This year our family gift was a downstairs upgrade for the kids to have as a friend hang-out spot. It fits perfectly with the teen/pre-teen age range we have going on in our family right now, and already today we've had friends over playing. There's plenty to do down there. This is a picture of the kids waiting to come upstairs to see what Santa brought.
Nate, who has been using Tim's 30 year old backpack for Scouts for the past 3 years, asked Santa for his own backpack. Santa delivered. Mom and Dad also gave him a new sleeping bag. He's set.
Turns out Megan's favorite present wasn't from Santa. It came from Mom and Dad in the form of a Perfect Brownie Pan Set. Megan is the brownie queen at our house. She asks to make brownies at least once a day. Her other favorite present was her turquoise blue skinny jeans, a present from Nate, Jeran and Joie.
Jeran loves his BYU sweatshirt. It's a good year to be wearing blue (even if you're the only member of the family who thinks so). Jeran also got a snow shovel from Santa. He also (kind of) got drums. Santa and Jeran's parents reached a compromise that Jeran could have an electronic drum pad, complete with foot pedal and MP3 jack...real drum set pending after a year or two more of lessons.
Joie was super, super excited to get her Girl Power Password Journal. It was a gift from Nate and Jeran, "so she will have somewhere to write 'I love Braxton C.' besides her dresser." (And yes, I checked and she has been carving in her dresser so I've promised her a date with some sand paper sometime this holiday break.) Meanwhile, the Girl Power Password Journal has provided hours of family entertainment since it was opened...turns out the REAL reason the boys bought the journal for Joie was to see if they could break into her journal. The password is voice activated, meaning it technically only recognizes Joie's voice. If anyone but Joie tries to speak the password to open the journal, sirens go off, sounding the intruder alert. Nate, Jeran, and all the male cousins at the Jarman Christmas party were entertained for hours trying to speak in high pitched voices to unlock Joie's journal. When they finally suceeded, they were more excited that they had beaten the voice recognition technology than they were about discovering what was on the inside of the journal. Boys.
Another favorite were the beanie hats crocheted by Grandma Susan. The hats arrived the day before the holiday parties at school, and the kids were supposed to wear hats and holiday colors to school the next day for singing-in-the-round, so I let them open the hats a few days early. Fun! We found a pretty purple flower to pin to Joie's hat and she's worn the hat every day since she got it, accessorizing every day with different flowers.
For school the next day, Joie glued some holly to a hair clip for her hat, and Jeran, who was feeling the holiday love, attached a piece of holly to the tip of a Santa hat hoping girls would think it was mistletoe. He also filled the brim of the hat with candy canes to pass out.