Archive

Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category
25 Dec

Christmas Nativity Toys

If you were to come to my parents house during Christmas time there are two decoration collections I would have to show you… first is my mother’s Santa collection! There must be well over 50 different Santa’s. Most of them were given as gifts. You know how that goes, once a collection like that starts it is hard to stop it (not that you would want to). The other collection that she has is Nativity Scenes from all around the world, including Fischer-Price:) Each one of them is uniquely designed and has a story behind how she obtained it. Each of them is a great reminder of what this holiday season is all about… There are so many in her collection that I almost thought that I had seen every possible depiction of the Nativity out there until I was researching to find her a gift for this year and I found some that I had never seen before… and I share them as my Christmas present to all of you:


(Designed by Massimo Giacon for Alessi found here)



(by Matryoshka Madness found here)



(by Film and Thread)



(Japanese Origami Nativity)



(Designed by Playful Studios for Playful Factory found here)

24 Dec

Christmas Eve Drawing


(hand drawn Christmas card from my new found friend… Thanks Goran)

I love Christmas Eve… the buzz of Christmas is at its highest. Everyone seems to be anxious with great anticipation.

I went shopping today for some last minute gifts (this year all my gifts were last minute). I was behind a lady in the check out line that was counting out her change to try and pay for some used movies and toys for her kids. She did not speak english so I offered to the cashier to pay for whatever she could not afford. The cashier told the lady about my offer and the lady immediately turned and very timidly said, “thank you”. After a few minutes of counting dimes nickels and pennies the cashier announced that she did have enough (which I am pretty sure that she did not).

This experience makes me think of the ladies kids. I hope they unwrap the gifts tomorrow and smile. I hope that all kids wake up tomorrow with their greatest wishing being fulfilled. Fly Santa fly… the kids need you!

One of my favorite traditions is to draw a picture on Christmas Eve… after the parties die… after the piggy pudding has been eaten and we are sitting around by the fire I like to take out a pen and doodle. Sometimes pictures of Santa come out. Other times a picture of the nativity… I look forward to seeing what comes this year.

Merry Christmas Eve!

23 Dec

Santa is on His Way

Santa,

I am sure the North Pole is in a mad frenzy getting ready for tomorrow night… Let me know if there is anything the Playful Factory can do to help.


(Alessi found here)

22 Dec

Christmas Tree Craziness

One of my favorite parts about the Christmas is the tree… Choosing it, decorating it, putting presents under it, and eventually hauling it off to be burned in a bon fire by a neighborhood teenager (that is what happened last year). This post is an ode to the Christmas tree with a fun Christmas tree craft at the end. Enjoy!



(overboard)



(yummy)



(our tree two years ago… apparently we spent not enough on the tree and too much on gifts that year!)



(upside down… that’s worse than burning the flag)



(“Zack’s Christmas Tree Surprise”
“Instead of a star, I put a snowman. So you just see a Christmas tree with a snowman on top. And then surprise some things come out of the tree. First lasers come out with snowmans at the ends that go fast down but they don’t break or make a sound. Then elves come out. And it scares you. An ornament opens up and a pole comes out with an elf hanging from it. The first elves to come out are smaller and then as they come out they get bigger and bigger. The elves are nice but a little freaky to scare you. The elves laugh too.”)



(afro-wig tree)



(Charlie Brown)



(great little Christmas Tree Craft here)


Merry Christmas everybody… and if you are like me you learned this year that it only costs $15 to get a permit to go cut down your own tree and it costs $80 to get one in the lot. This year we used one out of a box, but next year I think we will take a trip and go cut down our own little fir.

What kind of tree is your Christmas tree? Real? Fake? Lot bought? Lumberjack style?

21 Dec

Christmas Free Toy Giveaway Winners

Free Toy Giveaway

The winner of the Elf-on-a-Shelf giveaway is Larry! Congratulation!!!


