Our Christmas this year was a doozy. I told myself I would not get caught up in the consumerism of the season, and I mostly succeeded. It was overall a pretty quiet holiday and I definitely did simplify this year. Like these cookies for Santa? Not made from scratch. I picked up some Pre-Made cookie dough from Whole Foods, and guess what...the girls thought they were great!
This year Santa's cookies just happened to be vegan cookies since I've gone dairy-free. They were actually scrumptuous (or so I heard). ;-)
The girls' big gifts this year were a kitchen set for Ginger and a dollhouse with furniture for Paprika. They got some other gifts, too, but those were the big gifts that everything else kinda centered around. The play kitchen was the one gift the girls asked Santa to bring for Ginger, so I knew it had to be under the tree on Christmas morning.
I had spied a kitchen on Craigslist for $50 that usually goes for $300 new. It was a big plastic monstrosity, and Mr. M said "no way" - it was just too big for our house. So, I passed on it and we ordered a cute wooden one online that was supposed to arrive by December 24th at the latest.
Well, it still hadn't come by the afternoon of December 23rd and we thought no big deal. We were hanging out at home and went to the front door to discover that there was a "delivery attempt" notice and that the Fed Ex driver hadn't even tried knocking! The notice said that they wouldn't re-attempt delivery until Dec. 27th! Unbeliveable!
Mr. M called Fed Ex and they told us that since it was shipped Ground there was nothing that could be done since the 24th was a Saturday and Ground only delivers on weekdays! That conversation went around in circles for about half an hour before we decided to cut our losses and go in search of a different play kitchen for Ginger...less than two days before Christmas.
So...Mr. M and I loaded the baby into the van while Grandma Pat stayed home with the big girls. I knew it was lunacy, but we headed to Toys R Us - yea, at 5pm on December 23rd in Los Angeles. When we got there, it looked like a riot zone. Boxes opened and strewn across the floor, hoardes of people jammed together, a check-out line to the back of the store. I found the ONE play kitchen in the whole store and I laid on top of it so no one else could get it while Mr. M searched the store for one empty cart.
And which play kitchen do you think I chained myself to? You guessed it- the $300 monstrosity that was on Craigslist for $50. Did we buy it? You bet we did.
Thankfully we had the van because it took up the whole back area, even with most of the seats removed. We drove home feeling happy we got out of there with our lives...although a little defeated about the experience overall.
Just as we were pulling into our driveway, we got a call from the Fed Ex driver saying that he was going to bring our package to our house right then! So, the kitchen we ordered actually did show up, and all our Toys R Us drama was totally unnecessary! But, it's a memory and one I won't soon forget. How I almost lost my life at Toys R Us two days before Christmas over a piece of plastic. ;-)
Mr. M returned the plastic play kitchen to Toys R Us the next morning, which undoubtedly made some other last minute shopper (and ultimately some child) very happy! All's well that ends well.
On Christmas Eve, Santa (I mean, Mr. M and myself), stayed up until almost 5am wrapping presents and putting together the cute wooden kitchen. (Note to self: that plastic kitchen came pre-assembled).
Here's Santa hard at work. Doesn't this look fun?! :-)
You can tell that this was the last present that was wrapped. Look at all those different wrapping papers. And how "carefully" it was wrapped! Ha!
The kitchen was a hit! Just seeing the girls' smiling faces was pretty awesome. But, of course, Santa got all the credit. ;-)
Paprika was excited about her present. Mr. M kept telling her it was a tomato smashing machine, but she wasn't fooled (especially since I know for a fact she peeked!)
For some reason, Ginger likes to take all the furniture and dolls out of dollhouses and hide them. This is her stealing Paprika's dollhouse furniture while no one was looking:
And here is the dollhouse empty. Silly girl!
It was the baby's first Christmas (ever! - she wasn't even conceived last year). She is so sweet, I can't even believe she is real. She got a few little things - some monogrammed, personalized things from us, and dark chocolate from Santa. Wonder who that is for? ;-) Truth is she has everything she needs and gets more attention than she knows what to do with.
So, that was our Christmas this year. It was magical and so sweet, and oh my goodness a lot of work on the part of the parents! I kind of need a break before next year. And next year, the only gifts they're getting will be no assembly required. Ha!