Christmas Gift Status Report

Key Jabba figure lost head within 24 hours of Santa delivering gift.

Jabba head lost within 24 hours of Santa delivering gift.

December 25

2:30 am: Miss Priss arrives in our room and announces, “It’s Christmas!”

2:32 am: The Room Mom replies, “It won’t be Christmas for 3 more hours.” Miss Priss climbs into bed and repeats that she can’t sleep every 30 minutes until 4:30 am, then falls asleep until 6:40 am.

6:40 am: It is officially Christmas. Santa brings Jabba’s Lego palace with unique Jabba figure to my son, Mr. Star Wars. Santa brings a new American Girl doll with table, chairs, and the beautiful Depression glass birthday set to Miss Priss.

7:40 am: Christmas finished.

1:20 pm: First Christmas casualty– American Girl vase breaks. Tears.

1:30 pm: The Room Mom glues vase back together.

2:00 pm: The Room Mom naps.

american girl broken vase

December 26

11:00 am: Trip to Michael’s Crafts so work on American Girl doll food can begin.

2:00 pm: Mr. Star Wars wants to show his new Jabba Lego figure to the neighbors. This one-of-a-kind figure can only be purchased with the complete palace ($119.99). The Room Mom barely listens as Mr. Star Wars heads out the door because she is so engrossed in American Girl doll food.

3:00 pm: Jabba’s head discovered missing (oxymoron?) somewhere between the neighbor’s front door and our driveway. Assets– It is a big Lego piece. Liabilities– Jabba’s head is brown and green, the exact color of the lawn. Search begins.

4:30 pm: Search for Jabba’s head ends for the day due to lack of light.

7:00 pm: New Darth Vader Lego mini figure discovered missing.

8:00 pm: The Room Mom makes a margarita and tries not to think of the damaged toy sets that were new and perfect mere hours ago.

December 27

9:00 am: Mr. Star Wars continues the search for Jabba’s head. It rained during the night but is now sunny, so we hope Jabba will be easy to spot. Mr. Star Wars wears a new pair of Christmas pants and very carefully searches our yard and the neighbor’s yard on hands and knees in the wet grass.

chewed slide whistle

10:00 am: Dog eats wooden slide whistle Santa left in Miss Priss’ stocking. Work on the Playmobil Future Planet set begins. The Room Mom starts a load of laundry.

10:30 am: Dog chews Future Planet Playmobil man. The Room Mom saves man, but plastic Playmobil goggles lost. Dog’s reaction to the “Drop!” command improving.

Playmobil Future Planet Figure

December 28:

11:28: Kids head outside to ride EZ Rollers. The Room Mom stands at the edge of the driveway and notices a puddle of water sitting in a green plastic cup. Jabba’s head recovered!

Jabba the Hut Lego Head

1:00 pm: All boxes broken down and ready for garbage pick up. The Room Mom considers possible loose toy pieces in garbage pile.

December 29

11:30 am: Damage Assessment

  • One broken vase– repaired
  • One important Lego piece lost– recovered
  • One new pair of pants covered in dirt– laundered
  • One Darth Vader Mini Figure MIA– still unaccounted for
  • One wooden slide whistle eaten– thrown away **bonus** very noisy toy
  • One Playmobil man chewed– saved with minimal bite marks
  • Dog response to “Drop!” command– improving

Overall, minimal casualties and maximum gift enjoyment.

12:30 pm: The Room Mom begins working on a blog post to assure herself that she is not the only one who goes crazy over the missing and damaged tiny pieces of her children’s toys. The children, by the way, bypass the missing and damaged pieces and instantly create other ways to continue playing with the toys.

On the 9th Day, The Gifts Have Tiny Pieces

We are at the height of the tiny pieces toy phase at my house. I will admit that I am often the one who supports the decision to purchase the toy that comes with a gazillion tiny pieces (Lego, Playmobil, Calico Critter…) because I love miniature playsets. WARNING: All of the suggestions below have many tiny parts and may cause injury if you step on them in the middle of the night.

Does anybody have any other tiny playset ideas? Does anybody have any suggestions for protecting yourself from late night injuries?

Kitchen Littles: These are food playsets that are made of die cast metal and plastic. Kitchen Littles was discontinued then reintroduced. I can’t tell if it has been discontinued again, but some of the sets are available if you run a Google search. The size is perfect for Barbie (or other 12″ doll), and the ones we have are much better quality than the Mattel/Barbie kitchen sets.

Calico Critters: These are tiny animal families with clothes and playsets. Visit the Calico Critters website to locate retailers. You can find about everything you might need for life with tiny woodland creatures. It is like the Brambly Hedge picture books come to life. The detailed pieces that come with each playset are amazing, but they are tiny, and you need to apply stickers to a lot of the accessories when setting up the playset.

Lego: We have many Lego sets, but sometimes the Legos in a set are too specific for building creatively. This year, I am visiting the online Pick a Brick store to purchase a generic set of Lego bricks that can be used to build anything we want. Lego used to have a DESIGN byME service where you could customize a Lego structure and then purchase the bricks needed to build your own design. That service has been discontinued but may be relaunched in the future.

Quadrilla: We found the Quadrilla marble sets a few years ago and have been adding supplemental tracks to it every few years. This is a great toy. The tracks are wooden and do not break easily. The sets come with track design suggestions, but it is very easy to build your own marble track.

On the Second Day of Gift Ideas

I won’t be posting 12 days in a row of gift ideas, but I had a little momentum from yesterday’s watercolor painting post, so you get two ideas back to back! A year ago, my son came home from school raving about jelly marble experiments he had been performing in science class. It turns out, my local toy store carried this fun item, and we started giving them as birthday presents (great price point).

At Christmas last year, we bought several variations of the jelly marbles and gave them to all of the 4-8 year old family members. I even thought about using them as stocking stuffers for my own children.

What to Buy: Be Amazing! Toys has several options that are fun gifts. You can give the Amazing Spheres or Jiggly Jewels. We have also given the Insta Snow. After testing everything, the original jelly marble (AKA Amazing Spheres) was the fan favorite.

What to Do: The Steve Spangler website gives great suggestions for parents/teachers. At our house, we filled cups with water and added food dye. We let a few marbles grow in each color, then started moving them around to different colors to see if the colors would combine. We left them in for many days to see how big they would grow. We cut them in half to check out the inside. We tried different types of liquid (like cranberry juice or milk), which made a big difference on the growth rate. Basically, I left them by the kitchen sink, and my children messed around with them every day. I did not have to supervise too much, and as long as they stayed near the sink, there was very little clean up.