Due to previous years of party exhaustion we have instituted Extended Family Christmas on Christmas Eve.
We did stockings and presents for the children.
My mother-in-law - always beautifully sentimental - handed down her mother, grandmother's and her own China. There was a set for each daughter-in-law to be handed down to our daughter(s).
Christmas morning was perfection.
Crossing traditional gender-lines, Zack got his own baby doll so he won't have to borrow his sister's and a cooking set and Bonnie Bell lip gloss (it tastes good and Ainsley wants him to stop stealing hers). I theorize that it's just as fundamental for boys to practice being nurturing caretakers, exceptional fathers and competent homemakers as it is for girls to practice being maternal. He loves them. Oh don't worry, he still received loads of trucks, tractors, animals, and dinosaurs which boys traditionally get and he loves those too.
By the same token, I was excited to give Ainsley the giant set of Tinker Toys to encourage development of engineering and inventive skills.
Everyone in our house got ipods or mp3 players. It was fun to reflect on getting a Walkman when I was a kid. How cool was that?
It's fascinating to see how many of the new toys come with interactive Internet components.
Webkinz and Precious Girls Club toys and products both come with secret codes for websites where they can play learning games and practice earning and spending money and points. They can interact online with each other if they know each other's sign-in code. I was thrilled to hear that the Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood was effective in getting outside advertising OFF of webkinz.com. I wasn't even aware that it was on there and I'd been allowing Ainsley to play on Webkinz.com for months. It's hard enough to approve the original content without worrying about approving of and supervising outside advertising.
Two of Ainsley's friends got Nintendo DS and they can text each other from the video game. It's a brave new world. Parents have to try hard to keep up.
Tell me what your family got excited about for Christmas.