Christmas gift wins: Top presents of 2015

It’s been a few weeks since Christmas and I thought I’d give the lowdown on our top gifts.  Somehow we managed to (mostly) stay in budget and still score some pretty great gifts for the kiddos.  I figure you can use this as a guide for all the birthday/MLK/Chinese New Year shopping you need to get done.  Right?  Cause that’s a thing? Alternatively, you can just bookmark it for next Christmas.  If planning is your thing.

(This post contains affiliate links.  Thanks for keeping my kids in books!)


These bean bags are, hands-down, winners in the store-bought category.  We got one for each of the kids, and this one for Rosalie. The kids use them to read, do schoolwork, and watch TV. They also use them for pillow fights, high jumps off the bunk beds (I just don’t watch), and their favorite game, pile them on top of one child who patiently waits for me to come by, then said child bursts out, scaring the living daylights out of me.

It’s fun for the whole family. #somebodygetmeadefibrilator


We got Gabriel this watch(above) and the one belowfor Aliya.  They are sure favorites.  In fact, watches have recently become one of my preferred gifts for elementary school age kids.  I was surprised at how well-received they were, but I guess they really are a more “adult” gift, so kids enjoy them.  Plus, useful! (Please note, the watch we gave Gabe already broke once at the strap (a problem that was mentioned in the reviews) but it’s Amazon so they replaced it post-haste and now he’s trying to be a bit more careful. Besides, he’s learning to tell time on it, so it’s worth it to me.)

Gianna desperately wants to learn piano (along with the guitar she’s already taking).  I simply cannot commit to another lesson per week, so I asked around and was recommended this set of Bastien Piano Basics books.  My sister-in-law (who also plays guitar and piano and sings like a dream (Hi, Sarah!) ) said she first learned on this set, so I was glad we went with it.  Gianna has picked it up almost every day since Christmas and spent some time figuring out the lessons.


Have we talked about how I have a fiery burning hatred for Legos?  No?  Well, I do.  And I know that this makes me as evil as the evilest evildoer anywhere.  Way to crush the childhood dreams, Micaela.

Sorry, people.  I have 7 brothers. I feel like I paid my Lego dues in injured feet many many moons ago.

Anyway, the girls each picked out one of these Airjitsu toys for the boys and even I, in my grinchiest of Grinch hearts, have to admit that they’ve gotten a whole lot of happy playtime out of these.  And hey. These actually don’t have that many parts. Fewer every day, in fact. Muahahahahaha!


Play Mass Kit

We got this lovely play Mass Kit for the boys, and it has been really fun.  This kit is crazy cheap and comes with everything you need, really.  Plus the same shop, Handmade by MegK, has reasonably priced stoles for each liturgical season! Better believe I snatched a couple of those up. Smiley heart eyes! (If you check her out, tell her I sent you!)


The tippy top winner of all the presents, though, is the handiwork of my awesome husband.  We really wanted to buy the boys a real workbench, but those cost, like $250. Not happening.  Through a series of events we realized we had some old furniture that could be converted and voila! A corner of our garage now houses this awesomeness.



For the cost of some peg board, some hooks, and a couple cheap hammers at Lowe’s, we turned a beat up TV stand into a well-used work bench.  The kids have been busy building all manner of stools and crosses.  Hopefully they graduate from those soon because I’m running out of wall and floor space.  But in the meantime, seeing this melts my heart.

Maybe I should have let him take off his patch...

Maybe I should have let him take off his patch…


That’s all I got, folks!  What were your winning gifts this year? Share them in the comments so I can click back here next December and have a ready-made gift list.

Kelly’s over-the-top awesome SQT post tonight pushed me to make this a Quick Takes post. Seriously, go read it and then laugh and laugh.  At yourself.  For needing those kinds of internet interventions.  No kidding.


  1. Love the work bench! Nice job!
    Theresa recently posted…The Blog – 2015 Year in Review (all the posts you might have missed 😉 )My Profile

  2. Love that workbench! I had kind of the same feeling- my 2 yo daughter wanted a doctor bag, and I wasn’t about giving her a bag full of plastic blobs, so I transformed an old purse and filled it with a real stethoscope, medical light and all sorts of other medical paraphernalia. It’s a HUGE hit with her and every other kid she shows it too.

    • A woman after my own heart. That is an AWESOME idea, and I wish I’d thought of it for my 8 year old who was asking for a veterinarian set. Now I know what to get her for her birthday!

  3. Sounds like a great christmas at your house! When I learned piano 18 years ago I used those same books.

    We are also in the midst of figuring out a workbench situation in our garage. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Awesome job on the workbench! And I’m going to pin this for the beanbag reference. I’ve been thinking about getting some of those for my girls. Thanks!
    Amy @ Motherhood and Miscellany recently posted…2015’s Top 10My Profile

    • I should have mentioned it in the post, but keep your eye on those bean bags. I’ve seen them drop below $30. My aunt has an Amazon app that alerts her when the best deals come up on things in her cart. I’ve been meaning to try it out.