Even though three quarters of the human members of the household were sick for Christmas we had a really good day. There are a number of reasons for this, but I’m betting that getting to stay in pajamas and take naps whenever we wanted was a big part of it. Judicious use of Motrin probably didn’t hurt either. So, what were the ten best gifts this Christmas?
; This lens is probably my favorite gift. I need to work with it more when I’m not sick, but I love that it gives me far better portraits of my kids than I was getting with the regular shooting lens that I use. I’m hoping that it will work for the girls, too :).
2) LeapFrog Chat and Count Phone
Katie received this phone and has gotten hours of fun out of it so far. She seems to think it’s the greatest thing in the whole, wide world. She loves to push the buttons and listening to it make the noises.
3) Fisher Price Little People – Busy Day Home
She also received this house and, again, loves spending all of her time playing with it. I think these two presents, alone, would have made her Christmas and this is what we need to keep in mind in the future. Multiple presents and lots of presents aren’t necessary. I think we need to really work to limit the presents to three.
Ben loves ALL ThinkFun games. He thinks they’re really cool and he really likes solving the puzzles. This one is a little different from his other games because it’s three dimensional and requires him to think in ways that I don’t think he’s tried before. But, we set it up for him once, he watched how the pieces could move and then he was off and running. He’s done the majority of the beginner cards already. I’m just praying they come up with more cards for this game before he burns through all of them.
5) ThinkFun Rush Hour
One of the best gifts we gave was ThinkFun’s Rush Hour to one of Ben and Katie’s friends. The kids love this game and with all the extension cards, it will keep them busy for a long, long time. My son is just starting to use this one — he had the Jr version, but he’s pretty much solved all the cards with that, so he’s moving up.
One thing that Ben specifically asked for was a baby doll that was a boy, like him. Finding a boy baby doll turned out to be far more challenging than I would have thought. In large part because he wanted one that looked like Manhattan Toy Baby Stella Doll like his sister received. This doll is an excellent option for a little boy who wants to practice parenting on a stuffed baby. Frank has already become an important member of our household and been is very proud to show him off to people.
7) Getting sick. I know it sounds insane, but not having to run around on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day — or prep for guests who were coming here was strangely liberating. I don’t know that we would advocate getting sick as a good idea for next year, but it’s a good idea to remember that there’s more to the season than running all over the place.
8) Sam. My old dog is 11 3/4s. She’ll be twelve in March. At that point she will have passed her expected life span by two years. Could this have been her last Christmas? I don’t know. If it was, the fact that we were all together, she didn’t have to stress out at all, and she got to help unwrap a couple of presents? That pretty much defines her perfect holiday. It really does.
9) Wii Music
I’m telling you after hearing tales of all the people who received “gifts” of drums or other instruments, I cannot tell you how thankful I am that one very thoughtful friend got this for Ben instead. He has jammed with trumpets, saxaphones, and an electric guitar. He’s thrilled that he gets to try so many different instruments, and I’m thrilled that there’s an off switch. Talk about a perfect musical present. Yeah, I know, it’s not Rock Band and I do think that would be cool at some point, but for now, this is pitched at his level. The songs aren’t super annoying and he’s having a blast.
10) Katie. Though listed last, she is, without doubt, our best gift this holiday. She is healthy. Her head is healing well. Her scar is slowly disappearing as her hair grows in. She looks more like a baby and less like a patient. It’s wonderful. She’s a happy, healthy little girl. She’s a little behind, developmentally, at the moment, but it’s impossible to be worried because she has time to make up and skill deficits that she “gained” through the surgical process.
I know it’s a weird top ten, but it’s our top ten and our life :).