And the season of gift-giving is upon us.

And the season of gift-giving is upon us.

Which I've been thinking about for a good two months, semi-stressing about for the last month, and now it's time to buy some gifts for my children. It's almost December, we have some money set aside, let's do this thing.

Last year Hubby and I rocked the gift-giving. ROCKED IT. We bought G and Little Missy each one big gift that they loved and then a few other toys to fill in. And those big gifts are still a hit. They still use them and enjoy them and they didn't get trampled underfoot or forgotten within a week of their opening.

But now what? What is a reasonable gift that they'll love but is not crazy-expensive and they'll play with throughout the year? Where, in the world of gifts for kids, do we go from here?

You see, I have these strict criteria: 1) The toys cannot be cheaply made. I get angry when I pay good money for something just because it looks exciting but then it falls apart, and 2) The toys cannot be expensive. Kind of limits things in the toy world, right?

PLUS, they're starting to enter that strange time where toys can seem too young but everything else is too old and boring. In a few years Little Missy will be thrilled to get new clothes Christmas morning but right now she'd be disappointed. And in a few years G will want... I don't know. I don't know boys. That will be a column for then, I guess.

Little Missy does want a phone. And oh, my sweet six-year-old child who is never by herself, that will not happen for a long time. A VERY long time.

So, for the first time since ever, I checked the Black Friday ads on Thanksgiving. While the turkey smoked outside, my dad and I sat in the crazy warm sunshine and I poured over the stack of papers that weighed a good five-pounds. And I came up with nada. So I stayed home and slept while some of you enjoyed the crazy crowds.

It is possible for the next month that when I'm with you drinking coffee I will pick your brain for what you're getting your own kiddos, cuz I very well might copy your idea. I mean, Hubby and I have to get ideas from somewhere.

Erin Fox is a weekly columnist for the Augusta Gazette and a busy mother and wife. Her popular blog - erin’s little corner can also be found on our webpage,