How I Do Christmas Presents

Every year around this time, I hear parents freaking out about what to buy their children for Christmas. What are they going to do when they can not buy the latest “IT” toy. And how are they going to top what they did last year for Christmas. It takes the fun out of Christmas to be honest. My favorite is how much they have overspent on the presents they have bought so far and are still not done. My kids are like most kids in the US, they have everything they truly need.

Last year I decided to start doing Christmas for my kids differently. I got tired of looking at all the toys that I spent so much money on that got broken or ditched all too quickly. I realized that I wanted to do something from my heart for them. We tried something different. I could either completely redo their bedrooms for Christmas (and they would still get one or two presents under the tree) or I could give them regular presents under the tree. There was a catch though, if they choose their rooms, they had no say in anything that went on in their rooms with one exception, I would allow them to keep anything in their rooms that they could not live without. They choose to take a leap of faith and to test my knowledge of how well I know my girls. They both picked their bedrooms!

For about a year, eh probably more like 2 years, they have begged me to redo their rooms. Now, I have to be honest and say that the last time we did their rooms was about 6 years ago.  Two weeks before Christmas I started their rooms. They were kicked out of their bedrooms 10 days before Christmas. One room was emptied at a time. I repainted and put the rooms back together one at a time. I am not saying it went smoothly, I had to call in for much needed backup. But the excitement was in the air. The creative juices were flowing! I scoured everywhere from Craigslist to antique malls, flea markets, Good Will, Freecycle, online clearances, etc. I looked around my house to see what I could revamp for the rooms. I bought a lot of paint, glue for my glue gun, and fabric. I learned how to recover lamp shades and that I could repaint the UGLIEST nick knacks and they would become awesome focal points in a room.

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I thought outside the box and I am so House Proud of what I created. The fact that a year later, my kids are still in love with the rooms tells me how great of a job I did. This year I was actually asked to do a repeat performance of last year and to move my classroom to the basement, vamping the current classroom into a quiet study/reading room.

What did we buy the littlest one last year for Christmas? Learning toys. Yep, she got games to help her learn to sort, lacing cards, bead kits, blocks, etc.

Here are the bedrooms….

Tristen’s Bedroom:

Age: 16

Loves and Interests: All things French. Her dream is to travel to France especially Paris. Reading.

Favorite color: Purple

Personality: Calm, smart, Senior in high school (skipped her junior year)

Goals: Pre – Med, Trauma Surgeon

Must Keep: Great grandfather’s HUGE brown desk.

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Tristen’s room is purple. I opted for posters of France with extras that we can change out for when she gets bored with the view. There are sayings in french all over the room. Her accesories were more classic in theme with vintage inspired mirrors and mercury glass lamps, lanterns and vases. The effect is instantly calming and relaxing. There is no main light in her room, just lamps placed here and there for soft lighting. The black curtain that you see in the last pic is actually her closet doors. Both her and Cy begged to have their closet doors removed as they were constantly coming off the their tracks.

Cy’s Bedroom:

Age: 8

Loves and Interests: All things art and reading

Favorite color: Pink

Personality: Wild Child, smart, Eclectic

Goals: Artist

Must Keep: HUGE alligator and her antique vanity.

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And yes, Cy’s room is actually the most vivid shade of bright pink I could find. Her bed is a loft bed designed for her and actually was built in the room. There is no way that bad boy is coming out anytime soon. Underneath of the loft bed is her reading nook. It is lit with a string of globe lights. The black border that goes around the room is actually a chalkboard. The back of her door is a chalkboard as well. There are inspirational  quotes and sayings all around her room and one special one on her ceiling above her bed. Also hanging from her ceiling are crystal shapes just to give it a fun twist. Her closet doors are also a set of huge black curtains.

Why did I not do my youngest daughter Reine’s room too?  I LOVE her room!!!! I was not ready to see it change and neither was anyone else in the house….and thankfully she told me “NO!” She did however get a new bed and bedding out of the deal. She outgrew her toddler bed, so I revamped her older sister’s bed for her to use instead. That was enough of a change for her!

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