We worked hard to make Christmas special in 2012, putting extra thought into our gifts and scraping together what we thought was an impressive and memorable bounty for the holiday. In some cases we bought presents as early as the summer, so as to take advantage of off-season prices.
Note: yes, I know. Christmas is not about the presents, but about Christ, and family. Agreed. But it also the one time of year we get to go overboard on the kids, and frankly, Lisa and I both enjoy giving gifts.
Anyhow, by late Christmas Eve the presents were in neat little stacks around the living room; Yaya's by the television, Smiley's by the loveseat "Mom's Perch", and the two youngest girls gifts sat by the fireplace.
Come morning, the kids actually obeyed our steadfast rule: come down dressed well enough for (casual) pictures, or do not expect to open any gifts :)
We opened the gifts round robin.
Ginger opened her dolly
Smiley opened his red 'brag' vest for Cub Scouts
LuLu opened her Justin Bieber perfume!
YaYa opened a pair of Taylor Swift CD's
Momma opened up a 45 piece set of flatware (she'd kill me if I showed you the picture I took that morning)
I opened my remote boat (aka remote caddy) WHICH, I might add, I used the dickens of before it broke mid-year
Ginger opened up a stuffed pink doggy and a carrying tote/cage for it
Smiley opened a Power Rangers fighting dress up set complete with mask and sword
Lu got some clothes with her dance studio logo
YaYa got a stuffed owl (she's very into owls)
Momma opened two 12 piece clear glass dinnerware sets
Smiley gave me an ornament he made at school
Ginger got some princess dress-up clothes
Smiley opened some underwear (they all got a package, and crayons too) and Lu got Justin Bieber trading cards
YaYa got an archery certificate
Then, one of the best presents I've ever gotten: a 1st edition Nook from Barnes and Noble!
Smiley got a Ninja sweatshirt
each of the kids got a braided hemp rosary
while YaYa got a Taylor Swift tour CD/DVD
I got Lisa a collapsible backscratcher, while I got a streaming Netflix player that I would soon donate to the kids for use on their TV
Ginger opened a set of earings and necklace
YaYa got some books
Smiley opened up a Pokemon battle toy
LuLu got fuzzy blue slipper boots with a glittery peace sign on the side and a copy of the game "Guess Who?"
Smiley aka 'the flower and garden guy" got a Chia Pet "Shrek"
I bought Lisa a sewing basket and a bottle of Perry Ellis 360
I got a cribbage set (and no one to play it with)
Ginger got pink rain boots that she'd been dying for, and a tea set!
YaYa got dance studio apparell too
Lu got a lamp (IIRC, this is the one that would later wreak havoc with us on the night of the Hunger Games premiere)
Smiley got the game "Hoppers Jr."
Ginger got a journal and a set of six Fairy Angels
YaYa got an owl ring and necklace
Smiley got 'battle armour' for a Zhu Zhu pet
Lulu got a "Tear up this Book" journal and a Lauren Alaina CD
I got an electric razor!
Ginger got slippers
Smiley got a jumbo Bakugan coloring book
Ginger got a My Little Pony book with a set of figurines
Lu got a Selena Gomez journal
YaYa opened a snowboard, which we bought for her months in advance and hid in the basement rafters. We thought it'd be a great hit, but of course the winter of 2011-12 featured barely any snow at all! She also got a fashion journal.
Here's Ginger's dance studio apparel
Smiley got a Pokemon DVD and pocket guide
Lu got a notebook decorated with hearts and a Justin Bieber picture book!
Ginger opened a $25 gift cerfticate to Build a Bear!
Smiley got a six piece twin bed set for his room
LuLu's big gift - a digital drum kit! She'd been asking for a drum kit for months. Alas, her love affair with the kit lasted all of a few days before she came up with excuses as to why it wasn't good enough, and we didn't we buy her a real set, etc. :(
Ok, this next gift was such a big hit it deserves a post of its own - YaYa got her very own 1st edition Nook!
Then my big gift to Lisa: a Nook Tablet and case. I thought she could check her mail, read magazines, and surf the web all from the Perch, since she considered it a bother to go into our messy office. She loved it! But sadly so did the kids, who steal it at every opportunity. She rarely sees it. :(
When I first glanced at these pictures, I felt in hindsight that it was a big waste of money and that precious few of the gifts were ever used. Upon review, I was wrong. The adult gifts - the Nooks, the Netflix streamer, the razor, the perfume, flatware, etc - were spot on. Yes, the sewing box fell apart soon after but that wasn't my fault; it was pricey enough to last, trust me.
Of the kids stuff the Build A Bear GC, the Nook, and the pink rain boots were steady producers, but I'd say the other gifts (except the before mentioned drum kit) earned their money.
Anyhow, that was our Christmas morning. Later in the day we treated the kids to a movie, going to see Alvin and Chipmunks: Chipwrecked in the theater.
Hope your Christmas was just as fun!