O's favorite Christmas gift was her suitcase full of dress-up clothes, specifically her beautiful Cinduh-ella gown and glass slippers :) I love that the dress-up clothes are in a suitcase and therefore, super easy and convenient to transport. We brought them with us to my mom's for the week after Christmas, and we're taking them to a tea party when O wakes up from her nap. Here are a few highlights: O and M have been having LOTS of Royal Princess Tea Parties!
I wasn't the only one who gave handmade gifts for Christmas! My aunt gave O this "tosey" (cozy) hat for Christmas, and she loves it. I'm hoping that I'll learn to knit using this book that Ell gave me for Christmas :)
Elliott's Aunt gave this angel ornament to O for Christmas. She loves it because it's blue (her favorite color), and it has her name on it (under my finger). I love it because it reminds me of our baby who is now O's guardian angel. O knows that the baby is an angel who is watching over her to make sure she is happy and safe, and although Ell's aunt probably didn't intend for the angel to have this special significance, it does for me and it will for O as she gets older and understands things a little better.
We LOVE Zingo! My friend, Becca, sent this fantastic game to O for Christmas. We let her open in on Christmas Eve along with a few special presents from us (we didn't want it to get overlooked in the craziness of Christmas day). I'm so glad we let her open it early. We were all so excited about it that we immediately played the game. We had a great time, and O caught on quickly. We are going to play in English for a while before we switch to Spanish, but I think it's going to be GREAT for all of us to practice our Spanish vocabulary. I highly recommend this very fun game! Thanks, Becca!!!
Guh-guh and Grandpa have a tradition at their house of hiding a pickle on their Christmas tree, and whoever finds the pickles gets a special monetary surprise! We usually forget about it until my mom starts hinting around, but Elliott remembered this year. He kept making eyes at me trying to get me to start looking (I was sitting by tree). I finally figured out what he was talking about and started discreetly looking for it. Then the others remembered and we started frantically searching. I was the lucky one this year! Hooray! Guh-guh and Grandpa also have lots of stockings hanging around decorating their house, and this year they put surprises in them, too. They left a note on the hearth telling us about this. I was the only one who saw the notes, so I had a head start! These are really fun traditions that we REALLY get into :)
that I'm a little obsessed with making things out of felt. A couple of nights ago, she was upset because Elliott's handheld mirror is broken. She said "I want mama to fix it. I want mama to make one out of felt!" I adore her :)
A new tradition that I'm starting this year is choosing O's favorite 4 or 5 Christmas books each year and writing a few sentences in each book telling about her reaction to the book, things that she said and asked about it, etc. I think it will be fun to look back each year and remember what her favorite books were in the previous years :)
We gave O her handmade cradle, doll quilt, and doll diaper bag filled with lots of goodies tonight (Christmas Eve) after we ate supper and watched home videos. She LOVED it all! I'm so excited :) I was secretly afraid that she should wouldn't be interested in everything, and I'm so glad that my fears were unfounded.
If you need a last minute gift, here is one that you can make in a minute, and you probably have the ingredients in your pantry :) To make the sugar scrub you need sugar, olive oil, and peppermint extract (essential oil would be MUCH better, but I could only find peppermint extract). Mix a cup of sugar with a half cup of olive oil. We then added about another 1/4 cup of sugar because it seemed too oily. Add peppermint extract (I didn't measure it. I just poured it in until it smelled good :) It was probably about 1 or 2 teaspoons of extract). Unfortunately, peppermint extract has a lot of alcohol in it, so the sugar scrub smells of alcohol as much as it smells like peppermint :) Oh, well. It's the thought that counts, and even though this was easy to make, I put A LOT of thought into it :)
O and I painted these aprons when we painted the kitchen towels. Again she really liked making the handprint tree, but she was not interested in decorating the tree :) My plan for the aprons (each grandma gets one, we made one for me, and one for O) is to add another handprint decoration each year. I will write O's name and the year by each one. O and M (my niece) are both decorating my mom's apron. The aprons came from Hobby Lobby.
Putting dried orange peels on the fabric circles. O's favorite part of this project was cutting the ribbon. She was so excited to be able to easily achieve cutting success! (we need to do more cutting activities!)
These towels are another of our handmade (well...handpainted, since I bought the towels) gifts. O enjoyed making the handprint, but she wasn't interested in decorating the tree. After weeks of trying to get her interested in decorating the tree, I finally did it myself :) I hope our family and friends like these special keepsake Christmas kitchen towels :)
This project did not work as planned, and it was actually a disaster! I put the trays in the oven to melt the chocolate chips, but they never melted. Then they started burning! Our whole house was filled with smoke, and we had to turn on the fans and open the doors (and it was cold!). Oh, well. I should have followed Amy's instructions and melted the chocolate before pouring it in the trays :)