Design Winner


These are great elf designs! I think we should make them all…
The winner for the elf toy design challenge is Jake (and the other Bowman kids) for the design of the jokester elf. An elf that performs magical practical jokes on people sounds like way to much fun! I can envision him surprising people, making people laugh, etc… It would be almost like a real elf! Great idea guys.

This design is now entered in the running to be made into a real toy at the Playful Factory. As soon as we finish making the Blue Chomping Dinosaur we will vote on which toy we should make next.

Thanks for joining in Playful Factory’s celebration of the best Christmas toy makers ever… the Christmas Elves. I hope Santa brings each of you the toys that you asked for! Merry Christmas.

20 Dec

Win a Free Elf-on-a-Shelf

Today is the last day to design and submit an elf toy to qualify for the free toy giveaway… (see details here)

Here are some of the designs that have been submitted… hopefully they will spark some great ideas for you:

Ella 1- Elf with suction cups and when you turn him on he can climb up the wall and stick to the roof too
Zack- Life size (toddler size) wind-up elf that walks like a robot toward you.
Ella 2- Elf sits on fan, and one is hanging on the light switch so you can turn it on and off by pulling the elf.
Kids- saw a youtube video that showed a elf on the shelf that looks like he flew. So they thought it would be cool to make one that really does move or fly across the room.
Jake- thought a remote control one would be really cool at Christmas time, and the other kids said even if it was to an invisible string you could set up some jokes with it.
Larry- Redesign of the elf-on-a-shelf elf to look more like what he wants

Join in the fun and design your own elf-on-a-shelf or come up with another toy idea incorporating Christmas Elves! Submit your idea as a comment and become eligible to win the free toy giveaway!

15 Dec

Christmas Train – Elf Engineer

My wife and I were a little late in putting up all of our Christmas decorations this year… it was not until yesterday that we finally put up the outside lights. We also competed the finishing touches on the inside and I thought we were all done… until I found this paper train Christmas craft on Disney’s Family Fun site.

Later this week I will be printing this off and making one of my own. You can too by downloading the PDF below, printing, cutting, and folding up some Christmas fun! (If you make one of these and post a picture as a comment to this post I will give you two extra entries into the free toy giveaway!)


INSTRUCTIONS (Download PDF):

13 Dec

Elf Yourself This Year


Now that we have our official Christmas Elf names (see previous post for details) it is time to Elf Yourself.

Some of you may have done this before… it is a blast and is sure to create jolly bowls full of jelly in your belly. HoHoHo.

Elf Yourself here.

Make sure to grab a screen shot of your Elf Yourself video and post it as a comment… or share the whole thing by emailing it to me.

08 Dec

Christmas Elf Name


That is my Christmas Elf name…
My wife’s is MERRY BING-A-LING

I found some names of famous elves that help Santa each year…
Alabaster Snowball (Administrator of the Naughty & Nice list).
Bushy Evergreen (Inventor of the magic toy-making machine).
Pepper Minstix (Guardian of the secret of where Father Christmas’s village is located).
Shinny Upatree (The oldest friend of Santa and the cofounder of the secret village in Lapland).
Sugarplum Mary (Head of the Sweat Treats, she is also known as Mary Christmas. She is an assistant to Mrs Claus and helps her in the kitchen).
Wunorse Openslae (Designer of Father Christmas’s sleigh and responsible for its maintenance. He also looks after the reindeers and it is believed that his reindeers reach speeds faster than Christmas tree lights).

What is your Christmas Elf name?
Go here and find out… Make sure to post the results as a comment!
(it is fun and will help you become eligible for the free Christmas toy giveaway!)

07 Dec

Christmas Elf Bowling

I stumbled upon this little gem while doing some elf toy research…

These guys are awesome little gnomes that you can print out (download PDF) and make into a bowling toy set. With the closeness in appearance between gnomes and elves it seems like with a little tweaking you could easily make these into Christmas decorations/toys. Fantastic Toys does a lot of great toy/craft stuff. They have some great ornaments and other paper craft toys for the holidays. Check them out here.

Have you seen any cool elf/christmas themed toys out there?