Christmas hit this house like a tornado leaving in its wake a mess of wrapping paper, boxes and lots of new toys. Before the holiday my boys purged their nest to make room for new loot and to give new life to their old favourites. The boys readily donated their gently used toys to a local charity that was seeking donations.
The two weeks between Christmas and the return to school passed in a peaceful blur. With no schedules dictating what to do, we enjoyed spending time together as a family and indulged in several pajama days playing with new toys, reading new books and over eating delicious food.
Some of our favourite gifts from the holiday:
Lego, Lego and more Lego . . . and some Playmobil too!
We spent several hours tediously arranging and re-arranging Lego and Playmobil sets. The four-year-old has a vivid imagination and readily integrates the sets to create complex battles between swashbucklin’ pirates and the Queen’s knights. It continues to amaze me how a set of plastic cubes can be the catalyst for learning about medieval history. Together we spent many more hours thumbing through books about castles, catapults and cannons as well as searching Google for answers to the many, many questions that were sent my way about pirate life, scurvy and Egypt (because the natural transgression from Medieval life is mummies, tombs and pyramids!).
The Boogie Board
A gift from Nana, these Boogie Boards have seen lots of use since being unwrapped on Christmas Day. The Boogie Board is an LCD writing tablet that erases with the click of a button. The four-year-old practiced his printing while the 6-year-old played Xs and Os with any willing (and some not so willing) participant. I wrote the boys a goodnight message on each of their boards that first night, and since then they have been asking for one every night.
Two Greedy Italians
I bought this book for my husband for Christmas – a fantastic cook who needs no help in the kitchen. Tired of all the reality-based Food Network shows (where are you, Nigella?), we started watching Two Greedy Italians on TLN. The pair criss-cross Italy, highlighting local fare that extends beyond spaghetti bolognese. The beautifully photographed book makes a welcome addition to our collection of cookbooks (that I rarely use but love to admire).
Remember the saying: the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree? My two-year-old son lives up to my university nickname of “Monica” (the cleaning-obsessed, neat-freak character on the 90’s sitcom Friends). This adult-like cleaning set comes with all the fixings required to give a home a good clean but sized perfectly for little hands. This gift from his aunt and uncle are the perfect addition to his vacuum.
Santa spoiled the boys (and cashed in his Shopper’s Optimum points) with the Nintendo Wii. Is it wrong that the grown-ups in the house have gotten just as much satisfaction from this gift as the kids? I never thought that I would say “family time” equals “video game time” . . . but a little bowling and some Just Dance 4 is a guarantee for lots of laughs.