Santa In A Candle?

So, recently we started burning the “Santa In A Candle” candle again, (it almost feels like Christmas again) and the wax had all melted so we were considering pulling Santa out. But that would ruin our great new tradition. Besides, Santa had already fallen over in the wax. This leaves me with an important question: should we continue calling it “Santa In A Candle, or should we rename it “Santa In Carbonite”. I think we should continue calling it “Santa In A Candle” during Christmas, but “Santa In Carbonite” the rest of the year. It just seems more seasonally appropriate that way.

On the Feast of the Epiphany I Gave to My Family…

Stuffed animals!

Presents Under the Tree

Actually, the animals acted as kind of a tag for the presents, but the only people who knew who got which stuffed animal were the people giving the gifts.  This way, people couldn’t try to guess what they were getting based on their box’s shape and size.

Plus, the presents looked really good with the stuffed animals on top of them.  My favorite was this one.

It just had the best combination of bow, paper, and animal.

But before I get into all that I think I should address the elephant in the room…Get off the table Dumbo!

Okay I feel better, but seriously, if I were reading my writings I would be thinking, “How did you get gifts on Friday, I thought you got presents on the Twelve Days of Christmas.”

Well we do, we give and receive gifts on each of the twelve days of Christmas (starting with Christmas and ending on the eve of the feast of the Epiphany) and we get presents on the Epiphany.  After all the Epiphany is when the first Christmas gifts were actually exchanged (you know: gold, frankincense, and  myrrh).  Thus, we receive a total of thirteen gifts for one Christmas.

Today was the last day of gift giving and as is customary the older boys took charge of the gifts (Nicholas, Jonathan, and I). Not only did we give great gifts (I’m trying to be humble here, but that was just so alliterative), but in a spurt of inspiration I took pictures of the gifts while people opened them!  I know I should have been doing this all along, but it didn’t occur to me until the last day (of course).  Since I did the pictures correctly for once, I figured I should write about them correctly and do it in the order we opened them, instead of some arbitrary order of age.

And so without further ado, I (finally) bring you what I advertised in the title of the post…

We started the unwrapping with Dad, but he shared his gift with Mom so they opened their gift together 

They got pillows!  Not just any pillows, but really good, goose down pillows.  Mom specifically told us earlier the year that she wanted new pillows, but was too cheap to buy them.Also, in case you’re wondering they got a stuffed kangaroo and dingo (you can see them on the furniture behind Mom and Dad).

Next, we had Veronica open her gift (she had a bird tag).When she opened her box, she found a poor Cinderella doll!  As soon as she saw the doll she shouted , “It’s poor Cinderella!”

So I think she knew who it was supposed to be.
She was really excited, but she then she got…another gift!This was…another Cinderella doll!  This was the rich Cinderella.

Okay, with Veronica done, we then proceeded in order of age.

Robert opened next, and was very surprised when he got a sword! Well no, he didn’t get  sword, he got two.It was a two pack of short gladiator style swords.  They come with a scabbard so you can wear them on your back. Oh, and he also got a black bear stuffed animal.

Next Christopher opened his gift. He got a raccoon! Oh, and a broadsword.

Anne opened next (she got a stuffed chipmunk (it just made sense)).

She also got a vintage style pink gingham turntable (no we didn’t get her a sword).Now she can listen to records in her room.

Nathaniel got, you guessed it, a sword.

We gave him a samurai katana, because he already owns a broadsword, (he wrote a post about it earlier).

We also gave Nathaniel a stuffed fox because Mom and Dad dubbed him a fox due to his love for eggs (don’t worry, he cooks them).
note: these pictures are shown out of order.

Now to ease any worried minds, these swords are all dulled.  Furthermore, there are strict rules in place in our house about the use of swords (everyone has rules about such things, right?).  No one is allowed to use their sword, sharp or dull on anything, but a practice dummy.


Next Jonathan opened his present, and no he didn’t get a sword…He got an ax! This weapon was not dull.  He also got a blue lizard (I’m really glad that he dressed to match it).

Next I opened (being older than Jonathan (Nicholas was kind enough to take the pictures).  Nicholas and Jonathan gave me a very nice pair of sunglasses.  My eyes are very sensitive to light so I always end up squinting in our new home in The Sunshine State.These shades were very nice, and very stylish.
See? I look good. Oh, I also got a stuffed hedgehog.

