You've got just a few days left to pull together stocking stuffers for the family, decorate your lackluster home with some festive trimmings and cook up some sanat-licious dishes. Instead you're hyperventilating because frankly you've been too busy with your day-to-day mommy obligations to tackle your holiday ones! That being said we're intent on helping you cut through the circulars and have put together a list of some last-minute budget friendly stocking stuffers, toys, food dishes and decorating tips so you can focus on keeping the holiday spirit alive and well!
First, take a deep breath and remember your kids will not fall apart if the house doesn't resemble a page ripped from a Martha Stewart magazine. Sure the stuff you put in their stockings will be temporarily responsible for the grins on their faces, and your marshmallow candied yams will get them oohing and ahhing. But what they'll remember most are the memories of simply being with you, their mom.
Budget friendly stocking stuffers
Christmas movies from classics to contemporary make great gifts:
- The Night Before Christmas: This two-disc set features 12 colorfully animated tales with stories about Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other winter family celebrations. Narrated by Anthony Edwards, the title story of The Night Before Christmas is based on Clement C. Moore's beloved poem; Santa's visit on a snowy Christmas Eve. The DVD includes six more holiday stories, including In the Month of Kislev, Seven Candles for Kwanzaa, Too Many Tamales, The Little Drummer Boy and two Rosemary Wells's classics, Max's Christmas. The second DVD, The Twelve Days of Christmas… and More Holiday Stories begins with a rousing sing-along version of the Twelve Days, and four more tales like; Merry Christmas, Space Case, narrated by Christopher Lloyd; and a Chinese New Year Story and Sam and the Lucky Money, ($19.95) www.scholastic.com.
- The Velveteen Rabbit: One of the most beloved family tales of all time returns in this enchanting combination of live-action drama and animated adventure. It tells the story of a boy named Toby who is sent by his busy father to spend the holiday season with his stern grandmother. Toby's world instantly brightens when he discovers the house's "magic attic," where three forgotten toys – including a special stuffed rabbit – unlock an imaginative world that will change all their lives forever! ($14.98) www.anchorbayent.com/childrens.
- Wubbzy's Christmas: Kids can join Wubbzy, an animated preschool favorite, along with his best pals Widget, Walden, and Daizy –– as they decorate the Figgity Fig Tree, go slippery-sledding, fix Walden's snow sculpture – and actually solve the mystery of the Snow Shoo-Shoo! Together, the friends even manage to cheer up Old Man Grumpus and become Santa's special helpers in delivering lots of presents! ($16.98) www.anchorbayent.com/childrens
- The Original Christmas Classics Limited Keepsake: Classic Media is inviting kids and families to "chill out" with Frosty, Rudolph, and Santa with the ultimate holiday DVD gift set which contains SEVEN of the most beloved holiday TV specials of all time, including the Rankin/Bass classics, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Comin' to Town and The Little Drummer Boy, among others. ($39.98) www.classicmedia.tv
Give the gift of a new language
Little Pim: This award-winning DVD language series immerses children entirely in a foreign language and is specifically designed for the 0-5 age group – the critical window for learning multiple languages. The series offered in Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Arabic, English and German stars an animated panda bear named Little Pim who is the series' teacher.
Using the Entertainment Immersion Method TM, the DVDs make learning fun and easy with a combination of live action segments showing children eating, playing and engaging in everyday activities, and adorable animation of Little Pim the panda. Each 35-minute DVD contains seven five-minute episodes and introduces over 60 words and phrases. ($17.95) www.LittlePim.com
For more gift ideas, check out the hottest toys of 2009 here.
Next page: Saving money on jewelry, music and video games