Before it gets too long gone, I just had to mention one cute Christmas story from '09.
It's become more challenging, in the last few years, to buy Christmas gifts for the nieces because they have gotten so sophisticated and mature. You cannot simply buy them fun books and toys. Now it's a matter of finding the perfect novel, the perfect art supplies, or the perfect article (this is REALLY hard) of clothing. They will, however, help you out if you ask. In fact, the older they get, the more specific their Christmas lists become.
This year Elder Niece was really, really specific in asking for dolls. No, not just any old dolls (which are stupid and awful and she has NEVER enjoyed them) but Twilight dolls. Yes, I know what you are thinking, but it's no joke. This Christmas, there were two, TWO, different varieties of Twilight dolls from which to choose. Elder Niece was also very clear that she DID NOT WANT the Barbie Doll kind. Instead, she was after the action figure version.
Thus on Christmas morning Grandma came through. The best present of the day (for Elder Niece anyway) was a matching Bella and Edward action figure set. They were beautifully detailed and very much resembled the actors, but I really wondered what the heck one would do with Twilight action figures. Elder Niece had no problem in this regard. She put the figures in the pockets of her jacket and carried them with her wherever we went.
She put on mini versions of the movie while walking in the park. She got them out and stood them on the table while we ate brunch in a restaurant. More than one waitress complimented her on their innate fabulousness. With tongue somewhat in cheek, she used them to do commentary on all sorts of passing people and places. In other words, they were thoroughly enjoyed. It's nice to see that eleven is not too grown up to still play with toys sometimes. As long as they're super cool action figures anyway.