Wednesday, December 12, 2012

You get what cha get and you don't throw a fit...

I mean can, throw a fit if you want, or a ginormous tantrum, if you feel like it..but please. You know. Don't.

I have had a couple emails asking me:

Dear Lindsay,

“What are you giving your kids this year?
I would love some gift giving idea's.”

Well here is your long winded, Internet wide answer:

Dear Fabulous, Brave, AMAZING Parent/Friend/Superhero,

After last years post idea's, I have to be honest, so much of it is more in the same....but you know “kinda” different.

My kids with Trauma backgrounds still struggle with really “Playing” with toys. So dolls/barbies/miniature animals and action figures are kinda not played with, body parts ripped apart and shoved into heating vents, yes, played with, not so much.
I am also finding interactive video games are over stimulating for my kids that are already so much on high alert and over vigilant those are out too.

It's amazing how much we really truly go back to old school, less destructible toys for our kids as gift choices.
Every year we try to give one gift that is a keep sake/reminder that says “Hey kids you are part of this family, forever, and no matter what...”
Last year I made 15 (some for birth-parents) 12 x 12 hardback coveredIndividual Picture books of my kids...they were time consuming, but still by far their favorite gift. This year I am printing GIANT 16x 20 canvas pictures of each of my children, with my favorite qualities of each child listed...these will be put up high, out of arms length...but visible, every day.
For older kiddo's we are focusing on talents, things they like to do, or are interested. 4 of my kids are receiving piano our home, with an instructor that gets the whole need for safe controlled environment. Are they going to mess with refusing to practice? You bet. And then I can “la,la,la it was a gift, you do what you want with it, but if the teacher wants to stop teaching you my..that would be a rough...” and walk away.

Some of our older kids are receiving a “new to them” sewing machine” to start learning to sew.
A used digital camera to learn to take pictures, and a refurbished drum set my hubs is working on fixing up...the nice thing is, these items are not new, if they get broken, ripped apart piece by piece, meh...I will not be adding up things in my head...not sweating it....and walking away....

We do this with toys too....second hand, thrift-ed, yard sales...and that $40 princess bedding set that you bought for $5 gets peed on, throw it in the wash....and walk away....

Are you getting the stress free, FREEDOM of giving beautiful, perfect gifts...that will NOT break your heart, or make steam come out of your ears IF and WHEN something happens to them?
Give it and walk away, walk away, walk away....

Other items our children are receiving this year.
New hula hoops...with these AWESOME new duct tapes...I was in Duct Tape HEAVEN buying the glorious stuff to my little hearts content... Hello Kitty duct tape....seriously, is there anything more incredibly cool?

For the two little’s , we found these bouncy horses...hours of bouncy fun...and shhhhhh they are regulating too.
Then we went old school, legos, Lincoln logs, sleds, balls, new bedding, hoops and books..

We always, always give our kids something to read...and an Ornament that reminds us of what we did that year...this year we made them. As a family we dressed up like M&M's for Halloween, so we made felt Initial M&M ornaments...this is our kind of Christmas. Every year our tree says, see we keep your memories, you are now and forever more part of our traditions, part of us.

“But Linds,what about the stuff family members and friends want to do for our family, that most of the time is well meaning, but doesn't work for us, and lets be honest ends up triggering, causing issues, or being buried in the back yard?”

My goodness I am glad you asked.
We have this offered to us all.of.the.time.

I used to graciously take it, put it away fro the future, or try to find someone that could use whatever we were given, but that just equaled MORE WORK for me, and I am pretty sure those well meaning thoughtful people didn't intend to add more work on me.

So I started saying “no”. ...nicely.

“THAT IS SO KIND that you want to give my kids an old game system...a new shiny toy each,remote control cars that they can race. I really hope that someday my kids might be capable of using those things with out breaking them, but we are not quite there yet.”

“This may sound weird or boring, but if you really want to do something that would be incredible for our family...everyone could use______________.”

Fill in the blank....
Ski hats
Art supplies
straight jackets

what evs....

Also some other things that have meant the WORLD to us, being a large family that are always budget Gift Certificates for FUN...
If we get cash, it goes to debt, therapy, medical..we have to be practical. But if someone gives us a Gift Card to the Movies, a Restaurant, or this AMAZING FUN ZONE with free trips to play Lazer Tag, well those babies are GOLD. We then have no it is.
And we therapeutic parents,

Another gift I want you to mull around in your brain, is life raft trips, for you, your spouse, or you two together...Trips for Mama like to ETAMM, are such a gift of refuge and release with so much love and acceptance.

