Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Hanukkah: WRAPPED AND READY!!!!!

 One think I am absolutely DESTROYING (in a good way) is my HOLIDAY SHOPPING.

I am TOTALLY DONE with Hanukkah. And! It is all wrapped, even! We only (LOL at only) buy presents for seven nights because the kids draw names from a hat and do a sibling gift exchange for the last night. But still! 5 kids and 7 nights of gifts is… a lot of gifts. It’s tricky, too, because I want to keep prices reasonable (WHAT EVEN IS REASONABLE ANYMORE), but, also, I want to avoid just buying JUNK.

(Side note: A couple of years ago, we got fed up with junk in stockings and Easter baskets and started buying fewer, better gifts— I love this for us ultimately, but it makes Hanukkah SO HARD to shop for because we are not doing 8 nights of substantial gifts and then also having Christmas, you know?)

(Another side note: We have twice gone to Disney for Hanukkah, and this is really the ideal solution but not practical yearly)

This year, I decided to give the holiday an overall gifting theme for the 7 nights I am in charge of shopping for. The theme is COZY. This set a really great tone and helped everyone manage their expectations. They are going to be enjoying a week of small cozy gifts— it’s very hygge (without the xenophobic nationalism). Each night has a theme, too, because it is just easier for me to buy the same-ish thing for everyone, but all of the nightly themes are cozy (think: pajama night, hot cocoa party night, etc).

Jack made a Google form for the sibling exchange to track sizes and preferences, and we are really hopeful that we can get the shopping for that done in the next week or so, even though that means the probability of sibs leaking gifts is high.

I also made a spreadsheet with a tab for Hanukkah where I detailed costs as well as the themes for each night and what I ended up buying (because we really do try to keep this holiday in check) and a Christmas tab that’s focused on equal numbers of gifts/kid and allows me to wrap gifts as they arrive/as I buy them because I can note what the gift is, what kind of paper it’s wrapped in, and where I have stashed it. I have even highlighted gifts that need something else to go with them, as a little high five to my future self. This means I have quite a few Christmas gifts wrapped, too. I even have a column for stocking stuffers and a hiding spot where I am tossing them.

BUT I SEEM TO HAVE FORGOTTEN TO SHOP FOR BEN. **yikes face** What to get the guy who has everything and wants nothing? HOW ABOUT A PUPPY? (Kidding. Sort of).

What about you? Making your list and checking it twice? Anyone else do double holidays like us?

My 40-pound cat loves that I wrap my presents with yarn:

Christmas earrings!!



  1. You are a superstar! Love your Hanukkah theme.

    We do both holidays, but only gifts for the first night of Hanukkah. And it’s right around the corner and I have not purchased a single thing.

  2. That is a lot of gifts!
    I am done my shopping, except stocking stuffers, which I plan to just fill with chocolate and scratch tickets. The wrapping is what gets me, every year.

  3. That is SO MANY GIFTS! The math of gifts in a big family - and Hanukkah AND Christmas is, phew. Once again, you seem to be nailing it <3

  4. We have gone small for Christmas from the beginning. My first two have late November/December birthdays, so when they were tiny, we found that didn't need much after their birthday, especially since we knew they would get stuff from extended family too. So now my husband gets them all a good Lego set each, I get them something somewhat useful but still fun, and I fill the stockings with "necessities" like socks or underwear, toothbrush, lip balm, etc. (friends on what I feel they need that year).

    The hard part is extended family. My side the youngest cousin in almost 17. So I have give to more family or food related gifts. My husband's side has just exploded over the last few years. So I am planning on tiny things for each cousin (game or puzzle likely) and then a family edible gift. Some are minimalist on that side, so I try to keep things practical!

  5. I bow to your superior organizing skills - I make lists of what I've bought each person because otherwise the minute I wrap it it's anybody's guess. Two holidays would be... yeah, a lot.
    I have a hard time not showering my kids (adults!) with presents, always have, because they are so grateful and nice about it and don't ask for much and gifts are my love language. I've been scaling back and giving more away, though, because they're right about not needing much.

