I remember my first holidays with my daughters like they were yesterday! (They weren’t… one was in 2010, and the other was in 2012. My how time flies.) I remember the very first Christmas with baby fantasy versus unexpected reality. The outfit she wore. The food I didn’t eat.

I also remember the holidays that followed year by year… I remember how everyone was so excited to have babies in the family and the ‘what should we get the baby for gifts’ questions. Toys, games, clothes… everything was always adorable. But if you think about it: Babies and toddlers don’t necessarily want all the stuff we run out to get them.


A few of the things my sister and I would joke about to get, things they’d really want?

Cheerios. I came this close to wrapping up a big yellow box one year because it was all my daughter was obsessed with just after her first birthday (ie: her second Christmas). Cheerios made her so happy. They say to get kids what they want for Christmas…

Empty Boxes. Anyone with a 1-year-old gets me on this. Their reaction is like if you just bought them a house.

Crumpled Wrapping Paper. All my second baby wanted to do Christmastime was make noise with paper – she was about 9 months old. Who needs a talking purple pony when you can play with trash? Throw in some pop-able bubble wrap and you’re a total hero.

Whipped Cream and/or Frosting in a Bowl. Ok, maybe I want this, too…. (Should the child be 2 or 3, please replace with a bag of lollipops instead…)

Stuffed Animals. Somebody apparently got this memo, because we seemed to amass hundreds teddy bears, unicorns, bunnies and penguins like nobody’s business (ok, not really hundreds…). They seem to be multiplying to this day, even though I’ve ‘relocated’ our fuzzy animals elsewhere several times over the years.

Pots & Pans with Metal Spoons. No talking musical toy can make more noise than the utensils in your kitchen… and our toddlers know it, too.

Your Keychain. No joke, my main keychain (with car keys, house keys and my parents’ house keys) disappeared when my older daughter was about a year-and-a-half. To this day, I have no idea where they went. My gut tells me she was playing with them near a trash can…

The Remote Control. (Am I right?)

Of course, I could never bring myself to actually follow through on these things my sister and I would joke about wrapping up as gifts. Instead, we got the talking rattles, the musical ponies, the soft blankets and the light-up dolls. Because, how can you not get such cute things for babies and toddlers… it’s Christmas!

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