If knowledge, help, and connecting with other parents is what you need...this, this is the gift would give you that. This is the gift that will keep on giving to yourself, your children over and over again. This is the gift you can tell yourself , your spouse and your family members that you need.
Parenting in Space Conference in Chicago.
I went two years ago, and it changed my life.
It gave me hope, friendships that carry me everyday.
In Fact I am speaking at this next one...terrified, but see you have to come.

And Happy hanuka!!!

Give or Get the gift you really want this year!

Register now for Parenting in SPACE 2013
and get the early bird discount
(it ends December 31)

While we're still solidifying the program,
this year's speakers will include:

First Time Presenters at Parenting in SPACE:
Emily Beard, Neurological Reorganization Practitioner
Karen Buckwalter, Chaddock
Lindsay Crapo, Therapeutic Parent and Beloved Blogger

Parenting in SPACE Favorites:

Jim Kling
Christine Moers

And from House Calls Counseling:

Billy Kaplan
Wendy Kovacs
Amber LeFevour
Rick Simon
Rosemary Spizzirri
Caitlin Travers
Candice Wu

It has early bird sign ups going from now until December 31st.
Ask for miles, $25 donations...plasma (I am only slightly kidding on that last one). I went that first year on a wing , a prayer. The next year we wrote family members and told them this is what we needed as a couple for Christmas. They came through, with Child care, and some money to cover our trip. If not this conference, is there another like it that will help fill that bucket up? That will be that life raft to get you by while you patch holes in your sinking ship...we ALL get there....none of us is alone in the struggle to parent hurting kids....

This is the season of giving.
What is the best things you can do right now for your family?
What can your kids benefit from?
What can you ask for?
What can you say “No” to?
What are you willing to give, shrug your shoulders and walk away from?

Find your Peace this Season.
Give yourself is there...if even for a just second surrounded in all of that chaos.
I would love to hear what you are doing...for your kids, you, your spouse,  for YOU.
Merry Christmas my sweet ROCK STAR friends, Happy Hanuka, and more than anything,

Tidings of peace and Joy....

From our Family to Yours


  1. The 7 youngest are all getting bathrobes as their "main" gift- and the oldest is getting underwear... that's what she wanted! :)

    Everyone is also getting a couple of outfits because I did zero back to school shopping and they are starting to look like hobos- and not in a cool hobo way.

    And we always give books... lots and lots of books.... and a family board game or two.

    For the kids to give gifts to each other- this year we decided they could not spend any money on each other- that it would be a "season of service".... that each kid had to think of a free activity or thing they could do with/or for each sibling. We are so tired of dollar store junk getting broken and $ being wasted... this way they REALLY have to think about each sibling and what they think that sibling would like to do with them (play a game, take a hike in the woods) or for them (make their bed, clean up their room, do their kitchen job for a week). We shall see how that works for us!

  2. Great Post!
    I had a very fun time shopping for duct tape, as well, for my 11yo.
    I splurge on AG nightgowns for my girls for Christmas Eve. They are the most loved gift they get each year.
    I recently told a friend how I shop throughout the year for .99 little toys/card sets/character t-shirts for the kids stockings from thrift stores. After hearing that I do this, they felt liberated to do the same! It is great to think outside the box, especially when there are lots of kids to shop for.
    I got my 6yo an awesome desk at the Goodwill for 15$.Her art supplies are always getting lost/broken by a certain little brother. The desk is an old fashion one with a drop top WITH A KEY! She is going to be so happy that her treasured supplies are kept secure! I am filling it with packages of envelopes, scotch tape, pencil sharpener, ect. The supplies that are ALWAYS out of stock in our house. It is the gift I am most looking forward to gifting- and it was so inexpensive!
    Great post and CONGRATS to speaking at Parenting In Space! You are rock star!

  3. LOVE THIS...and ha ha ha! Let's just say great minds think alike. Sometimes a LOT alike. I started writing a comment, but it turned into a whole blog post that's now over on my blog.

    A couple things I want to add here, though...

    I found some really great knock offs for both Legos and Lincoln Logs at Wal*M art. Most of them can only be found in the stores, though. They are 1/2 the price or less than the name brands and actually better suited to my much so that we took the name brand ones back and bought the knock offs. And, they're inexpensive enough that it makes walking away easier if needed.

    Once my hubs finishes grad school (one semester left!!) I think we're going to try the "fund the life raft for us" approach and see if we can get away to an educational conference together. I think people are finally starting to see the benefits of it for us. I have people all the time ask how they can help. Often my answer is "When I know I'll let you know." But, I think this just might be a way I'm ready to start telling people how they can help.