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Early Christmas Question...

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I've mention before on this board that my bestfriend and my goddaughter are struggling financially. Sierra (My Goddaughter) is an absolute angel and I want her to have a beautiful Christmas. The problem is that Janeris and I both are pretty broke.

This is their first Christmas together in their own home. I want to make sure that it is wonderful for both of them. I've already decided to cook them a nice Christmas dinner and bake cookies with them.

Craig and I have a spare computer and monitor that we no longer use. We're giving them that as a Christmas present to them both. My biggest fear is that Sierra won't have many presents to open. I'm gonna try to help pay for their tree and decorations. So she will at least have that, and I think we'll string some popcorn too!

I want her to wake up and find a bundle of toys under that tree. I want to see the excitement in her eyes and I want her to squeal that Santa visited because she was a goooood girl.

Any ideas on how we can do this without much money??

I do know that I'm gonna spend at least $20 on buying her one good educational present. We spend so much time working with her. She'll be reading well before 4 years old. She's so smart!!!

Any tips, ideas, anything. MUCH appreciated.
post #2 of 28
One thing I that I have taken to is shopping a dollar store. I know just call me cheapskate But working in child care and having to spend money on presents for the children(useally between 25-30) And presents for the parents. It's a pretty cheap way to do it and plus the toys they have there are fun and entertaining for children of all ages even me LOL. That's the only thing I can think of right now but I am sure that in time I can give you more Ideas It's so nice to see someone who is willing to do what they can to help a friend in need just because they care. I wish you the best of luck!! and I will let you know if I think of anything else. OHHH you could also make something. go to a craft store they have some nice sometimes cheap Ideas!!!
post #3 of 28
I think the dollar store idea is a good one - especially since she is so young. We were pretty strapped for cash when my step-son was younger, but we found you can buy a lot of matchbox cars for $20, and he thought they were just as cool as anything else at that age.

If you sew, maybe you could make her some gifts. Clothes for her dolls maybe, or an apron to bake cookies with you? Or a rag doll, or dress-up clothes for her. There seem to be a lot of creative members here, so I'm sure you will get some good ideas of homemade gifts.

Also, I don't know if you are comfortable doing this, but Toys for Tots is always available. I have never signed up to receive toys from them, but their website is here. It tells how to request toys on the questions & answers page.
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks you guys.

I looked up Toys for Tots and I'm gonna send them an email and tell them of the situation. I would like the donation to be anonymous if they do give her gifts. I know Janeris and if she found out that I contacted Toys for Tots she would feel like a charity case and I don't want to make her feel like that.

I will inquire with them and find out what can be done, and go from there.
post #5 of 28
Originally posted by Cassandra_Starr
I want her to wake up and find a bundle of toys under that tree. I want to see the excitement in her eyes and I want her to squeal that Santa visited because she was a goooood girl.
Churches help people who are struggling financially at Christmas too. So if your friend has a church she belongs to maybe you could talk to her minister about wanting to make this Christmas wonderful for the family.
post #6 of 28
You can have a fabulous christmas w/o spending a lot of money as long as you don't mind being creative.

Try making some homemade presents, especially if you sew. Walmart has a great craft section, you can get little patterns to make baby doll clothes, or beads and such to make homemade necklaces or bracelets.
Also, a lot of 'small' gifts are wonderful at that age, try filling a stocking w/ things from the dollar store....it will seem like she is getting a lot even though it won't be that expensive.
post #7 of 28
Oh, I just thought of another idea. My nephew just turned 2, and one of his mother's friends gave him a really cool gift (she's a Head Start teacher, so very creative). She made him play-dough in several colors, each color in it's own baggie, then included a laminated copy of the recipe. I don't thing it costs too much to make that, and I would be happy to ask my sister for the recipe if you like.
post #8 of 28
I've also had good luck at church bazaars at the rummage sale tables. People donate "gently used" toys that their children have outgrown, and a lot of those toys are still in great shape. Especially things like Fischer Price stuff, that is indestructable. A child of 4 should not notice of the toys are brand new or slightly used.
post #9 of 28
I've got a great Play do recipie if you want it. Just PM me and I'll send it to you.

