I started online shopping in 1998. At Christmas. To buy my dad a calendar. I bought his yearly calendar every year from Barnes & Noble until Amazon started carrying that calendar a few years ago.
My shopping history with amazon goes back to 2003 (which I just viewed since amazon keeps your buying history). In 2003, I purchased 3 items: ISO 9001:2000 Explained, ISO 9001:2000 Internal Audits Made Easy, and The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. That must have been some year (and I was not pregnant at any time in 2003, so I don't know why I bought that one book other than I was eager to have a baby after having been trying for some time already).
In 2011, I purchased 75 items (excluding gift cards). The range of items is wide (from vitamins to food to curtains to books and toys to clothes and cosmetics to magazine subscriptions, home & garden items, tools, and cloth diapers). I've been quite impressed with them (and their affiliates and partners). I always do Free Super Saver Shipping if it is available. Oftentimes, the items arrive the next day or the day after (I don't have amazon prime or Amazon Mom). When they do take longer, the merchants often throw extra stuff in the package to make up for the time delay. You never know what you're going to get (I have the same experience with Oriental Trading Company).
This love-fest on amazon is not a paid promotion and I get no referral fees or anything from them. So now, here is my 2011 gift guide.
Books for Kids: Anything from this series. Books like "E is for Empire" (about New York), M is for Mitten (Michigan), L is for Lincoln (Illinois), G is for Garden (NJ), H is for Hoosier (IN), B is for Badger (WI), etc. I've purchased several of these for kids and they are a big hit.
Gifts for Boys & Girls: 12 Jump Ropes My boys happen to like to tie things up with them or pretend that they are water skiing. I have heard of slightly older children actually using them as jump ropes. A great bulk gift if you need stocking stuffers.
A simple stopwatch. Do not underestimate the distracting powers of a stopwatch on a long car trip. Or use it as a homework timer or a time-out timer. Or race yourself to see if you can make it to the fence and back in less than 12 seconds this time. Do it again. And again. And mom no longer needs to count while you run.
I've been really happy with these curtains. I have a really wide picture window and these were the most inexpensive curtains I could find for such a ridiculously wide window. They are not actual black out curtains but they do room darken (which is not why I got them).
I wanted the kids to love the Kid-o Bilibo (my husband calls it the Swedish Meat Helmet). They have used the Bilibo (to sit and spin, push each other around, and race cars inside), but it's not been the go-to toy I hoped it would be.
I bought two voice changers for Christmas this year. I am sure I'm going to hate myself for this, but I bet the kids love it.
We got a butterfly garden last year and loved it. So this year, I bought one for someone else. (You go online and set shipment of the caterpillars for June or so, they arrive, and you wait for them to cocoon and hatch. It's neat.)
You need a magnetic flash light. Or maybe you know someone who does. Someone with a new car or a new house, perhaps. In case of the zombies. Or a flat tire.
Children's chewable vitamins. Our pediatrician recommends Vitamin D for kids in the winter in our latitude. He also said if you're going to bother, you should get one with iron too. He said Flintstone's Complete was the way to go but those had Red Dye, Blue Dye, Yellow Dye, artificial sweeteners, etc, so I got these instead. Also, avoid gummie vitamins (because they are bad for teeth and don't contain iron.)
Everyone needs more Dilbert in their life.
The shipping on this doll stroller has been lightning fast both times I have bought it (two days with free super saver). I saw on another web site that perhaps I was socializing my boys to be boys (though they did have dolls already) so Bobo got a doll stroller for his birthday (which he uses to push dump trucks around) so I bought another one for Christmas for another boy. I also think this would be a good gift for a girl since it's not pink.
I'm not sure whether this remote controlled helicopter is for Chuckles or Mr. Long-Suffering. Either way, the reviews are better than Air Hogs.
My Dad needed his yearly calendar. Does yours?
The quality on these light-up swords is about what you would expect for the price, but what kid doesn't want a light saber? (And at a fraction of the cost of an officially licensed Star Wars product....one arrived not working but I only needed two...am waiting on word from the company about resolution for the third sword).
I hate winter. This full spectrum light bulb is for me. (Honestly, I hadn't seen the sun in 3 days...no wonder I was crying and doing dishes last night.)
Gorilla Glue. Because my husband said Santa wants him to have nice things in his stocking. Also, J-B Weld.
Chuckles, with his own money, bought Bobo construction paper. This made me tell the kids a story about how when I was a girl, paper only came in white, manila, or yellow if you were lucky enough to get a legal pad somewhere. My husband called bull on me. I was incredulous. I said, "Sure, construction paper had been invented already but you only got it at school...it's not like people had that at home." Apparently, Mr. Long-Suffering had construction paper at home. This is apparently the distinction between middle class and lower middle class circa 1982. He probably got to use tape too.
If you buy someone a tie, you should also buy him a color coordinating pocket square.
As I didn't want to destroy my boys' nurturing side by not getting them dolls, I am also encouraging girls to look outside the doll bed. I bought this Melissa and Doug Fire Chief dress up outfit for some sisters. Chuckles got the police uniform last year and still plays with it often.
I saw this Lip Stix Remix on TV's Shark Tank last year and thought it was a great idea (so did Barbara). I didn't buy it last Christmas, but I did this year. I got it for someone who has a favorite lip stick color and will dig the bottom out of the tube. Now she can remelt and remake new lipsticks out of what's left behind. You can use it on under eye concealer too.
My niece is in to Gnomes this year. But she always likes clothes.
And Muse is getting me this baby keepsake book. Or maybe Santa is.
I didn't buy this aircraft carrier from amazon because the price is outrageous. I bought two of them at my local Target for Bobo and my nephew. Chuckles has a Matchbox Cars aircraft carrier that he loves, so Bobo wanted one too, but we thought he needed one that was more appropriate for a little kid so Imaginext it was.
My mom is getting Chuckles Snap Circuits. I think I need to learn more about how circuits work, so I will play with him. My mother-in-law is getting him some Ninjago at his request.
Love the taste of real butter but hate how hard it is to spread when it comes out of the fridge? If so, you need a butter boat that keeps your butter cool enough to prevent spoilage on the kitchen counter but warm enough to spread.
Did you want to share any items you've found or hot gifts for this season? You can buy until Monday on amazon for Free Super Saver by Christmas (I think).