Thursday, December 11, 2014

the most wonderful season of blogs

I am loving all the Christmas blog posts this year. It doesn't matter how many gift guides, decoration photo sets, or pictures of cute kids in Christmas jammies I've seen - I'm always eager to see more. I figure I'm not the only one who likes these, so here's mine.

I took the kids to see the most wonderful Santa of all again this year. He makes the rounds at the public libraries, and we have always been able to catch him at one of the small branches, which is extra nice. I chatted about our visit off and on with Nico for a few days beforehand, in the least-pressurey way I could, hoping that he'd be less nervous for it. We talked a little bit about what he might want to ask for, and I gently steered him toward small stocking-stuffer type things (though it didn't take much steering - he didn't have any huge gifts in mind). He decided he would ask Santa for fuzzy socks since he got some in his stocking last year that he likes, maybe some Matchbox cars, and maybe another cheeping bird. A day or so before, he told me he was going to ask Santa for a Lego police car. Feeling cringey about the price of Lego sets, I reminded him that he already has a police car set, and he decided to ask Santa for a Duplo police car for Elliott instead. I wasn't sure this would actually happen, so even though I was hesitant about adding a biggish item to our stocking list, I let it go.

The Stories with Santa we attended was on Monday afternoon. Initially both kids were skeptical of the whole affair:

After all the other kids had taken their turn visiting, Nico was willing to give it a shot. Elliott graciously allowed me to place him beside his brother for a few minutes, though I didn't get any great photos of them together. Nobody cried, so I'm counting it as a victory.

And then, once Elliott had been set free again, Santa asked Nico what he wanted for Christmas. And my sweet, wonderful boy politely and earnestly asked for a "big Lego" police car for his baby brother. He explained that he already has a Lego police car, but that Elliott is too little to play with it, so he would like Santa to bring Elliott a Lego police car of his own to build. He completely forgot about all the stuff he wanted, though I reminded him about the socks. It was one of my proudest parenting moments to date, honestly. A few days later, I'm still feeling a little swell of love and pride in my chest when I think about it. MB and I are so charmed by the whole thing that Nico is getting a second police Lego set, and possibly a note from Santa complimenting him on his generosity of spirit.

I have loved seeing all the "what my kids are getting" posts popping up lately, so I figured I'd write one, too. I'm trying to keep it simple this year because the boys already have so many toys and because their birthdays are coming up quickly on the heels of Christmas (January 15 and February 25). They each will get one wrapped gift from MB and me and some things from Santa.

Nico, almost five years old, will be receiving:

Bruder logging truck from us. He was given a different logging truck for his birthday last year and loved it, and then it started to fall apart after barely a day of gentle play. I was pretty furious. This is the only other decent logging truck I've seen on the market (other than a bigger Bruder model that sells for $85), so I hope it's a good one. I managed to score it at Marshall's for less than Amazon price, so I'm pretty pleased.

Santa always brings books to our house, and this year's picks are two favorites we've had checked out from the library for months and months:

The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara and Peggy: a Brave Chicken on a Big Adventure by Anna Walker

His new Lego set, which I think will be easier for him to build (the other one he has is from the City collection, which are a little above his skill level):

I may also have Santa leave him a puzzle that I got from one of his book orders, though I may wrap that.

In his stocking, he'll have:

>> Christmas striped cozy socks from Old Navy (I'm SO SAD that he's about to outgrow the biggest size of cute socks that Old Navy makes.)
>> a packet of cookies
>> Lightning McQueen snack containers for his school lunches
>> a little Lego snowman set I picked up at Barnes & Noble
>> a Tow Mater ornament I bought last year and saved
>> a Matchbox car from the stash in my closet, since he did mention hoping Santa would bring one
>> maybe an Audubon cheeping bird...he picked one he liked off the tag of the one he has, but of course the bird he chose is discontinued

Elliott, almost two, will be receiving:

A handmade wooden logging truck that I really hope can withstand the rigors of his much more rough style of play. I got it from a local woodworker who is a super nice guy. His is just like this, except the cab is red instead of yellow:

His books:

Little Blue Truck's Christmas by Alice Schertle and Mix it Up by Hervé Tullet

His Duplo set:

I scored these Melissa & Doug instruments off craigslist for five bucks and I'm deciding between Santa leaving them and wrapping them. Maybe I'll wrap, just because unwrapping is fun.

In his stocking, he'll have:

>> Christmas striped cozy socks from Old Navy
>> a packet of cookies
>> a Matchbox car
>> his own flashlight, since he's always eager to play with Nico's
>> maybe an Audubon cheeping bird

Let's also enjoy some obligatory Christmas decoration photos! This was the first year Nico was at all interested in helping me hang ornaments on the tree, so that was fabulous. Elliott spent a few days stealing ball-shaped ornaments off the lower branches, but seems to have settled down now.

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