I have started that annual tradition of buying little things here and there and ferreting them away for that big day in December when our kids will rip open 20 presents in under 2 minutes. It seems a little early to me this year but we are already in October and usually by Halloween I am done. I have not had the impulse or motivation this year to get out there and buy. I also have not have the motivation this year to start to create little things that I can sew, knit, glue, cut, or assemble.
Every year I feel this pressure to get the perfect gift that each child will ooo and ahh over and they will assure me that they got exactly what they wanted. Of course I will also admit that I very sneakily open their Santa letter each year after they have sealed it and find out what they want so that they are happy and excited on Christmas morning.
It was so much easier when the list was just chocolate candy and a hula hoop. Now the list is longer and has very detailed stuff that even Santa has a hard time finding or making.
Last year we started a new tradition of taking each child out shopping for their sibling, cousins and parents. That way we reinforce that they are focusing their energies on others and not only themselves. This is infinitely more difficult on the younger child and results in more than one in store meltdown. But we only had to drag her out of one store physically because she refused to walk. Hopefully this year we won't have to drag her out of any.
And finally - it is getting harder and harder to find the perfect hiding place for these items. Kids are smart and they know that the parents hide things and they know where those hiding places are. My sister ruined Santa for me in a big way by taking me out to the garage and showing me a box of brand new ice-skates about 2 weeks before Christmas when I was 5 or 6 and telling me that I would see them again on Christmas morning. While my kids still believe in Santa the older one is starting to get wise to our antics which means the jig will soon be up.