The present that I was most excited about this Christmas was the castle.
I had given some fairly in-depth thought to getting the girls a dollhouse this year. They have been sadly dollhouse-less since the vintage (but still awesome) number from my own childhood was sadly destroyed in the great basement sewedge flood of 2010, and Kristina is really at that iconic dollhouse-for-Christmas age while Adrianna adores playing with anything of that nature which she can get her hands on.
However, finances in November took a decided plundge into horribleness due to one poorly timed bounced check that caused a LOT of lingering painful financial problems, and there just was not the resources in place to finance the sort of dollhouse I wanted to get for them.
(Dollhouses get expensive FAST.......)
So I resigned myself to it being something for another year, reluctantly decided I would let them have my beloved My Little Pony castle *sniffle*, and even tracked down a handful of magnet-hoofed ponies to live in it and operate the super awesome MLP theme song button.
But then, a scant few days before Christmas (the same day my few scant ordered-from-Amazon-with-last-minute-shipping presents arrived as well) we got an unexpected box.
A BIG box, adressed to the girls.
I assumed it was a Christmas present for them with the timing, but went ahead and opened it up just to make sure it was something ok for them to have (like, in the it's-not-broken-or-a-chainsaw sense) and to see if it needed pre-Christmas morning assembly.
(Hey, I'm not dumb, my children get all their presents pre-assembled and pre-deboxed if the packaging is complicated just so I don't have to go through the agony of trying to put together the horribley designed serious-pain-in-the-ass toy with hyperactive howling offspring climbing all over me.)
So I totally got the first round of unknown present glee ripping into that unexpected box, where I found a seriously awesome wooden castle and people set inside courtesy of the girls supremely rockin' Aunt Rachel.
Not only was the castle itself really wickedly cool, but it didn't even require assembly! Truly an epicly awesome toy if there ever was one.
And the girls were VERY excited to see it there under the tree on Christmas morning.
(Almost as much as me!)