You can buy some little plastic jars and make an adorable gift for just a dollar or two.
post #10 of 28
I've had to do my christmas shopping for the kids one year
at the Dollar Tree...nothing wrong with at all and they
loved the toys that "santa" brought them
post #11 of 28
Sometimes community groups will adopt a child (or several) for the holidays. Once my Girl Scout troop (all 10 year-olds) adopted a little girl for Christmas and you should have SEEN the gifts our Scouts showered on the child. It was a great experience for our Scouts as well as the recipient.

Many stores have "angel trees" this time of year. You can submit a deserving child's name with a wish list and they are adopted by individuals or groups who provide anonymous "Santa" presents. I believe Wal-Mart does this.......also many shopping malls.

Good luck. You have a good heart and the REAL Christmas spirit!
post #12 of 28
How about Goodwill thrift shops or garage sales (might be a bad time of year for those)?
post #13 of 28
The dollar store is great and if you go now you should be able to find some decent toys, coloring books, crayons, books etc. Also, do you have a Big Lots? They are very cheap and have some great things.
post #14 of 28
Dollar stores are perfect for kids! You can get lots of brightly colored regular stuff too and they love that!

As for an educational gift--try a computer game for her age level. Our son loves that and he picks up on everything so fast. You can get some good computer games at stores like Big Lots or Costco that are fairly inexpensive.

We have to watch our finances too so I know what it's like.
post #15 of 28
How old is your Goddaughter ???
post #16 of 28
Yea, dollar stores are great. I buy little things for my students there. They love the notebooks, and the fancy pencils. If your goddaughter likes to draw, it can be a great place for art supplies.
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all the replies!!

I'm gonna go to Big Lots to get them both presents. I absolutely love that place.

I don't sew. I can't even sew a button onto a shirt! LOL! However, I do cross stitch and crochet(sp). I am gonna look into some items that I can make for them. Even if it's decorative stuff for her new apartment. Janeris would love that.

Sierra will be happy with any toys, and I don't have a preference. Used or new as long as they're in good condition. I'm gonna try Goodwill and local garage sales. I want my baby girl to have a beautiful Christmas and I'm not gonna stop until I know she has a lot of stuff under that tree. She really deserves it.

By the way she is 2 years old!
post #18 of 28
Will you please send me one of two things - either their mailing address direct or your address direct.

We have stacks of stuff that is new that have never been opened and would like it to go somewhere and to someone that would appreciate it. I will nip out over the next few days and get some more bits - let me send them to you - however, they must never know where they came from - between you and me please. They will be from you.

Tell me a few things - I recall your god daughter is little right - how about some information about her, sizes etc. maybe I can get some clothes, teddies, toys etc and mail surface to you (feel would need a mortgage again for airmail but will wait and see).

I am sure we can help in some small way and make this one special for you and them.

Please email on here or on


My grateful thanks

post #19 of 28
I crochet also and you can do a search on the net for "free crochet patterns" you will turn up a bundle of great things you can make that are inexpensive but most of all they are made with lots and lots of love.

You are a very sweet friend. I think it is wonderful of you to think of other people for the Holiday Season, you are a beautiful person.
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thank you Ryelee, I really love these two like family.


I appreciate it very much, but you are overseas and it would cost you a bundle to send stuff for them. I can't let you do that!!! You need to take that money and spend it on you and your family! You're a very sweet man. Thank you for just the thought alone.

Everyone at TCS is so wonderful. Many people have pm'd me and offered to pitch in and help in many ways. I do want to let you guys know that I am *not* at all asking for charity. Just ideas.
post #21 of 28
I was thinking dollar store, but it looks like I'm not the first to do so. Being that young, they're really not going to mind or realize where it came from!
post #22 of 28
Cassie- we have 14 grandchildren- Christmas would be a killer if we stayed to everyone's wish list and sent them all the stuff they want.

