“Something they want, something they need; something to wear, something to read.”
I don’t remember where I first heard that saying about how to buy gifts for kids without going overboard, and I seriously love it. And every year, I plan on following it to the letter: I’m only buying 4 presents for my daughter, Alex! She’s got family and friends who will also buy her things — why buy more?
And every year I forget that she’s growing like a weed.
The truth is that every year, I discover she has invariably outgrown all that back-to-school shopping that I do in August by the time Christmas comes around, and her “something-to-wear” becomes “a-lot-of-things-she-needs.” And so, I ultimately do a lot of “back-to-school-shopping” around Christmastime as well, under the guise of giving her clothes she wants. And with this type of shopping, I have a few rules:
a) Alex desperately wants to look like a rock star — which, happily, I also want for her as well: you know, a rock star who has aspirations to go on to college, realizes that her beauty lies in her heart and her mind, and has absolutely no desire to put her body on display, since she would rather impress others with her kindness, generosity and intelligent wit.
(It is entirely possible that the rock star I have in mind is not the same one Alex does.)
As such, I strive to buy clothes that Alex will think are cool, but will also serve my sensibilities that she’s only 8-years-old-for-heavens-sake, and she can keep herself modestly dressed, thank-you-very-much. This is admittedly not an easy rule to follow.
b) Clothes cannot be expensive. I am not rolling in wealth to the point where I can buy an entire wardrobe for my child every single time she has a growth spurt.
c) Clothes must mix-and-match. For reasons related to (b), above, a few pieces must be able to be remixed to make entirely new outfits.
And so, to make a few pieces go a long way, I’m a big fan of the dress-and-leggings/trousers combo. The way I figure it, I can get 12 outfits out of 3 dresses and 3 pairs of leggings:
each dress on its own
each dress with each each pair of leggings/trousers.
Happily, my go-to place for Alex’s clothes, Target, always fits the bill. And this year, here are the items I’m likely buying and Alex will likely find under the Christmas tree:
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Pink stripes and sequins 1 of 6
I totally love the little girl cut of this dress (which pleases me) but it has sequins on it (which will please her). Bonus.
Black sweater dress with fun frill 2 of 6
I'm not a huge fan of the colour black on little girls -- it feels a bit mature -- but this is me giving in a bit. Besides, the frilly skirt is adorable.
Red sweater dress 3 of 6
This dress looks really teenager-y (which will please her), but it covers everything (which pleases me). Plus, blingy belt!
Denim jeggings 4 of 6
Admission: she already has a pair of these, and she lives in them. They look like jeans, but move like leggings, making it comfortable for her to run and play. Time for a new pair. Maybe two.
Black leggings 5 of 6
Dude, are these acid wash? How retro! Love these -- but when she opens this one, I won't tell her I had a pair just like them when I was a kid. Nothing says "uncool" to her more than "mom had a pair."
Tuxedo pants 6 of 6
I always love tuxedo pants, and desperately want a pair for myself. What's that about living vicariously through your kid?
Do you keep your family festively stylish during the holidays? We’re giving away three $50 Target giftcards to brighten the season! To enter for a chance to win, simply comment on this post with a personal tip on how you dress your children conveniently — and with style — during the holidays!
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