Sure, Christmas isn't about presents, but aren't they fun?
We had our little family Christmas this morning so that we don't have to truck our load of gifts when we celebrate with family, and it was really fun. Santa is still causing all kinds of confusion and emotional stress - is he real or not? If he's not, why did his reindeer eat the snacks we put outside for them? If he is... well, it all just sounds like a (magical) load of crap.
Regardless of what the kids think about Santa, we don't let Santa take credit for the good gifts. We let the kids think he fills the stockings - with socks, flashlights, toothbrushes, junk from the dollar store. They love it, but the good stuff comes from Mommy & Daddy.
I started planning the kids' Christmas gifts as soon as Halloween ended, but my sorta-Scroogy husband wasn't ready to help me with them until like yesterday. So, we stayed up until 1 am perfecting our creation. Wanna see?
Simon got a store. The second I saw this one, I knew I wanted to make him one, but am vastly unqualified. Then I saw this one and the wheels started turning. I means seriously, any time we can combine the Internet with Ikea, we are unstoppable!
Here's what we did. (Because I know you want one, and it's not that hard and your kid probably has a birthday coming up....) We bought four Ikea rast nightstands. They're pretty tiny. Then Ben just connected two together, added some 1x3s to make a frame for the awning and stapled fabric to the top. Obviously, Ikea's sophia fabric is perfect. I think we used about 2 1/2 yards. I didn't bother hemming it - remember the joy of crafting for kids is that it doesn't need to be perfect, which is why it's the only crafting I do.
Next, Ben added some bars to the back of the shelves so that the wooden baskets would prop up. We filled them with fruit from the dollar store. I picked up some small wooden rectangles, painted them with chalkboard paint, and clipped them to the baskets. I used one as an open/closed sign, and we added a hook for his work apron and clipboard.
My favorite part is the scale. I took an old clock, mod-podged a scale face to it, leaving the glass off so that the kids could adjust the weight. Then I got a metal bowl from the thrift store, chain and hooks from Lowes, and a lightweight spring. Ben drilled some holes, snipped some chain, and - we have a scale!
It's super adorable and the kids love it. Even though Simon keeps calling it a kitchen, Charlie likes to throw the fruit at people, and Talya thinks it's hers. But don't worry - she got a special present too... coming up soon!