we are on a tax-free island, it will be cheaper than getting it shipped in. Eben is known for always smelling so good, and lately, he has been doing that with the scents of Paco Raban.
I’ll also try and find him some chocolate covered cherries, as an evil inside joke. Growing up he received them every Christmas even though he doesn’t like them…it’s my way to keep that funny tradition alive! LOL!
FOR ME: (No, I’m not buying myself anything, just things on my wish list)
I can’t say that I have many requests, I’m pretty happy with what I have, our boat is well established now, so any gift will just be an added bonus.
The little things that I can think of are: a Rainbow gift card (an island clothing store that I always seem to return to!), After Eights (Christmas tradition for me), and a bottle of Bailey’s and I would be one very happy lady.
These are the things that will be under our Christmas tree this year, but as I said, our boat is pretty set up now, so we don’t need a lot of extras. I will write up a separate post of things that we already own on our boat that will be a more “Boater” specific gift list in case you are wondering what to get that extra salty partner of yours.