Legal Wood Plantation by

A little explanation. Last Christmas, money was super tight. As we talked about it we realized that the fun in Christmas is really having all the presents around the tree and in opening them. Besides with a very small (tiny, minuscule) budget we couldn't see ourselves purchasing toys they really didn't need. Malachi had run into a recipe for magnetic slime on Pinterest and had put it on his Christmas list. I realized that what my kids needed was to explore their interests. Once that was settled we were off! Most items I either had on hand or I could get at the grocery store. A few items like the polychromatic pigment I had to order on Amazon.
I didn't want a lot of confusion on Christmas morning "Hey! That's MY box of baking soda!!" So I labeled each item before I wrapped it. Ex: Malachi's super polymer starch! Then I wrapped and numbered each item separately as part of a group. (1 of 6, 2 of 6 etc) the last item was an envelope with the directions in it. However, because we really didn't have much and we were afraid unwrapping was going to be done 30 seconds flat (huge potential anticlimactic Christmas sadness) I wrote a word on the outside of the envelope such as polymer or my favorite: thermochromatic pigmentation. Isn't that a great word? My brilliant teenagers (I have 5) had to sound out the words, hee, hee! They thought I was a genius! They got over it quickly when found out what it meant but hey, I had my moment in the sun! Sun....summer, I'm going to the cabin in a week....oops! Back to last Christmas...right, big word on back of last envelope. I made them look up the word, tell us what it meant, look at all their ingredients and try to guess what they were going to make. It really slowed down the lighten-fast unwrapping frenzy and they learned something! I also insisted that they wait until they had all of their packages of that set before they opened them...I know....diabolical, right! He,he. evening items to wear of the sexy pattern
Christmas morning they piled in all dewy eyed and Christmas ready, excited about the mounds of gifts under the tree. They had a ball waiting to open their set of gifts. For a split second I panicked when the thought occurred to me that my anticipatory teen was just about to open a box of cornstarch, oh my, what was I thinking??!! What kind of mom gives her kids pantry items? It was then I realized that this particular kid was MY kid. He'd been my accomplice when he happily dressed up in full wolf suit and hid behind the door to scared the bugeebies out of his big sister. He even took it in stride when she punched him! (In my defense I did tell him to duck!) So this kid knows two things about me. 1) What mind I had left after 10 kids I lost a long time ago, probably in-between the couch cushions. 2) There's always a method to my madness that ends up being pretty fun, except when you get punched.
I was right! The fourteen year old boy unwrapped the cornstarch, raised an eyebrow at me, gently set it down, opened up another package, school glue, raised both eyebrows this time and said in an ecstatic stage whisper, "Mom, did you get me a polymer? He's such a nerd!
Just like his mom!