I love how generous everyone was with the kids at Christmas but we have too.much.stuff. So much that my Christmas gift was these awesome bookcases (two of them) put together and anchored to the wall by Husband and his dad. They were completely filled with books (on shelves), crafts (in cabinets) and dress up clothes (drawers) BEFORE Christmas.
The kids opened everything at once but there were certain toys that they kept on playing with during Christmas day and the days that followed. In no particular order the Esq kids' favorite toys:
Buckle Bear (actually a Monkey I realized when I looked it up). Jo loves this gift from Grammy and Penny also has found enjoyment. For Jo I just unbuckle and rebuckle a million times and sometimes she tries herself. Jo also brings over any new book and demands repeatedly "read! read!" before flipping to the end and saying "all done!" That girl is one big exclamation point.
Ned is a theme kid - Cars, ToyStory, Thomas. His two favorite gifts were the Thomas ViewMaster (thanks, Aunt Rachel!) and Mack Hauler from Cars (thanks, Grammy!). Of course Ned is already complaining that he's "seen all the [view master slides] pictures already". This from a kid who will watch the same movie twice in a row. Interestingly Ned hasn't really played with the one gift he begged Santa for (Flynn from Thomas the Tank Engine) - maybe because he saw it in our home office before I had a chance to unwrap it?
Penny asked Santa for princess dolls and dress up clothes. Her favorite is the $1 crown I got at Christmas Tree Shop and the $3 plush Snow White doll I got at Walgreens (sort of like a really cheap version of this one). When I asked her what her favorite gift was for Christmas she said "having fun with everyone". Damn, she can throw a fit for an hour and be the sweetest kid on the planet twenty minutes later.
We spent much of the day after Christmas actually opening big box gifts, putting in batteries and asking ourselves "where the heck are we going to put this stuff"? I know that some moms put toys away and that sounds great in theory until you realize that your basement has no storage left from all the toys that the kids have outgrown or don't use. I'd sell or give them away but I don't want to hurt our nanny's feelings (she always gets the kids way too much) and I'd like her to baby able to take what she wants for her son (due end of January).
For the grown ups Husband got me only the things I requested/needed - a gel mat for the kitchen and a shower curtain. To some that might sound unromantic but I love a practical gift (I think the best gift my mom gave me was a hairdryer one year). I did get some Ugg boots from my mom lest you thing all my gifts were overly practical. I got Husband a cufflink storage box that turned out to be broken and will have to be returned, along with a computer game (so I can watch my "girl" TV shows). We always try to make things funny with cute gift tags - for example Husband wrote "To my dirty, dirty wife" on the shower curtain.
How do you handle Christmas toy/gift overload?