Then Nicholas opened his giftIt was a hat, but not just any hat, a cowboy style hat.  I looked for a while trying to find one like they wore in the movie The Man from Snowy River.

Here’s a better picture of the hat.  On the floor the children are opening their final gift of the year.

It was our old Agents Lego.  You might not know the Agents theme, but it was extremely cool and when they first came out we bought all of the first wave of sets.  We’ve owned them for some time and the little ones have always been jealous of them.

On a final note, today a piece of Nathaniel’s scabbard came off, so we returned it, but we didn’t have to send it back so now Anne has a sword too! Great ending, huh?

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas My Family Gave to Me…


Were a family band, and a rather big family, so we already own: a piano, a cocktail drum set, three trombones, three or four trumpets, two alto saxophones, a tenor saxophone, three clarinets, multiple woodblocks, a glockenspiel (great name, huh?), harmonicas galore, a coronet, and an upright bass.  Despite the vastness of our instrument collection, the presents we opened today were all different and all instruments we didn’t already own!

From left to right: ukulele, thunder tube, double mijwiz, pan flute, thumb piano, bird whistle, frog tone block, ocarina, slide whistle, and xylophone.

Truly an impressive feat.  The instruments were received with much excitement and rambunctious noise.  The instruments don’t really belong to any member of the family, instead, they all belong to everyone.


On the Eleventh Day of Christmas My Family Gave to Me…


In case you can’t tell from the picture, Dad got a coloring book for his favorite holiday movie, the Christmas classic, Die Hard!The authorized coloring book.  This was the only day that Mom took charge of this Christmas that Dad didn’t know what he was getting.  He was quite surprised

I am writing this post on the evening of the eleventh day, while my father and I watch this feel good, Christmas show and all I can think is that I should have taken pictures of the gifts individually to highlight how cool they are (I took the pictures in the morning just after we opened the gifts).  Unfortunately, now everyone is playing with their crafts (including Dad) so I will have to make do cropping the original picture.

Mom got these
A paper doll chain of robots!

Nicholas can now create puppets!Although, I can’t help but feel he got this gift because it had a cowboy on the package.

I now have four paper automatas (I don’t know what the word means either, but they’re little machines that move when you turn a crank) to cut out, fold, and glue together.

Jonathan got a connect the dot book, but not a little kid connect the dots.  No, this is a big, one-thousand dot book (the book doesn’t have a thousand dots, every puzzle does!).  To make the gift even cooler the pictures are all Marvel characters.  The only problem with the booklet is that the numbers for the dots are tiny!  Well at least Jonathan has a use for his new, pocket microscope.

Now Nathaniel got a very cool gift, he can now make fifty paper monsters!Nathaniel and I really like monsters, not that we like monsters, but we find them interesting artistically, so this was a very good gift.

Speaking of artistically Anne got these very cool mid-century modern style birds.
Yes, she had already built them ten minutes after she opened them!

Christopher got dragons and wizards to construct.
What more can I say, dragons are cool!

Now as I’m sure you noticed from the big picture someone broke the theme a little.  It was Robert, I mean Lego is a craft, but it’s not a paper craft, but Robert hadn’t gotten any Lego this year so Mom wanted to give him a set yesterday. This was a set from Lego’s new Lego Batman movie (or is it Lego Batman Movie).

With another Christmas wish fulfilled, we move to Veronica.  She got this craft set of paper dolls.In conclusion another fun and exiting day.  Tomorrow, the Twelfth Day!

On the Ninth Day of Christmas My Family Gave to Me…


Nicholas, Jonathan, and I all got our school books for the next semester.  Scholastic books are really boring so I won’t bother taking pictures, but I will show you the younger children’s books.

Veronica’s (I think she already finished it!)

I don’t know anything about these books, but they look really cool.  Maybe my siblings will tell you about them in a future blog post!

On the Eighth Day of Christmas My Family Gave to Me…

Oh so many wondrous things!

January first was the little boy’s day of Christmas, so it was also a big day.  They gave Dad two rotatable, clip-on lights.  Dad has been saying for a while that he needed a lights to see the sound mixer inside our custom radio speaker, but the speaker is another story.
They gave Mom new disks for her brand new sewing machine.  These make the sewing machines perform different, special stitches and Mom really wanted them, so these were a great gift.

