Dear Santa, Part II

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Once I hit "publish" on the post about Nora's Christmas list, I realized that I neglected to include some very important wish list items... like movies and BOOKS!

I've mentioned before that we don't let Nora watch a lot of TV--although she is exposed to some daily in the background at daycare--but we're still starting a collection of Disney and other animated movies for her (and any future siblings). We discovered on our recent roadtrip to Virginia that she enjoys movies far more than we thought she could at this age. Rio is her favorite thus far. She "dances" to the music, which is pretty much the most hilarious thing I've ever seen.

(No, we don't normally let her stand that close to the television. And sadly, Nora clearly inherited her dance moves from her less-than-coordinated-on-the-dance-floor parents. Sorry, baby girl.)

We've always read books to her on a daily basis, but now it's even more fun, as she's really "into" them. She's actually choosy about which ones we read to her; we'll pick a book from her rack for bedtime, and if she isn't in the mood for that particular story, she'll push it away. Who knew that she'd be so opinionated this early in life? And I don't know if it gets any more cute than seeing her sitting on the floor by herself, quietly flipping through the pages of a book. MY HEART.

One of her current favorites is The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which is possibly a "boring" favorite, since it's such a classic. But she can't get enough of sticking her little pointer finger in each and every one of the holes in the board book.

Anyway, with all of this said, we couldn't really pass up an opportunity to add to her growing movie and book collections. Here are some of the movies and books that made it on Nora's list:

We've been buying the Disney classics as they've been made available again. Last year, Nora got Beauty & the Beast for Christmas. The Lion King was one of our favorites as kids so we wanted Nora to have this one as well. I'm REALLY looking forward to the re-release of The Little Mermaid, though. Get on it, Disney. My little girl needs some Ariel in her life. :)

We've also been taking advantage of some of the "new classics" from Disney as well. Nora received Toy Story 3 for Christmas last year, and this year, we asked her grammy to buy her Tangled. We haven't even seen this one yet, but have only heard good things.
A Cyber Monday deal that couldn't be refused. We've heard good things. :) We look at these movies not as an opportunity to plop Nora in front of the TV for some peace and quiet, but as something for us to enjoy together as a family as she grows.

Now, for books, you'll notice a theme:
CLASSIC. A must-have for every child, I think. I'm surprised we didn't end up buying this last year. I'll give ourselves a pass since Nora was only three months old for Christmas 2010. :)

Another Christmas must-have. Just a beautiful, beautiful book. The story, the illustrations... love. We were lucky enough to have this one arrive in the mail the other day from Nora's "Secret Santa" in a children's book exchange I signed her up for. (Thanks again, baby Cooper!)
OK, as you can probably tell by now, we did an informal audit and determined that we didn't think Nora has enough Christmas-themed books. We're looking to make up for that. Anyway, I absolutely loved the Little Critter books when I was growing up, so we've been introducing Nora to them as well. We have a few that I took from my childhood book collection at my mom's house, and we have a few that have been purchased new along the way. Nora seems to like them so far, too.
As I explained when I discussed the Little People Nativity Set, we want to be sure to make an effort to teach Nora the real reason for the season. These books (there is also a What is Thanksgiving? book) have good reviews for their message and teaching of the meaning behind these holidays.
I just really like Karen Katz. We have the "Counting Kisses" book, and it's a regular read in our house. I think "Where is Baby's Belly Button?" is her most popular, but oddly, we don't have that one yet, either.

(All things Sandra Boynton, including this Boynton's Greatest Hits, Volume I)
I was pretty unfamiliar with Sandra Boynton prior to having Nora. We received The Going to Bed Book as a gift after she was born, and it is one of our favorites to read to Nora, and one of Nora's favorites to have read to her. Short, simple, soothing rhymes. (Although, I will never understand why they all take a bath--scrub scrub scrub--and find their pajamas--big and small-- before going up to exercise? What the hell?) Once again, Nora was lucky to receive this set last week from her Secret Santa, Cooper. :)

So, that wraps up our movie and book wish lists for Christmas 2011. What classic (or new, or unusual) titles are on your children's Christmas lists?


Wendy G,  December 5, 2011 at 12:14 AM  

My nephew was born last October so he's just a month younger than Nora. He loves the llama llama books! He has all of them but his favorite is Llama Llama Red Pajama. I love Llama Llama Holiday Drama! :)

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Amy December 5, 2011 at 9:14 AM  

I always say that when we read 'The Going to Bed Book' too! Who exercises after brushing their teeth before bed? :)

Kelsey December 5, 2011 at 9:39 AM  

Two things... First of all, you're going to love Tangled and Despicable Me. My husband is a huge Disney fan and we've been collecting Disney movies since we got married four years ago. (We *almost* have the entire animated collection and are now working on the live action.) We bought Tangled on a whim one night in Target and I was surprised how much I liked it. Good pick! And Despicable Me is actually one of our favorite movies. We watch it every few months and it always gives us a good chuckle and is heartwarming in the end.

Secondly, if you're looking for Christmas books I would recommend A Story a Day 'Til Christmas edited by Nan Roloff. I don't think it's in print anymore but it's a great collection if you can find one used at a good price. My family had this when I was a kid and the stories are all about the real reason for the season and that giving is better than receiving. My family read it every Christmas growing up and I'm enjoying sharing it with my own daughter now.

Thanks for these posts! You've given me some good ideas for my little girl. Merry Christmas!

Tara Walencik December 6, 2011 at 9:55 PM  

Sandra Boynton is one of our favorites. Kira LOVES them! She has "Moo Baa La la la" & "the going to bed book." The first actually has taught her what "cow" & "sheep" are andd what they say. We discovered this the other day, "Kira what does a cow say?" "Mooo" "what does a sheep say" "ba baaa" MY DEAR HEART MELTED. We're getting more for xmas too, or should I say Santa has packed em in his sack! :)

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