What the kids are getting for Christmas

I’ve asked for gift idea help on twitter and A’Dell¬†posted her gift list for her kids and I thought it was interesting and helpful so I’m posting mine here.

We typically do the want/need/wear/read categories for gifts but cut that back this year to just wear and read because¬†when you add in gifts from siblings and Santa and family it was just TOO MUCH. So,¬†here’s what they are getting…

(Editor’s note:¬†Amazon pricing is drunk as these prices are not what I paid. Photo sources: LandsEnd.com, HM.com, Amazon.com and lakeshorelearning.com. Links are not affiliate¬†links).

Matilda, age 8:
Wear Рflannel swim team pants, 2 long sleeved tees, another version of her favorite dress, and one Harry Potter tee I picked up on clearance somewhere a while ago.

Space_shirt2

Space_shirt1

twirll_dress

Read¬†–¬†2 Minecraft books

MineCraft2 Minecraft1

From Madman – Crayola¬†Melt ‘N Mold Factory

CrayonMaker

From Santa –¬†Crayola Maker Maker and a Chatster Interactive Doll (OMG, I’m scared of this thing). She also got an early visit from the big guy who brought her tickets to the Nutcracker.

MarkerMaker

Chaster

In her stocking-¬†hair chalk (as suggested by Marianne), and I’ll pick up some things from World Market.

hair chalk

On her wish-list given to my family: swim team warm ups, DohVinci kit,¬†Charmazing kit, and¬†Crayola Virtual Design Pro (apparently Crayola’s marketing team did a terrific job with the 8 year old audience this year)

Matthew, age 4.5:
Wear – 3 long sleeved tees and shark socks

 socks shirt3 Shirt2 shirt1

Read РI went nontraditional here and instead of books got him some letter and number cards from Lakeshore Learning since he needs to work on those

 letters

numbers

From Matilda – LEGO Junior Fire Emergency

LEGOfire

From Santa РGears! Gears! Gears! and LEGO Junior Police

Gear

LEGOpolice

Stocking Р2 Switch and Go Dinos, and coloring books (thank you 60% off Cartwheel discount!)

Dino

On his wish-list given to my family: any LEGO Junior sets (do you see a theme here?), MagForms, an Avenger hoodie, any Transformer.

Are you done shopping? Any exciting gifts this year?

The Shopping Games

I’m one of those people who typically try to have my Christmas shopping done by the first week of December. I try not to step foot in any store between Thanksgiving and Christmas and since I do lots of shopping online I want to leave ample time for shipping. This year I had all of my shopping completed as of Black Friday.

Of course, today is Cyber Monday so I checked out some of the sales to see how they compared to what I got.

First up: Land’s End. Last week I purchased clothes for the kids – 4 shirts, a dress and a 3-pack of socks (added to get my total to the free shipping level). A few items were on sale and I had a code for an additional 20% off. Today the whole site is 40% with free shipping on all orders. I loaded up my cart with the same things I got last week, added the 40% off code and… my total was $5 more than what I paid last week! Mmmm. Looks like the stuff that was on sale is no longer on sale, while the stuff that was full price is now on sale. So while 2 of the shirts are now¬†$6 cheaper each, the whole order was more. I technically didn’t NEED the socks but now I almost see them as a bonus. ¬†Final total: +$5 to me.

Next: Kohl’s. I got some Ohio State and Miami Dolphins gear for my nephew on sale and with an additional 15% off on Thursday. Plus I got $15 in Kohl’s Cash because I spent $50 to get to free shipping. Today they have 20% off site-wide¬†and shipping is free for orders of $25+, so I re-loaded my cart. The items were on deeper discount plus the additional discount was bigger so the total was $18 less than a few days ago. I seriously thought about re-buying it all then returning the first purchase. Then I remembered the¬†Kohl’s Cash, which I do plan on spending… and all of sudden doing a return and re-buy for $3 seems ridiculous. Final total: -$3

Next: Target. They had an amazing deal for 10% off gift cards so I picked up one for each teacher. I’ve never seen a discounted gift card for Target before so this was my favorite deal.¬†Final total: +$6

Finally: Amazon – I bought some toys for the kids on Friday and did my pricing research using this site. ¬†Things looked good on the price front so I ordered (side note: if you have Amazon Prime and select “no rush shipping” you get $1 towards a video rental… so I did a separate order for each toy and racked up the credits).¬†¬†Then yesterday I was at Target and spotted this Marker Maker¬†for Maggie and it was more than $10 cheaper in the store. I looked at Target.com and the price was the same. I called Amazon and they refused to price match. So that one I AM sending back. I got the cheaper one, plus a refill pack and even with the cost of return shipping we’ll break even. Final total: +/-$0 out of pocket. But I did get the bonus refill pack¬†so I’m going to call this +$7.

Also, I recently signed up for Ebates¬†(referral link) and have been religiously shopping through their site. ¬†So far I have a whopping $0.40 cash-back. Maybe it takes some time for the cash back to show up? So far I’m not impressed.

All in all it looks like I actually SAVED about $15 by shopping before Cyber Monday.

What have been your best deals this year?