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As a child, the opening of presents at my parents’ house on Christmas morning was a free-for-all.  My family would dive into the pile of toys under the tree and rip the paper off each present with a frenzy-like mania. We’d barely notice the unwrapped treasure before tossing it aside and moving on to the next one. With our precision, speed, and skill, we could have made this ritual into an Olympic sport.  And, when all presents were opened, the house literally looked like a tornado had struck; and half the time, we weren’t sure what gift belonged to which person. However, my mom was amazing.  She somehow sorted out all the chaos and managed to restore order before the day was over.  Now, at my house, my three kids have had to learn patience Christmas morning as we practice the one-person, one-present-at-a-time policy – it’s hard for them to have that much restraint!

The best part of my childhood unwrapping endeavors was searching for that one special gift  – the one I’d drawn a picture of in class; the one I’d asked Santa for in a perfectly executed letter; the one I’d fantasized and dreamed about.  And, thankfully, most years, Santa delivered.  When I’d finally find that much-anticipated gift, I would scream with enthusiasm and excitement!  As a mom, I love to watch my kids find their Holy Grail of gifts; because I remember that feeling, and it’s wonderful.

To help you find the perfect, crème de la crème toys for your children, no matter what their ages, KCFM gives you a sneak peek as to what cool, new toys Santa has in his sack this year.  Check out KCFM’s 2011 Top Toy Picks on page 10 to see reviews on top-rated, parent-approved toys that will be sure to give your children a thrill when they unwrap it!

This month ,KCFM readers will experience the Newbie Dad column for the last time.  Brian Kantz is hanging up his freelance writing career and starting a new job.  Check out his final article, “Time Flies When You’re Having Fun” on page 14 to read about his new adventure and muse over his time spent as a stay-at-home daddy.  He says it’s the best job around, and the time flew by!  KCFM will miss Brian’s unique father’s perspective on parenting two young sons.

Tracie Grimes’s Humor at Home article, “Ring the Cell Phones of Christmas,” gives us a holiday chuckle, as she dissuades her son from joining the ranks of cell phone users.  Her ploy – reminisce about the “olden” days and all the inconvenience of early communication.  After tiring of her ramblings, he might just change his mind as to what to ask Santa for Christmas.  See if her tactics worked on page 8.

For Christmas wish lists, she also recommends books that can be given as presents in her monthly book review, “Books for the Holiday Season,” on page 15.  Some of the titles she suggests include “Christmas in the Mouse House” by Maggie Kneen, “Chanukah Lights” by Michael J. Rosen, and the “Twelve Days of Christmas” by Jane Ray.

Enjoy this magical time of year and all its trimmings – family parties, delectable food, scrumptious desserts, interactive toys, gift wish lists, crisp air, bright lights, and, most of all, happy, happy children.  Whether your family celebrates the season with anxious abundance or a simple smile, enjoy the chaos and busy schedules, because January’s lull is just around the corner – you can sleep then.

Have a Happy Christmas and a Fabulous New Year!!!

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