Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Sibling Store

I have postponed my holiday baking until next week. I am up to my ears in wrapping paper and ribbon. I moved my gift wrapping station to my dining room so I can be around the family while I am happily wrapping presents. I normally wrap in my storage room, but it has gotten pretty junky down there (after all, it is a storage room!), and the cats' food and litter boxes are down there too, so I wanted a change of scenery. So my plan is to finish up the wrapping and clean up the dining room tomorrow. I also plan to buy most of my holiday groceries tomorrow.

Friday is clean the entire house day as well as cook for my side of the family's Christmas gathering--held at my house on Saturday.

Today I opened my sibling store for holiday shopping. My children like to give handmade gifts to each other (and to Jimmy and me and every single person in our extended family!), but they also like to give each other store bought gifts. A few years ago I switched from taking them to the store to secretly buy for each other, to buying all of the gifts for them to give each other myself. Here's how it works:

1. I make a list of things that each child needs or wants that is useful.
2. I choose four items off each child's list to be displayed in the "Sibling Store".
3. I charge each child a small amount of money to shop in the store. Of course, the gifts cost more than I charge, but the point is for them to spend their own hard-earned money on each other. I usually charge the older children $10 each, and Leah and Sam $1 or $2. This amount covers all four gifts.
4. They take turns shopping for each other and then we wrap the gifts.

The children are so excited to see their siblings open the gifts that they give them--both the handmade ones as well as the store bought ones.

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