Holiday Gifts

The Bump recently posted a list of “10 Holiday Gifts Parents HATE.”  I think some of the items on the list were right on — onesies that try to be funny but aren’t, toys that play annoying music, novelty items, and seasonally inappropriate clothes definitely make my list, but the other items I think are totally fine (I suspect this is a case of needing to know the recipient — we mostly haven’t gotten anything for Jesse that’s on my annoying gift list).

The Bump thinks that clashing nursery decor is a bad idea, and I suppose it is if the parents really care.  For us, we’ve got four things on Jesse’s walls, all gifts from different people, and all, I suppose “clash” — but I don’t care at all.  1) Jesse’s name spelled out in photos, from my aunt, uncle, and cousins.  This photo collage frame lives above the changing table and we see (and love) it all the time.  2) Peal board.  James and I ring church bells in the English style of change ringing, and when Jesse was born, our friends ran two quarter peals and a full peal for him, which we thought was really sweet.  A few months later, a friend presented us with a peal board with the details of the peal, which we proudly hang next to the third item of wall decor: 3) Aleph Bet poster, designed by a friend of ours.  I like that we have the church bell item next to the Judaica — it seems to work well with how we do things as an interfaith family.  4) A Dr. Seuss clock, which my cousin gave Jesse (it was on our registry) provides a bit of whimsy.  Each piece is unmatched to the others, and there isn’t an over-arching theme, but gifts like this make Jesse’s room truly special, and are a good daily reminder of the people who care about him, near and far.

Another item the Bump takes issue with is hand-crocheted (and presumably, hand-knit) blankets.  We got a LOT of blankets when Jesse was born.  To be honest, we didn’t use them all in the first year, but now that he’s old enough (and it’s cold enough) to have blankets in his crib, these are great!  The more the merrier!

The Bump also doesn’t like clothes that are already outgrown, and I can definitely see where they’re coming from on this one, but thanks to a very slow-growing kiddo, this hasn’t been a problem for us!

Now, enough of what people shouldn’t give — what are Jesse’s favorites?  Things you might want to think getting for a new little one in your life?  To be honest, the Christmas gift he has gotten the most use out of was a (probably under $5) set of small nesting blocks, from James’s sister.  These live in the diaper bag, and are ALWAYS a hit with Jesse and whatever of his friends are around.  Jesse also loved books, especially board books so he can turn the pages.  My feeling is, there’s enough time in the future for electronics — now is when Jesse really just wants things that he can manipulate with his hands, simple things that probably won’t break the bank, but that can be used a zillion different ways.

What are your favorite baby gifts to get or to give?