Next Nicholas got a pair of spurs.
You know, to wear with his cowboy boots.

I got an expansion pack for my new game!We’ve been playing the game a lot since I got it and I really wanted this expansion, but I never thought the little boys would get it for me.

Christopher and Robert gave Jonathan a Lego set much like the one I got a few days ago, but this set has Spider-man and The Green Goblin!

Nathaniel also got Lego.  His was a Galaxy Squad set.

 In my opinion, Galaxy Squad is one of the coolest Lego themes in the last ten years.

Anne got a book, but not just any book, she got “Jean Craig Finds Romance.”  Anne had the first two Jean Craig books and really wanted the third.

Robert also gave Christopher Galaxy Squad Lego.

Christopher gave Robert more art supplies: tracing paper, mechanical pencils, and a pack of Sharpies.

Despite the great gifts we all received the highlight of the evening was Veronica receiving her gift.  There’s something uniquely amusing about a seven year old girl unwrapping the that box, clutching it excitedly to her bosom and shouting, “Tiny Girl!”

Apparently Veronica owned this set several years ago and named the robot Tiny Girl.  The set has long since been lost to the mixed Lego and Veronica has been trying to rebuild her.  I’m really glad Veronica liked her gift, but who would have guessed that this set would be named Tiny Girl.

On the Sixth Day of Christmas My Family Gave to Me…

my favorite Lego set ever!

Robin is my favorite superhero (outside of the Longbow Universe of course) and I have been wanting this set since I saw it in the Lego magazine.   I was so thrilled with my gift that I built it immediately after I opened it, I didn’t even stop to take today’s picture!

As for everyone else, they got… …all this!

From left to right, Veronica now has a Spirograph, not just any Spirograph, but a Super Spirograph.  It comes with a bunch of different pieces to make different designs.

Robert has a Hobbit clock, it shows times for breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, lunch, afternoon tea, diner, and supper.

Christopher got a Metal Earth helicopter.  In case you didn’t know, Metal Earth makes small models that come as flat sheets of metal with designs in them and perforations to fold them.  You cut them out and then fold them into the model.

Anne got nail polish.  I understand this is a good gifts for girls, but I don’t get it.

Nathaniel also got a Metal Earth kit.  His was The Black Pearl, our first Metal Earth boat.

Jonathan received a pocket microscope.  Now he can carry a microscope with him at all times for emergencies.

I got the Lego set (which I have talked about sufficiently).

Nicholas was given Gunslinger.  It’s a cowboy themed card game.  Now he has a nerd game too!

Mom gave herself a new pair of shoes.  Another girl gift I don’t really get.

Finally, Dad got a Metal Earth plane to build.

Yep, today was another big  day of Christmas.


On the First Day of Christmas My Family Gave to Me….

A bunch of games!  Actually everyone got one game.  You see in our house instead of getting all of our presents on Christmas day we get one present a day for the twelve days of Christmas.  Mom and Dad handle the gift giving for most of the days of Christmas, but the groups of the children have taken it upon themselves to give the gifts for one day each (that way the parents still get to be surprised). Anne and Nathaniel like to do the first day of Christmas (they are historically impatient), so yesterday they gave us our gifts.

From left to right (and youngest to oldest), Veronica got Mousetrap (one of my old favorites).  Robert got a Lord of the Rings card game and Christopher got the same game so that four people can play together (in a large family you want very few two player games).  Anne broke the theme a little, Nathaniel gave her a kit for crocheting Marvel superheros.  Anne gave Nathaniel a display case for his bug collection (now he can stop keeping it in a shoe box in our bathroom).  This gift was also a little off theme, but Jonathan got us back on track with a monster based dice/card/board game, King of Tokyo.  I got a very cool superhero card game Sentinels of the Multiverse. Nicholas got the classic game Battleship.  Mom broke theme again, she got eight wash clothes hand knitted by Anne (now you know why Anne got a crochet  kit, she’s very crafty with string and yarn).  Mom also got  a cardboard house to match her cardboard Christmas village.

Finally Dad got Five Crowns a five suit card game.

Pretty cool, huh? I love it when a good theme comes together!