Since becoming a mom eight years ago, I realize that Christmas is all about children. Sure, I love exchanging gifts with my husband, brothers and sisters—and my mom and dad—but nothing makes my heart as full as the twinkling eyes of a child on Christmas morning upon gazing at the colorfully wrapped gifts under the tree. I have to admit Christmas is unusual because it requires of us, no matter our age, to believe in magic: For adults, to believe means we go out of our way to give a little something to the postal carrier, our children's teachers, a family in need and the homeless shelter in our community. We believe that, for a moment in time, we can help humanity and make a difference. In essence, the holidays represent magic for all ages. Savor these fairy-tale moments with your child, because the saying that "children grow up too soon" is so true. Below are some gifts I have hand-selected for children from local shops.
Maileg Mom & Dad Mice in a Cigar Box, $51 Baby Mouse in a Matchbox $33. The Children's Hour, 898 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, 801-359-4150, ChildrensHourBookstore.com. Maileg is a Danish design brand that makes award-winning bunnies, mice, toys and playsets. Each piece is whimsical and precious and most animals have removable clothes. They have a big selection of other mouse and bunny family members.
Automoblox Mini Emergency 3- pack Vehicles, $47. The Children's Hour. Police, fire and rescue vehicles that are fully interchangeable and connectable. Intelligent design encourages fine motor skills and creative problem-solving.
Mermaid's Treasure Kwik Sand Set by Be Good Co., $31.25. JouJou, Grand America, 555 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-258-6557, GrandAmerica.com. Moldable, reusable sand never dries out and leaves no mess. Great for indoor winter play.
Piperoid Assembly Kit, $16. JouJou, Grand America. All you need is a pair of scissors to assemble a paper pipe craft robot in about 30 minutes. The art of paper comes alive from Kyoto, Japan.
Plush Craft Penguin Pillow by the Orb Factory, $17.99. The Tutoring Toy 1400 S. Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-581-1060, TutoringToy.com. Craft your own pillow (other designs available) by punching in fabric pieces, fabric by number.
Tribute Kendama, $22.99. The Tutoring Toy. Traditional Japanese toy with three cups and a spike to catch the ball attached with a string. Great for hand-eye coordination and hours of fun. (In assorted colors.)