A Few Of Our Favorite Things: Christmas Edition

Does anyone else still have a few stray Christmas presents tucked into cluttery piles? I can’t say for certain, but I’m fairly sure I have a Christmas gift bag in the corner of my kitchen filled with a few more presents. It may or may not live there for the next month or so, when I decide to put on my big-girl pants and actually clean something.

I’m terrible at finding new homes for new items. Once something has entered my home and been placed on a counter, it tends to roost for the foreseeable future.

Side note: Due to the Facebook popularity of her new show and Netflix’s consistent advertising, I’ve started listening to Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. We’ll see what kind of impact it has on my life. We shall see.

We received numerous wonderful gifts, as our families love us, know us, and love to bestow gifts on us during Christmastime. Hopefully this won’t offend any of my loved ones, but I thought I’d share some of the presents that have made it into our daily routines.

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We now have to build an addition onto our house. Just kidding! Thankfully, each kid got a tent so there isn’t much squabbling about sharing…

(Dear family, we loved ALL of our gifts! This is just a highlight reel that I thought others might benefit from. Also, I included zero links, as that would force me to discover the price of each gift.)

Brookstone Weighted Blanket – My husband came through BIG on this one. I sleep under a sheet, three blankets, and quilt every night. Yes. It’s insane. Especially to my husband who sleeps under a sheet (somehow, he sees it as his right to whine when I “steal” the sheet. I say he should start off with more, then he’d end up with more).

This blanket weighs 12 pounds. Twelve! But when I try to lift it, it feels more like 20. It’s covered in this super-soft, removable cover. Weirdly, it doesn’t seem to keep me any warmer. Therefore, I replaced a single T-shirt blanket with this heavy hitter, and therefore sleep until a sheet, two blankets, a quilt, and 12-pounds of extra weight each night. Again, insanity. I even lugged the thing to Waco, which, in hindsight, may have been a bit excessive.

Cast-Iron Skillet – My in-laws gave me a secondhand cast-iron skillet, which may not seem that exciting to some, but I am thrilled! I’ve never had a good one, and this one came lovingly and thoughtfully pre-seasoned by my sweet in-laws, who actually know what they’re doing when it comes to cast-iron. My sister-in-law even gave me a whole caboodle of items to care for my pan. I’ve made one steak, and while I set the smoke alarm off three times, it was still rather tasty.

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Best invention ever.

Battery-Powered Kid Car – My in-laws also spoiled my children in a fabulous way. They gave an orange, two-seater Jeep, which has a video-game-style remote control for the parents. This thing is brilliant. I can semi-allow my children to drive around the yard, but if they head toward a tree, bush, house, or minivan, I can control the situation without sprinting at them and screaming like a lunatic (which I may or may not have done when my son chugged toward a bush/our house). Also, I’m obsessed with how my tiny children look like a little old couple putt-putting along.

14-Inch Child’s Bike – We decided to buy a training-wheel’d bike for George’s big Christmas present. I thought he might be a bit young and uncoordinated for it, but he’s doing really well. He named it “Bikey” and has nearly gotten the hang of pedaling around our circle drive on his own. It’s also adorable to watch Olivia climb up on it, even though her little Toms can’t reach the pedals.

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Build-A-Bear Gift Card – Olivia and I used this one today, so it’s fresh on my mind. A relative gave her this gift card, which was a great idea for a 2-year-old. Our Build-A-Bear is just a kiosk at the mall, but the magic was still the same. Olivia had to pet each one of the stuffed options and say “nice!” before she finally chose a Paw Patrol character to be her new friend.

The Ultimate Weekend – When my mom asked what my husband would want for Christmas, I knew the answer immediately.

“You know what he’d really like?” I asked. “He would love a weekend at home while you and Dad keep the kids.”

“Oh! Of course we can do that!” Mama Sr., exclaimed.

Here’s the deal with my husband. He’s a homebody. If we get a weekend without the kids, he doesn’t want the stress of travel. He wants to be at home. On his couch. And he’d also be up for a nice dinner out.

Thankfully, Mama Sr., and my daddy came through wonderfully! In addition to their offer to come pick up the kids and drop them off two days later, they gave us restaurant and movie gift cards, a Groupon gift card, and a certificate for Bite Squad. We don’t even have to leave the house for food!

I did warn my husband that I think we should clean for, like, one solid hour of that weekend. Imagine how much we could get done if the kids weren’t there!


OK, I feel like I’m bragging with that last one, but man! I’m excited about that sucker. Coming: February 2019!

What gifts have made it into your daily routine? Any new product recommendations? Get anything you’ve been wanting for awhile?

For more Mama, follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

Currently reading:

Outrage, Inc.: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood by Derek Hunter

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