Hot Toys for Christmas

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Getting ready for Christmas? It can be hard to wade through all the noise to find the best Christmas items.  Now that “Black Friday” is over, we can focus on what’s fantastic for the season vs how much can be saved at 3am.  A few of my current favorites are;

North Pole Communicator Microphone- This is super cute and fun for kids, and lets them “talk” with Santa every night before bedtime. Beginning  December 1, get the family together daily and dial up the North Pole to have “real” back-and-forth conversations with the “big man”, elves, and more.  The communicator is quite a lot of fun, will amuse adults as well, really psychs kids up and gets them excited, and and is a great way to get the family involved in a nightly activity.

talk to santa

Hallmark’s Keepsake Ornaments are a tradition for many, and giving a treasured ornament (or building a collection for your children) is something that so many people enjoy doing.   Keepsake Ornaments has a variety of ornaments that commemorate milestones and nurture memories, as well as scenes from your favorites movies, TV shows, or cartoon characters. Our favorite this year is “Lions and Tigers and Bears”, a Wizard of Oz ornament that moves and talks.  All the characters move and speak lines from this scene in the movie.  There is an amazing variety of Keepsake Ornaments, so finding the perfect gift for your child or loved one is easy.

The new interactive storybook “Santa and the Christmas Eve Flight” is adorable and will make bonding over reading with you kids fun for both of you.  Santa responds with questions or choices as you read key words and phrases. how your child answers will shape this story, which can change each time you read it.  There are more then 30 responses from Santa, which makes the possibilities for the storyline pretty diverse.

For more info on these, visit or your local Hallmark store.

 3d holiday glasses

A fun and somewhat silly idea for the holidays are Holiday Specs. These holographic glasses, when you look into a point of light (such as Christmas tree lights) turn each point of light into a snowflake, reindeer, snowman- whatever your glasses style is. These come in paper (think movie 3D glasses) style or plastic viewers (think brightly colored, silly opera glasses) and are inexpensive and a whole lot of fun. I plan to hand these out to everyone before we open gifts Christmas Eve- it will be fun, and make for some great photos, besides. (Even adults get a kick out of them.) Side note- great for long car rides, since kids are often staring out windows anyway. Give them a set and let them mix it up- it’s a good way to unplug them for a little while, and they can literally see Santa everywhere.

For more info, visit

holiday toys

A great holiday activity for the whole family is a visit to Build a Bear.  I recently took my son to FAO Schwarz where they have a new Build a Bear workshop, and he loved every second of our visit. They had so many holiday (and non-holiday, of course) choices, but he was torn between Frosty the Snowman and Santa.  (They also have Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Santa bears, mice, polar bears, and more, as well as holiday clothes, accessories, and costumes for the stuffed toys.)  I loved the little “Small Fry” elves that they had as well, and Build a Bear delivers right up to Christmas Eve should you want to build and ship a bear.  My son loved choosing his toy, stuffing it, giving it a personality, even a sound (it sings when you squeeze it’s hand) and dressing it for Christmas.  He built a new holiday friend, and we had a really nice afternoon together as well.  When your child gets home, they can play with their new friend virtually as well, as they get a secure online version of their “bear”  to experience “Bearville” which is protected and on one of the safest websites in the USA.   (And yes, there’s an app for that as well.)

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