Free Crash Dad Updates! Want to receive the latest musings of Crash Dad sent directly to your email inbox? You know you want to! Sign up and get the latest and greatest Crash Dad Updates for FREE!

4 Categories of Christmas Gifts for Our Kids

Posted on November 27, 2018 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

This year we decided to steal an idea from our lovely neighbors and only give our kids 4 gifts this year. We break the 4 gifts down into something you want, something you need, something you read, and something you wear. I like the simplicity of it. Plus, when you add in grandparent gifts and a sibling gift, Christmas is going to be just fine.

As part of this effort, last night each of our kids created a list for each of the 4 categories. It’s always fascinating to see what our kids put on the list. My favorite might have been our 6 year old who put a cheese head on the list. Last week we went to NYC for Thanksgiving week and we had a layover in Milwaukee on our way there and the kids all wanted to buy a cheese head. The funny part is that our 6 year old has no idea what it means, but he now really wants a cheese head for some reason. We’ll see if he gets it.

My favorite part of the experience was how few things my kids listed on the “need” category. It’s nice to think that most of their needs really are met and that they’re not lacking. Hopefully, they saw the same thing when we made these lists. They certainly had plenty of wants, but not many needs. That’s quite satisfying to see as a dad.

I was proud of my 6 year old son who put disc golf discs on his list of needs. It was on my needs list too.

Surprising Your Children – The Reveal

Posted on January 3, 2016 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

This year my wife and I decided to surprise our children with a trampoline. We were lucky that are friends wanted to get rid of there trampoline and so we just had to go and get it. Since we decided to make it a surprise, we had to get it and store it across the street at our friends house until Christmas.

In order to make it happen, one afternoon while 2 of the Crash Kids were at school we had Crash Kid #1 watch Crash Kid #4. Crash Kid #4 asked us where we were going and the Crash Wife said, “We’re going to do some service at our friend’s house.” Well, it worked.

As you read in my last post, we were in New York for 2 weeks for Christmas. So, we had some other friends put the trampoline back together while we were away so it would be there and ready as a nice surprise for the kids.

I’ll tell you. It was a nice surprise. The kids saw it through the window and got so excited.

Today Crash Kid #1 asked us how we were able to surprise them. We told him that we’d gone to get the trampoline when we said we were going to do some service at our friend’s house (Technically we were serving our children, so it wasn’t even a lie!).

When Crash Kid #1 heard about this he responded, “I thought it looked suspicious. You don’t go and do service in the middle of the day on Tuesday. It’s not like it was Saturday.”

He then added, “I was OK though, because I got a snack while you were gone. I got me a Snickers and I was happy that you left.”

I guess we need to have lessons on service and snacking.

Second Christmas is Awesome!

Posted on January 3, 2015 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

This year we made the great decision to fly across the country to spend Christmas with my in-laws in upstate NY. The great part is that we avoided any major snowfalls and for a large portion of our trip it was colder in Las Vegas than it was in New York. I’ll consider that a serious answer to prayer.

We had a great time enjoying all the Christmas traditions that my wife grew up doing. I was glad we did it since we’d never had a chance to do it before and I’m not sure how long my in-laws will be there for us to do it in the future.

Since we were traveling across country with 4 kids, we decided to leave all our family presents at home and just let Santa and the crash grandparents give gifts in New York. Luckily we flew Southwest and had 2 free checked bags per person (yes, that meant we could have 12 checked bags). We ended up only using 8 checked bags, but that was still far more than we’re used to taking. A year and a half ago we “moved” to Hawaii for a month and only checked 2 bags for the entire month (aren’t we awesome?). Turns out that Christmas gifts and snow clothes and gear takes up a lot more space.

We had a great Christmas gift opening extravaganza in New York since the crash grandparents went a little lot overboard on the gift giving. It’s hardly something to complain about since it’s a really kind thing for them to be so generous. Plus, our kids didn’t seem to mind too much either. Who am I kidding? They loved it.

With that said, I was especially excited to have our “Second Christmas” at home. I think my excitement for the second Christmas mostly came from the one time I visited my grandparents as a kid and my parents did the same thing for me. If I remember right, I got a recorder at my grandparents house. However, I remember the wild anticipation of my siblings and I as my parents got our second Christmas ready. I was hoping to create a similar memory for our kids.

Since we flew in late, we decided to do our second Christmas similar to a normal Christmas day when the kids woke up to Christmas. Here’s a look at the spread (sorry it’s not in better focus, but I was tired when I took it).
Second Christmas
It felt just like Christmas morning back at our house even though it was January 2nd. It was awesome to see the kids excitement two times in one year. However, it wasn’t the tree or presents above that got the best reaction. Just off to the right of the above picture was what caught the kids eyes the most:
Huge Stuffed Animal Christmas
Yes, those are some big huge massive stuffed animals. They’re literally bigger than our children. When I saw them, I knew they’d make for a great Christmas morning. I was definitely not disappointed. How can you really argue with a pink unicorn that big? We’re going to have tons of stories with these animals I can already tell. I’ve been told, for example, that the boa has choked out the pink unicorn, but that story is unverified.

