Brand New… Again

What kid doesn’t like to play with new stuff?!?  Something that’s been fun for our children (and us!) is that we have a few special toys and books packed away with the holiday decorations that only come out at Christmastime.  Oh, the joy when they discover their beloved treasures as we unpack our ornaments and other Christmas dust collectors (I do so love Christmas decorations, but I do despise dusting).

A couple of years ago, Santa was considerate enough to leave this Fisher Price Little People Nativity Set (um, minus the race car, farmer, and John Deere tractor… oops) which has been a huge hit each winter since.  You may want to visit Amazon to see what the complete set looks like, because I believe some of our animals are currently, according to my children, “out to pasture.”


In addition to the nativity, our kids become giddy over their Christmas book collection each year.  I’m a little giddy myself that Polar Bear, Polar Bear can hibernate for a month or so.  Some of the books we enjoy include Anne Gedde’s take on The Twelve Days of Christmas, Usborne Books’  Lift-the-Flap Nativity and Touchy-Feely Nativity, and One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham.


Suckers for puzzles, they also have loads of fun with the Farmyard Tales Christmas Jigsaw Book, which pretty much lives on my dining room floor for the month of December.

Saving these special treasures for Christmastime works for me in many ways:

  • The surprise factor – “Wow!  Look at that” and all of the I’m-no-longer-complaining-that-it’s-cold-outside-because-I’m-too-busy-playing that goes with it.
  • I’ve got lots of breakable treasures that are hands-off for the kids.  It makes them happy to have something of their own to actually touch.
  • “New” toys and books give them (and their glassy-eyed parents) a break from same ol’ same ol’.
  • Getting these items out just once a year reduces wear and tear and increases their life span.

Do you have special Christmas games, toys or books that you bring out just for the season?  I’d love to hear about them!

Head over to Rocks in my Dryer for more Works for me Wednesday, and come back here next week for our Bloggy Progressive Dinner.  You’re invited!

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  1. That’s a really great idea. We don’t have specific Christmas toys. Now I wish we did. 🙂 The nativity set is so cute.

  2. Thanks for the great ideas. I too will be trying that this year. =)

  3. I don’t have any special toys that we put away, but does it count that my kids have been trying to play with all the Christmas ornaments like they’re toys. LOL 😉

  4. My mom did this very same thing, and continues to do it with the grandkids. A few years ago she was going through her Christmas things and downsizing a little bit. She gave all of us kids some of the special ornaments, pillows, books, decorations and music that made Christmas at my house so wonderful. I’m already using them to carry on traditions with my own family now. Thanks for sharing this great tip.

  5. Hey, Santa brought us that same nativity set a few years ago (minus the race car, et al)! I, too, pack it with the Christmas decorations. My youngest was sooo excited to see it this year. She’d forgotten all about it.

  6. My husband is the sentimental one in the family. He loves to put out our nativity set we bought in Israel when our now 21 yr old daughter was 1. We also have a set similar to your Fisher Price set which I believe I bought through Avon at least 20 yrs ago. Our favorite toy is a stuffed, animated reindeer which bobs his head and sings Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer. Great fun for my husband and the kids. My mom doesn’t think it’s terribly funny.

  7. Yes! I do that with Christmas stuff (we have that same adorable FP nativity), and you’re totally right about how thrilling and “new” it seems each Dec. I’d like to apply the concept to “regular” toys, but I haven’t gotten my act together enough yet to pull that one off 🙂

  8. I have never seen that precious nativity set! I used to to that too, pack stuff away for a year, it was almost as much fun for me as it was for them. We’ve also had several books “disappear” for a season, from time to time. I love Goodnight moon, but I can only read it multiple times a night for 6 months.

  9. What a cute nativity set to play with!! 🙂

  10. What a great nativity set! When I become a grandmother, I’m going to buy that for my grandbabies.

  11. Oh, the nativity set is just adorable! I would buy one for my kiddos, but they’re past that stage. They would have loved it though. Maybe, they would have left the porcelain set alone.:) Luckily, nothing was ever broken. DD was notorious for taking Baby Jesus to bed with her at night. We would find Him clutched tightly in her fist while she slept.:)

    Thanks for sharing, Joyce

  12. We have some of those same books – how funny! And yes, we keep them and the nativity sets (blocks and Playmobil in our case) tucked away with the Christmas decorations. Also the kids Christmas music and dvds. Our 8 year old is now reading and into history, so the knights from the other Playmobil sets often end up going on a “crusade” to visit the Playmobil nativity set.

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