Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Magical Christmas

Left: Sled from Santa to both boys.  Middle: Max and Sullivan's three gifts each from Santa.  Top Right: "Sensory Cubby" from Momma and Dada to both boys.
We loved planning Christmas for the boys this year.  Experiencing the wonder and anticpation with Max made our hearts glow.  And with Sullivan...there is nothing sweeter than baby's first Christmas.  

First we decided we should set some standards for the "gifts" aspect of the holiday season in order to keep things (ie. spending) under control.  We determind that three gifts each was a good place to start.  Not only did this seem like plenty it also incorporated the spirit of Christmas since Jesus received three gifts on the night he was born.  This will serve as a good explanation when the boys ask why they don't get as many gifts as other kids on Christmas in the future.  I know that day will come :)  The boys also got one big "shared" Santa gift and a few things in their stockings.  Other than that we wanted to focus on family traditions and giving thoughtful gifts rather than "stuff".

SO. These are the three gifts Max received from Santa:
An accordian, Pallino game and a little learner laptop!
And these are the three gifts Sullivan received from Santa:
A "vintage" spinning top, old school tin radio and wooden shape sorter.
On Christmas morning Billy and I woke up around 8.  The house was still silent.  Should we wake the boys up?  We decided to go downstairs and make hot chocolate and wait for them to stir.  Billy wrote Max a letter "from Santa" thanking him for the treats we left out...and reminding him to be a good boy all year ;)

Sullivan was the first one up.

We brought him downstairs and put him in the new sled that Santa brought for both boys...
Then Max woke up.  His reaction to the presents under the tree was priceless.  What he loved most, though, was seeing Sully sitting in the sled.  He went ran over to give him a hug and said "Ooohhhh, Baby, Mewy Kissmass!!!"
I wonder how hard it will be to come up with one mutually pleasing gift in years to come for the "shared" present...especially as our family expands. For now, having two little boys, the possibilties were endless. But we settled on this sweet heirloom sled.
Everyone in KC can thank us now, because we will officially NOT be getting snow this season as a result of buying this thing. Guaranteed.
Snow or no snow it looks like Max is going to get some good use out of it.  (mesmerized by the Yo Gabba Gabba Christmas Special)

We did decide that there was absolutely no cap on gifts made with the hands and the heart. And here is where I went a little nuts...

We put together a "Sensory Cubby" for them full of fun little things we found around the house.  This was for the boys from Momma & Dada.  Billy and I had a blast going on a scavenger hunt to find random stuff to put in the cubbys.  I attached the labels with velcro so I can switch them out every once in awhile.
This has turned out to be his very favorite gift so far.  Loves shining the flashlight in each of the cubbies and looking around with the binoculars.
Memory Game:
I loved the game Memory when I was a kid.  I thought Max would probably be intrested in it IF the pictures where of people he recognized.  So with the help of my Mom and Gram we made these little memory cards out of 2x3" pieces of wood.

ABCs Rock!:
THIS was a Pinterest idea. What little boy doesn't love rocks?!  I painted the uppercase letters on one side and lowercase letters on the other side.

Then there were the boys gifts to each other....
When I asked Max what he wanted to give Sullivan for Christmas he looked around and said "Ummm...Bib!!"  Sullivan wears a bib all day, everyday.  Being the drooliest, spittiest baby one could imagine I have to change his bib multiple times a day (which is better than an entire new outfit).  I'm not surprised Max thought a new bib would be the perfect gift for his little brother.  I also loved the idea because as soon as he said the word "bib" I thought back to this quote I'd seen on Pinterest months ago and thought it was hilarious...
It probably could have turned out better if I had done any sort of test prior to creating this, but I just went for it. Even freehanding the Superman logo from a Google image on my computer screen. Oh well. It was made with love.
The "S" is for Sullivan :)
Then there was Sullivan's gift to Max.  Obviously too young to come up with an idea himself I took it upon myself to make this book via Shutterfly. I called it "Sullivan Slept..." 
It talks about all the things Max wanted to do with Sullivan after he was born, but Sullivan was too busy sleeping all the time.  I gave it a cute surprise ending and Max LOVES it. We've already read it just about 50 times.

And last but not least were the stockings.  Just a few little things....

Sullivan's stocking:
Wind-up duck family, The Velveteen Rabbit book, Shamrock wooden teether and a little STUFT doll.
Max's Stocking:
Window Crayons, Silly String, the ABC's Rock (mentioned above) and the Memory Game (mentioned above) and the light up BALL his asked for from Santa!
Max likes to get creative too.  I let him use celery and apples to stamp onto paper.  I framed a few of them and they turned out to be great gifts...

We also made a "back rub" shirt for Dada for Christmas.  I painted the road on the back and added things that Billy loves...the Bears, golf, McLains Bakery (that's Max and Dada's "spot" they go together every weekend) and the park.  I let Max go crazy with paint on the front side of the shirt.  And Sullivan added a little drool.
Billy had this shelf made for me by one of our dear friends.  We still have to distress the wood and stain it, but I love the way it turned out!
Max and Sullivan, you are my two favorite little gifts in the whole world....I hope all of our Christmas's are as magical as this one turned out to be.

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