You might also notice in both pictures is a really massive box. The day of our second Christmas, Crash Kid #1 had mentioned about how the size of some of the boxes indicated a good present. He’ll learn over time that the most expensive things come in small packages, but he’s not there yet (thankfully!). With this idea in mind, I decided to give him the biggest box we had for Christmas. Not just any box of course. It was the biggest box and as you can see it’s pretty large. You could probably fit one of the stuffed animals in it. Plus, we loaded this big box full of all the other boxes we’d received (Thanks Amazon).

In case you’re not sure you’re reading this right, Yes, I gave my son a box full of boxes for Christmas! Aren’t I sweet? Some of you might be wondering about my choice of gifts. Lest you think that my dad instincts are out of whack, guess what the first gift Crash Kid #1 started to play with after opening his gifts was? That’s right…the boxes!

Everyone always said that the kids loved the paper and boxes more than the gifts themselves. I just cut to the chase and made the gifts the boxes straightway. You can be sure if he disobeys you’ll hear this echoing through our house, “You better obey or I’m going to take those boxes away.” Have you ever seen how attached kids are to their box creations? It’s a powerful thing.

We closed out the second Christmas with our traditional swim through the wrapping paper and a lovely blueberry muffin breakfast with bacon, eggs and grape juice.

Man I loved my second Christmas!

Beautiful Way to Celebrate Christmas

Posted on December 25, 2014 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

There’s nothing like beautiful music and imagery to celebrate Christmas! This year that was incredibly executed by The Piano Guys together with David Archuleta, Peter Hollens, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and a bunch of other YouTube stars. Check out their Angels We Have Heard On High rendition here:

If you don’t know The Piano Guys check them out. I love their music, but I’m also pretty biased since I went to high school with the cello player and the piano player was my leader in church. Although, you don’t have to take my word for them being great. Their 3.5 million subscribers on YouTube and 540 million views speaks for itself.

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends.

He is the Gift Christmas Video – #ShareTheGift

Posted on December 24, 2014 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

As a mormon and a social media nerd, I’ve really loved the #ShareTheGift hashtag this Christmas Season. One of my favorite things has been the people on Instagram who are holding a sign that says “I Will #SHAREtheGIFT By…__________” and then they fill in the blank. Here’s one such example:

View this post on Instagram

#sharethegift #lds

A post shared by Jillian Holley (@jilllianh) on

Amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas, I love the reminder that the most joy comes from sharing with others. This video is also a great reminder of the reason for the season:

Merry Christmas everyone!

Black Friday and My Love of Gift Giving

Posted on November 30, 2014 I Written By

My name is John and I'm a working dad with 4 beautiful children. I'm a full time blogger and entrepreneur. These are my musings. I hope you enjoy.

I went shopping on Black Friday and loved it.

Seriously, that’s a really amazing thing. First, I’m not a fan of shopping. I’m all about efficiency. Shopping is the opposite of efficiency to me. At least the way that most people do shopping. If I need something, I have no problem going in and getting what I need. Then, I get out and go home. Second, it was Black Friday. Who goes shopping on Black Friday and enjoys it? I should also be clear. I didn’t campout to go shopping. I didn’t brave the masses and try and get the hottest deal at a store. I just went to a few stores and bought a few things. I took Micah with me and we had a great time.

What made the difference? First, I’ll admit that I love being in crowds. It’s like a mixture of amazing people watching and pole position. So, if their had been crowds, I would have been totally fine with that. In fact, I love the malls during Christmas. The hustle and bustle of the crowds is totally stimulating for me.

However, I think there’s a much bigger thing at work for me during Christmas. Christmas gives me a purpose for my shopping. I hate shopping without a purpose. I’d rather shoot myself than browse around for something that I “might” need. That’s the opposite of shopping during Christmas. I have absolute purpose in my shopping and everywhere I turn there’s a potential opportunity to bring joy to someone. Is there anything better than that in life?

One thing I’ve never really understood is why people hate Christmas shopping. Certainly there are people that are more fun to shop for than others, but I’ve always loved the opportunity to do something special for someone I care about. I don’t stress about it being the perfect gift. I don’t stress about having a limited budget. All of those things just bring out my creativity.

I seriously love the experience so much that I told Crash Mom to not worry about the shopping this year. I’d take care of all the shopping for the kids this year. I’m sure she’ll chip in with ideas and a few gifts she comes across. Although, I’m hoping I can take that stress off of her this year. Unlike me, she definitely stresses the Christmas gift buying process.

How do you handle Christmas gift buying? Does it bring you joy, stress, happiness, or heartache?