We’ve all been there… the kids are sound asleep, and you finally open the packaging on their main gift ready to put it together. Christmas Eve toy assembly is literally the thing I dread most about Christmas! I will never forget Christmas 2013 – Hubby and I were so smug! We’d bought the kids’ MotherCare toy kitchen months in advance, and were totally finished with our Christmas prep a good 3 weeks before the big day. We just had to build the kitchen!
Christmas Eve Toy Assembly Fail Number 1
I remember it as if it were yesterday – smugly tipping out the contents of the box at 7.30pm, ready to put it together. It had one of those really easy to follow illustrated manuals – that didn’t make it easy to follow though! I was being taunted by images like this one…
The reality was quite different. We were two screws short, and of course they were in a random size nobody in their right mind kept in the house. Some of the holes didn’t line up either. It was 2am before the toy kitchen looked anything close to finished. We’d had to resort to super glue on the back where we were two screws missing. We left the hole unglued though so we could screw it into place securely once we found the right size screws.
It was totally worth the 7 hours of torture when we saw how happy the kids were on Christmas Morning!
Christmas Eve toy assembly Fail number 2
Every child needs a doll’s pram, right? How hard can they be to assemble, I hear you ask…. in this particular pram’s case, the answer was… VERGING ON IMPOSSIBLE!
Syd got this pram for Christmas in 2014. Her aunt and uncle left the assembly job to me – after all… We’d had more real prams than Mothercare stock! It was horrific!
It took all evening, I cut two fingers and it was broken less than a week later! Most real pushchairs come with decent visual manuals– This toy one didn’t though! It was all written text – no images whatsoever, except of the finished pram!
Don’t Forget the Batteries!
The year we got the Sylvanian Families Beechwood Hall set for Syd was another almost disaster. We’d seen in the online information that the Hall required 2x AA batteries. We’d bought those well in advance. When setting it up, we realised the stove (which was what our daughter was most excited about) needed different batteries.
It required 3 x LR41 batteries – which we didn’t have at home. They are like watch batteries, but really tiny ones. In the end, Syd was upset it didn’t work on Christmas morning, but she got over it when she realised the lights still worked ok.
Christmas Eve Advice:
We are about to celebrate our 8th Christmas as parents. We’ve made some mistakes, and picked up some great methods along the way….
Tip 1: Check each toy works as it arrives and write down any battery requirements on a note on your mobile phone.
Tip 2: Pop the correct batteries into the box of each toy so they are to hand when your child wants to play with it. Same applies to gifts you’re giving to others. (Nothing more irritating on Christmas Day than a child crying because the toy Auntie Susan sent doesn’t have batteries included).
Tip 3: Wrap gifts as soon as you know they are working and the batteries are in the box.
Tip 4: Whatever toys will need assembling on Christmas Eve, check in advance all parts are included. If it’s a bike, make sure they tyres are pumped up.
Tip 5: Make sure the labels are stuck down well if you use them. We use different coloured paper for each child so we don’t have to waste time (or money) on gift tags.
Even if you’ve left it all til the last minute and are in a big panic, remember it’ll all be over tomorrow! Get some tunes you love on (not necessarily Christmas ones), pour a glass of wine and wrap like your life depends on it!
I hope these tips help your Christmas Eve toy assembly go a little more smoothly! Let me know in the comments if you have any tips to share for a straight forward Christmas Eve.