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When I was growing up in Arizona, we got an orange at the bottom of our Christmas stocking every year. There are lots of great traditional stories about giving and receiving fruit for Christmas and I love the simple, sweet sentiment behind it. Last year, I was fed up of having candy in the house (I was still trying to get rid of the Halloween candy stash), so the only treats I put in the girls' stockings were nuts and an orange. I thought I was being sneaking and figured they were still too young to know what they were missing. Not so! "MOM. Santa forgot to put candy in our stockings!" and "Why did he put Fuh-RUIT in there?" Busted.

This year, I'll put a just a little bit of candy in the stockings, but I think I'll keep the oranges and nuts in too. We're not doing a ton of big presents this year (feels like lots of people are moving toward this model - are you?), just a handful of carefully chosen gifts and some fun stocking items. Here are some kid items that I'm thinking about giving or that we already have and love.

1. Oranges remind me of home. :) Also, I remember hearing this story when I was young.
2. We are in desperate need of new water bottles this year. These are BPA-free.
3. I am normally a fan of boar-bristle hair brushes - but they hurt my kids' heads. A stylist here recommended these super-cheap brushes to me for my girls and for even brushing my own hair out in the shower (it's actually called a Wet Brush). I am a super-loyal fan now - they're amazing.
4. My kids ask for frozen treats a lot. We're shooting to make more low-sugar smoothie pops this year. I was with my stylish friend Jessie at a work thing last night and she mentioned that putting vitamin-packed Chia seeds in smoothies helps to thicken them up a little? Good to know!
5. Christmas and the Fourth of July are usually when we set dentist appointments and buy new toothbrushes (we try to replace those every quarter though). These are my favorite. The bristles are soft and the brush itself lights up for about two minutes so my kids know how long to be brushing.
6. To encourage healthier lunches at school, we're going to pick up a couple of these bento lunch boxes. There is a cute frog too, but I love the panda.

7. Now that Evie is getting a little older, I think it's about time we added Pick Up Sticks to our game cabinet. I loved Pick Up Sticks when I was Gracie's age.
8. Plan Toys are my favorite - really beautiful, high-quality wooden toys. I'd love to give Evie this pretty set of Memory.
9. Remember this Potholder weaving kit?! I totally did this as a kid!
10. We have this Origami book and my girls love it. In fact, it's time to buy some more paper.
11. Another favorite from my childhood (don't worry, POGS did not make the list :) - string games! I loved Jacob's ladder the best.

12. These headphones are parent and kid life-savers on flights and long car rides. They have a soft padding around the ear, and they seem to be comfortable for little ones. And they're pretty darn cute too.
13. Bubbles that are guarenteed to not drip or spill or make a mess are my kind of bubbles!
14. We've been reading the Boxcar Children books at night (we're starting book five this week), and Grace and Claire are as in love with the story as I was. I used to have dreams about finding perfect little pink teacups and dishes in the dump with Jessie and Violet. Guess I liked vintage china and bargain finds even back then. :)
15. This series of simple mechanical machine toys from Kikkerland is all the rage at parks in Brooklyn. They're super cool, and cool-looking too. Shelf-friendly toys, for sure.
16. Evelyn needs a camera of her own I think so she can photograph my projects with me.
17. This balloon-making kit might be more for me than my kids. I've always wanted to have this talent in my arsenal. You never know when a situation calls for a balloon animal!
18. How cool is this family of wooden peg dolls? The dolls come to you completely blank and you customize them to match your family. So fun if you're giving your child a dollhouse this year.

What are you giving the littles in your life for the holidays this year?