We finally got a piano just in time for Christmas! Ever since Paddy started taking piano lessons he has been getting by on a digital keyboard, which is NOT equivalent to a piano. I have been looking for one for years, and finally decided to avoid the pain of choosing a lower-end used acoustic piano. Instead, we got a Yamaha Clavinova CLP 470, which is a digital piano in roughly the same price range as a used upright. Sure, I would rather have a 100K grand piano, but that was not in the cards, and it would make it hard for my kids to squeeze into the hall to get to their bedrooms.
The Clavinova has weighted keys and varying pitch, unlike the old keyboard, and pedals, and so the way you play is basically equivalent to an acoustic. So I am happy. Spending time on the piano keyboard has been keeping me away from the computer keyboard, so I am not meeting my goal of writing more during this holiday.
I thought I would mention some other Christmas gifts that turned out to be a success. Mostly games.
LONPOS 101 Pyramid.
I forget where I read the recommendation of this one, but it is fun! Basically thinking puzzles with a visual/spatial focus. The younger three have particularly enjoyed this.
Labyrinth Card Game.
Another visual/spatial type entertainment with imagination. Paddy and I have played it several times. I like games that challenge my brain without straining it.
Dutch Blitz. Probably most families have this already, but we didn't. Also fun and leisurely.
CATS Soundtrack CD. Aidan has been playing this constantly (whenever I'm not playing the piano). For him it brings back his early childhood when he would sit with his sister and watch Magical Mister Mistoffeles and Macavity with her.
Complete Peanuts Collection 1975-78.
Paddy likes Peanuts -- there is a whole set of the complete collection, running from the 50's to the 80's, but we just got Volume 13-14.
Various other things, like candy and winter socks and gloves, were part of the gifts as well. I had told them they wouldn't be getting very much, because there is not too much that we need or want around here -- in fact I am going to declutter first thing in 2014! -- but with the "everybody presents" and the socks and things it ended up looking pretty nice under the tree after all (didn't take a picture).
Mostly I have been enjoying just having my oldest two boys around (they came down from Oregon), and resolutely enjoying the holiday week mostly reading, playing the piano, going for walks out in the forest and talking or playing games with the kids).
|oldest boys standing on the hearth trying to stay warm|
Hoping you are all having a blessed Christmas season!