Monday, November 26, 2007

Beginning to look a little more like Christmas

I love Thanksgiving, but I really see it more as a marker. Once we get past Thanksgiving, then it is time for CHRISTMAS, which is absolutely the most wonderful time of the year. I love love Christmas. Go overboard. Have very high self imposed standards. Love it.

And one of the very best things about Christmas is Christmas outifits!! Since I am no longer an elementary teacher and not yet a granny (insert your own other qualifiers here), I cannot actually get by with wearing them myself. Aside from one cute t-shirt I bought a long time ago at Target, no Christmas clothes for me (on a side note, we made a trip to the Lake Jackson WalMart on Black Friday, and girl, the bedaubled Christmas sweaters were out in effect!) But, God graced me with two daughters. Both over whom I still have complete wardrobe control. Muhahahaha.

For several weeks, since I took out the kids' winter clothes, I have had the girls' Christmas outfits stored at the back of their closet. About once a week, I have fondled them and whispered "soon, my darlings soon." And at last the time has come! Yippee!!

Eva Rose has 11 days of preschool between now and Christmas. Maggie has seven. Plus five Sundays, six if I let them wear a Christmas outifit the Sunday after Christmas - and I do - plus Christmas Eve and Day. So that means 15 to 19 opportunities to wear Christmas outfits. Each girl has maybe five, not counting random accessories like sweaters. So they will wear each outfit approximately three times. Sounds perfect!!

I have decided to chronicle the events. But not only that, my friends. I will provide more, far more.

I like to think that I have some of the best dressed kids around. Here is the secret. There is very, very little in their closet that cost over $10. Most of it cost far, far less.

A couple of years ago, I read a book called Open Embrace (if you click the link, you will see the premise. I bought the premise wholeheartedly. My husband: um. Not so much.) Anyhow Bethany Torode had a line in there, regarding the financial sacrifices you make when you choose to be a big ole breeder. I am paraphrasing her because I am too lazy to actually go get the book but it basically said "Your child won't know if it came from Gap or Goodwill." The wisdom of that statement sunk in deep.

So I am outing myself - I brake for Goodwill. I get way, way more of a rush from finding a Gap sweater at Goodwill than if I walked into Gap and bought it for $50. And there are many other fabulous kids' resale opportunities. I know the time will come when my kids won't be caught dead in second hand clothes, Gap or not. So I am milking it for all its worth while I can. Between second hand and handmedowns, my kids have quite the ensemble. 95% of it was free to cheap.

So not only will I show you Christmas outfits, which I am so so excited to do (tingles!!) But I am going to list the source and cost as well. I think that will be more fun.

Here goes!

Now it is just the first school day after Thanksgiving, and so her teachers would not think I was totally nuts, I decided to be slightly subdued (it won't last). It is still so stinking cold out, a Snowman theme seemed appropriate.

Eva Rose is modeling a red fleece snowman dress, originally by WalMart (they used to have some cute clothes, no more) purchased from Once Upon a Child for $4. The turtleneck is a handmedown. The shoes are Stride Rite mary janes, also purchased at Once Upon a Child for $10. The sad look: priceless. Actually it is a sympathetic look for me because I had just broken my Shark vacuum. :(

Shep's outfit, might as well: jeans, handmedown trade off with friend Allison. Sweater: Gap, on the $1 rack at Once Upon a Child (I kid you not.) The shoe(s): nasty handmedowns from I don't even know where that he thinks are the coolest shoes ever. The Caesar wreath that was holding the Christmas tree together: priceless.


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