  6. I love gifting, but this would be a challenge even for me. Love the cozy theme and love that one more thing is checked off your list!

  7. A PUPPY!! I know, I know, don't give living things as presents. I really agree with this, but I also sort of think your family needs a puppy to add to the chaos of it all.

    Cozy is a GREAT theme. I would be asking for all the warm, soft things I could.

  8. We do not do double holidays. Thanks goodness. That sounds impossible. I usually have a decent handle by now of what I'm getting people. I have a few gifts, but not much. Our closets are full and I'm trying to think of things that people need, or experiences, etc. It isn't easy. I want to end clutter, not add to it. Tiny individual waffle makers were a big hit last year and the kids are still using them. I need ideas like that - things they will use vs things they will wear. The older kids will be fine with me scaling back, even though it isn't the way I typiclly roll. I laughed at your 40 pound cat note. So funny.

    Oh, and Coach and I don't exchange - or we're not supposed to, which is how I ended up with an air fryer that he uses a lot. I bought myself a sweater 75% off a few weeks ago and I'll have him give me that so the kids don't think we's a Scrooge.

  9. Wow that is impressive that you are all done! I just ordered a few things for the boys. Taco's bday is 12/3. This is going to be appalling to you but this is the first birthday he'll get a gift from us... he gets SO MANY GIFTS from grandparents and extended family so it didn't feel necessary to add to the chaos. And he was so clueless it didn't matter. Now that he's 3 we are finally buying him a gift. But he just needs so little since the kids have so many toys as it is. That is what I struggle with the most around the holiday seasons. There is SO MUCH EXCESS and I am not an EXCESS person. We probably buy far less for our kids than the average parents because we are minimalists and they get so much elsewhere. Like we brought a bag of presents home for Taco's birthday when we went to an extended family Thanksgiving party last night... and this was from PHIL'S AUNT. So Taco's 2nd aunt. We are close to them but I was not expecting a big Target bag o' gifts!

    Phil and i don't exchange gifts so that simplifies things. He doesn't want anything so he is the hardest person to shop for. Every year his mom asks for gift ideas and I have to say - cash. He literally doesn't want books or articles of clothing or anything of that sort. really the only gift he wants is the gift of time to do things he enjoys but this is not the season for that as he's not a cold weather sports kind of guy. But for Father's Day and his summer bday, I tell him to book some rounds of golf and enjoy his time away.

  10. Wow you're on top of it all.... with spreadsheets and all. I love it. But I am guessing with so many people, you really have to have a spreadsheet to keep it all straight.

  11. I CAN'T EVEN IMAGINE. While I was reading I was exclaiming out loud to my family "This woman has five kids! And they celebrate Christmas AND Hanukkah!" I don't think they were as impressed as I am, but MAYBE that's because I'm the one in charge of holiday gifts around here, so I know how hard it is. Congratulations on being done with Hanukkah- I think it comes up pretty early this year, and then you can focus on Christmas. Oy vey.

  12. We sort of do both, we are half hearted. We do small gifts on the first night of Hanukkah, and eat latkes, and light the menorah, but the other nights we just light the menorah. And we just have 1 (adult) kid. With 5 kids, organization is KEY, and it sounds like you have it crushed.

  13. So so organized. I only have a list of gift ideas and. then more or less cross it off. But I only shop for my immediate family (parents, two sisters, one with a family). I had one or two friends. And I always end up with no idea or late shopping for the husband. Mine has everything and all his wishes are so so expensive (apple watch, ne xbos, ipad...) Sigh.
    We only do christmas though. You have an extra layer of difficulty here.

  14. I am so impressed! WAY TO GO. I'm sure it feels so good to have that piece of the holiday puzzle figured out. Hooray!

  15. I was super-impressed at the amount of presents and that you're DONE AND WRAPPED. (What magical clock do you have? When do you sleep?) But then... the spreadsheet? next level.
    I'm with NGS, though - puppy, for sure. ;) (OMG I can't imagine...)