One of my favourite parts as a child was always the stocking and the anticipation of what Father Christmas would bring. N hadn’t quite got that excitement, mainly because Christmas even was another slight fail.
Each Christmas Eve, the OH’s family (en masse) always go out for a meal which is great fun and lovely to catch up when it’s unusual for us all to be together on Christmas day. But it does mean that N’s out late, so it’s straight to bed and no preparing for Father Christmas or stockings. We forgot to put out the reindeer food we made, no mince pies, carrots or sherry were put out. Maybe next year I’ll remember to sort all that out with him before we head out!
But N loved opening his stocking in the morning. Stockings are a great chance to add old fashioned slow toys (as well as the obligatory satsuma, chocolate coins and pants!) so N had a real mixture – his own craft scissors, paintbrushes, card games – Snap and Happy Families, and some Brio wooden railway mini track pieces. We’ve been struggling in that our train track never seemed to quite fit the 2 spare ends together, but now we’ve got track with 2 female and 2 male ends, so no more struggling.
He also loved finding his Haba ice creams and Haba orange inside. He immediately wanted to lick the ice creams. It’s great they’re double ended on the ice cream, so lots of multiple options for play.
I was amazed to see the size of some of the piles of presents that people were posting online. I’d got lots of small things for N knowing that the OH was going to pick up some farm toys. I then had decided that there was too much for one Christmas, so some were held back for his birthday in January. He still had plenty of items to open, and we know that his toys won’t really be adding huge piles to those already in the house.
N loves his wooden railway. It’s a mix of brands, but I’d spotted some Brio on offer before Christmas, so had picked up a few pieces to add to his boxful. He was very exciting about them and had Uncle Andrew helping him learn how to use them on Christmas Day. Boxing day, we creating a great ornate track…N must have been tired once we’d finished as he didn’t bother getting the actual trains out. We just admired the track for a while before he got caught up in his new combine harvester and teleporter.
Being a farmer’s son does mean N is obsessed with farm toys, and our toys of preference are Bruder at the moment. My brother always had Britains when he was a boy, as did the OH and his brother and Dad, but nowadays a lot of other farm toys don’t appear as good quality as previously. The OH is always reading where toys are manufactured, and even toys we think of as British made are largely made in China now, much to his disappointment. N’s building up his Bruder collection – they’re pretty sturdy although they’re plastic, but they’re realistic as everything’s to scale. The combine went down really well!
Finally, he had lots of puzzles and some games. He does like puzzles, although it takes a while for him to realise that he can do them on his own. They’re lovely for us to help him with so I wanted to build up his collection and work up to some larger puzzles. Last year he was given a beautiful wooden chunky John Deere tractor puzzle, and this year has ranged from some wooden ones (a pain to store as on wooden bases rather than in boxes), and a great reversible, colour in back, digger one. He’s been enjoying that one yesterday (doing it with his Great Aunt) and today on his own. I love that puzzles are for any age.
Overall, he enjoyed his presents and had a great day with his Gran, Gramp and Uncle.