Instead, we opt for Highlights for Children. I grew up with that magazine, and it fits for all ages. I know she is a bit young for it now, but as she grows you might want to keep it in mind. It is inexpensive, imaginative and full of learning.

I also wouldn't go overboard just because you want her to have a lot of presents. She is so young, you could buy a gift pack of toys at a dollar store, and break it open and package each one individually. Throw in some glitter and sparkles to make her laugh when she opens up the box and the fun stuff spills out. Her mom might not be that thrilled, but kids love it! Buy a cheap package of greeting cards geared for children, cut out the characters on the cards, get some sturdy construction paper and some of the sticky tack you use in the office and she could have her own set of paper dolls. Those are just some of the stuff that comes to mind.
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
Oh Man.

I loooved Highlights. It was always a blast and my mother loved to write children's stories so she read those to me when I was little, and I kept up with them till around age 14 or so I think.

I also played with paper dolls a *LOT*. I would crawl under my grandmothers big table and pretend that it was my own little paper doll world under there. The center was the town and under each chair was someone's house or the grocery store or movie theaters. I would spend HOURS down there. LOL!

Thanks for the ideas MA. Sierra has such a great imagination. She's gonna have a blast!
post #24 of 28
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks MA!

I don't have a printer here at home, so last night my boyfriend and I went to his job (He "officially gets laid off Nov 21st *sigh*) and printed out a WHOLE bunch of those letters and animals.

I used a three prong hole puncher and some ribbon, glitter, glue, sparkles, stickers, etc and made a really nice coloring book for her for Christmas.

Janeris has her birthday on Nov 28th and I'm gonna be in Tx with family. My mother gets married on that day. Since I'm broke I'm having her over some time this week and I'm gonna cook a big home cooked meal and we'll probably share a bottle of wine.

Then we're watching movies. I can't buy her a gift but Craig and I can pamper her for a night!

Between all of you guys' ideas and my mom I think I'm gonna be able to give/make Sierra a lot of little presents to open this Christmas!!!

It'll be fun for her, and I know I'm gonna have a blast putting together and making cute little presents for her!!! I'm so excited now.
post #26 of 28
I'm sorry I'm chiming in on this so late, but you have gotten such excellent advice here already I don't have much to add. I just want to say what an angel you are for trying so hard to make such a wonderful Christmas for this little girl! She is truley blessed to have you for her Godmother!
post #27 of 28
When I was about her age I got a GREAT present from my grandparents that I still treasure today. They gave me a book that was beautifully illustrated and told a story of a little girl whose wishes all came true. I kept the book at my grandparents house and when I went to visit them we would read it aloud to eachother. Maybe a special present like that would not be very expensive but would mean alot to her as she grows up and learns to read it to you.

Good luck! I love the coloring book idea. There are ALOT of clip art and stencil websites out there that you could use to make a whole pack of coloring books for her.
Have you ever heard of "crazy Crayons" that Martha Stewart makes on her show? Those are really cute, you could make some and wrap them up to go along with the coloring books. Here is the link to how to make them:
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Oooo! Those crayons would be GREAT!!! I'm making play dough for her too. I'm also giving the recipe to her mom so they can do it together when she gets a little older.

Coco, I think that book idea is really really good. I might make her a book too. We wrote books in 2nd grade and then made them. It was really simple. We used cardboard as the 'hardcover' of the book, and then we got contact paper or left over wall paper to cover the cardboard. Then we put plastic rings (or my teacher did actually) in the middle to hold the pages. It was kinda like a fancy home made binder with our 2nd grade stories. I could make one of those for Sierra. She loves books and she absolutely LOVES to be read to.

Debby, Thank you. Although I think I'm blessed to have her and her mother in my life. They're wonderful people, and I absolutely love having the 2 year old around. She's so precious.
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