Chip Gaines shares an important Christmas lesson he taught his kids

They were late to a family dinner but says it was worth it.

Chip Gaines shares an important Christmas lesson he taught his kids

If you’ve ever seen an episode of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, you know the one thing Chip and Joanna Gaines value even more than shiplap is family.

In the latest issue of the Gaines’ quarterly lifestyle magazine, The Magnolia Journal, Chip revealed how he taught his kids an impulsive lesson about kindness and the meaning of Christmas, but almost missed a family dinner because of it.

Writing in his “Chip’s Corner” column, according to People, Gaines opened up about a Christmas some years back when he suddenly decided he wanted to teach the kids (Drake, now age 12, Ella, 11, Duke, 9, and Emmie Kay, 7) that giving Christmas gifts is better than getting them.


“They were still young, but we’d been through enough Christmases as a family of six to know how quickly presents can get out of hand,” Gaines wrote.

With the help of his brother-in-law, Gaines took the kids shopping for presents other kids might like, then loaded the gang in the car seeking out homes that looked like they could use a surprise. It turned out to be harder to find such a house. According to Gaines, every house they drove by looked empty.

Meanwhile, the clock was ticking, as Jo was back home getting ready to serve dinner.

Finally, one of the kids spotted a house not far from the spot where the Magnolia Market complex now exists. “All of a sudden one of the kids yells from the back, ‘What about that house?’ and points to a few blocks ahead to this itty-bitty house up on a hill,” Gaines wrote.

According to the HGTV star, three moms and their kids lived in the house and were happy to see the visitors and the gifts they brought. Gaines was late to dinner, but he was also proud of his kids.

“When I think back to that night I marvel at their kindness, their generosity, and their ability to love those kids as if they were family,” he writes, noting that Joanna forgave him for being late when she heard the story and saw her children’s smiling faces. We’re sure she was shaking her head at Chip just like she does on their TV show.

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

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If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

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Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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