Monday, January 02, 2012

Christmas 2011

I’m always a little sad and directionless when Christmas is over. So much time and effort goes into putting it all together and it’s over so soon. But it was a great year. We went to a candlelight service Christmas Eve and Dale’s mom and Bob & Janet and the girls came over for a little while afterward. On Christmas morning, the kids played with their gifts and then we went to Dale’s mom’s for the day. On Boxing Day, we went to my parents’ and stayed until the next day. It was all a lot of fun and the kids had so much fun with their cousins.

Last year I tried really hard to scale back the kids’ gifts so we didn’t end up with a lot of useless junk. I did well, but it ended up a little too Little House on the Prairie. In fact, Neve would have probably been happier with a new tin cup than the things we got her. You may remember the playing-with-socks situation. I know Christmas isn’t all about the gifts, but it really is a large part of the magic for the kids. So this year, I went against my principles and spent more than I usually do. I did sneak in a few useful things like socks, toothbrushes and books, but most of it was fun and frivolous.

I had the hardest time with the Barbie bed & bath playset we bought for Neve. Like most Barbie stuff, the quality is not top notch. But the joy that sub-standard plastic – along with a few Barbies - has brought Neve has far exceeded my expectations. She also loved a microphone we gave her that you can download any songs to and sing along. I have “I Love You Like a Love Song” permanently stuck in my head. “And I keep hitting repeat peat peat peat peat peat peat.”

Spencer’s main gifts from us were Lego, a Nerf gun, and a Professor Layton DS game. When he’s gotten Lego in the past, he opens it right away and doesn’t stop working on it until it’s done. But this year, he still hasn’t finished his set and even has another unopened set he got from someone else. The DS game has been a huge hit, as has a Star Wars Wii game he got from his aunt and uncle. He’s been saving for an iPod Touch, so he asked for money as well and now has more than enough to buy one. Oddly enough, he isn’t in a huge hurry to get it, which I’m happy about since he has so many other new things to play with.

And we gave Chloe an iPod dock/alarm clock, a duffle bag and Justin Bieber perfume. If you count smelling pretty as a necessity, hers were the least impractical gifts.

We still have a basket in our living room full of miscellaneous stocking stuffers that have yet to find a home. That didn’t happen last year with my (and Santa’s) practical gift-giving. But I think I prefer it this way. It seems wrong that the joy of Christmas is tied into the gifts, but it was pretty fun seeing the kids’ happy faces. They’ve all been spending lots of time playing with their gifts, so it was well Worth It.
Hope your Christmas was happy too. Were there any gifts that you gave or received that were a big hit? Let me know because I’m going to start shopping for next year soon. Not. (do people still say that?)


Anonymous said...

I created my own fate when I asked for a Pandora charm that is the ONLY gift I get, for any occasion, and Lowell feels VERY proud that he has purchased something that I "want"...oh well. After playing with the IPOD touch that Annika got, I want my own!
-Cousin Carolyn

L said...

haha, I can see that exact scenario happening at our house! I always have to remind myself to never start a collection of any kind. Pandora charms are a pretty nice collection though; definitely more desirable than silver spoons or salt & pepper shakers.

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