Remote Control vs. Imaginative Gifts

I knew what I was doing when I did it.  At the top of the Santa wish lists of my two youngest boys were remote controlled flying machines.  I unequivocably told them that I told Santa no remote controlled presents.  Why?  Because they break within days of usage.  Even my careful then 16-year-old who received a remote-controlled airplane ended up with it in a tall tree needing to be brought down by well-thought-out brainiac maneuvers.  And so there were no remote-controlled presents from Santa this year.

But . . . Joseph’s birthday is on Christmas Day.  We celebrate it anywhere from 1-3 days beforehand (we have a tradition in our home for birthdays that the celebratory factor of all the different elements are spread out over a week’s time; thus, referred to as “my birthday week”).  Joseph doesn’t have a LOT of interests, and so I was at a loss as to what to get him for his birthday, after exhausting what I knew he would like for his three Christmas presents.  And so I found myself at the remote-controlled flying machines.  Which brings me back to my knowing what I was doing when I bought it.  It’s not that I want to deny my boys the thrill of the remote or the free form of the fly.  I understood perfectly that it would be short-lived, but wonderful while it lasted.  Thus, I only feel able to spend that type of money occasionally.  A birthday seemed fitting.  So, here is the cool flying machine:

I should have known to have my camera at the ready in order to capture it in it’s heydey, when it was actually flying.  But, alas, it only lasted less than 24 hours.  So, I was caught having to take a picture on the table.  I’m still looking for a package that had what looked like some replacement parts so that older brother Eli could possibly fix it up for another 24 hour go.  But, it seems to have been misplaced.  So, for $30, they got the thrill of flight for a day.

Now, fast forward a couple days to Christmas.  This year, I wanted to get them gifts that kept giving all year that could also serve in diverse functions.  I scored big this year in accomplishing this.  For that same $30, I bought each a new crash helmet in army green to go along with the camo clothes I got so they could enhance their consistent Army play they love so much.  Is this not SO cute (the salute was William’s idea; the boy who is always playing the role in the moment; once clothed, the boy IS the Army solider):

Now, as you take a closer look, they are each holding a teddy bear dressed in camo as well.  I convinced two children who buy presents for their siblings to get each of them these Dollar Tree teddies (obviously, for a buck!), and a camo outfit for each from the same store (again, a buck!), and they just love these.  They always have some kind of “buddy” with them, and I knew they would get hours and days and months out of these dollar teddies.  So, I asked Joseph which was his favorite Christmas present, and he immediately said “Brownie” (his bear).  So, for $1, life is good.

The helmets double for their bikes, and triple for the present I got each of them of roller skates (for Joseph) and rollerblades (for William).  Because of this post I shared a while back, it is still on their favorite list of things to do of late.  Plus, our new friend we visit frequently has a cement drive they can roll on, and we have a nearby park we like to go to that has a huge cemented area they could practice their moves on.

Their last gifts were interest-based.  William received more Playmobil knights and Joseph received more John Deere die cast metal tractors.  These are both their respective stand-by play-alone toys.

As for the older children, presents come in small packages these days.  There were quite a few video games across the board.  Abbey received her own cell phone as she prepares to head off to college.  Of course, this is completely selfish on my part so that we can stay in close contact.  All the other children share a phone, as needed.  Again, it is mainly used so that we can stay in touch when we are apart or for emergency purposes.  My older children just never really got into talking for hours on the phone.  Is that a homeschooling thing?

I received a couple great presents; actually, one quite amazing.  The great gift was from my hubby.  Now that we are in a log house that can get . . . well . . . quite airy in the winter through all the “normal” cracks, and I love to go barefoot but there are also consistent nails popping up from the wooden floors, he bought me these from L.L. Bean:

My daughter knew this was our last Christmas before she leaves the nest in a way that there will be more separation than togetherness, so she wanted to be sentimental, and she did it perfectly.  Not only did she write me one of her amazing poems that touch the soul, but she wanted to have a “memorial to the relationship we have and the relationship that will continue to grow”.  First, go back to this post I wrote a while back, and then compare the gift:

Beautifully perfect!  I love this girl more than words can express.

To complete my Christmas post, here are the traditions of our home.  First, our Christmas tree:

And every year I bake a coffee cake that my hubby and my oldest son just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.  It turned out this year better than it has for a while (because they finally came out with a buttermilk bisquit the right size again; not too big, not too small).  My sister-in-law is a great cook and has FABULOUS cooking pictures on her blog, so I thought I could try to have one from me for once (because I DON’T cook much):

3 responses to “Remote Control vs. Imaginative Gifts

  1. Pingback: Apple Stars » Blog Archive » Birthdays

  2. “My older children just never really got into talking for hours on the phone. Is that a homeschooling thing?”

    Nope! Not in our house anyways. Kyle (8 year old) spends hours on the phone with a couple of friends…mostly playing online games together. In fact just yesterday, he got an invite to the friends house after being on the phone for a couple of hours. His mom was laughing and figured since they were going to spend the day talking, he might as well come on over.

    Luckily we have two phone lines (was free with our current internet phone service)

    Jason (12 yo) spends some time on the phone, but not much.

  3. Cameron got a remote control helicopter from my parents for Christmas. It’s still working, barely. He loves it. His remote control robot from my MIL isn’t working anymore, but I think the time spent assembling it with my dad (MIL is in Ireland and FIL died 3 years ago) was the best part of that gift.

    I love the Army boys and bears picture!