Our Christmas was great! I woke up on Christmas Eve at 6:15 to a little shadowy figure standing beside my bed, breathing quietly. As soon as I struggled to open up one eye, the figure (Eli), whispered "Merry Christmas, Mommy!" You can't beat that for a sweet wake-up call, even if it was a little earlier than I would have liked :)
Cosette received from Mommy and Daddy a set of puppets and a puppet stage. Well, a homemade puppet stage. We took a big box from Joel's ware-house and cut a stage and door into it, and then my mom and sister 'helped' (okay, they did all the work) me to decorate it :) I'm looking forward to lots of puppet shows on cold winter nights.
Eli received a big container of Lincoln Logs. He was having fun right away trying to build the tower that was pictured on the container.
And Noah was having fun with his wooden train---a colorful, pull-apart train that has all kinds of different stacking and matching games on it for little people. He also got a cool boat with little animals in it for playing with in the bath-tub----a toy that is perfect for him, because he loves to take a bath!
I haven't forgotten that I promised to show you the different gifts that we made for our other relatives. Here are some links:
We made spice jars---simply a mason canning jar filled with yummy smelly things that can be used as a type of potpourri. See sample pictures and where I found our original idea here.
We also made cinnamon swirl bread---oh my, so great toasted with butter and cream cheese! See the recipe here
Included in almost all of our gift bags were some of these scones----Gingerbread here and Cranberry here
I also let the kids make their own Christmas Tree Ornaments and paint them---kind of like
un-edible sugar cookies! We also made a hand-print of Noah's hand and labled it with his name and date. I adapted the directions for doing this from here
Something small but fun that I tossed in each bag were a few of these Rolo pretzel turtles. Yum! Note: We made ours even better by drizzling melted white chocolate on top :)
Of course we also included in our bags one of our family pictures and a picture of just the kids--always a big hit with Grandparents ;)
And last but not least, one of my favorite gifts was a plaque that I made for my Grandma. It simply had a picture of the kids on it and I decorated it, and then I told her (in my neatest hand-writing, of course! ;) how much I appreciated her and all the things that made her so special.
Not exactly the same as giving fancy jewelry and electronics for Christmas, but our gifts were given with just as much 'heart', so I think the receivers appreciated the effort :)
Many of these gifts would be appropriate to give through-out the year, so keep these ideas in mind for a fun, 'from the heart' type of gift.