Wednesday, December 26, 2012
I'm a firm believer in simplicity, not subscribing to the commercialism of Christmas, but adopting two older girls in the last 5 months, one a bit unexpectedly, and homeschooling, means we needed some toys and crafts for them and fast. So, this Christmas was probably the largest, gift-wise, that they'll ever have. Being an inexperienced mom of three, I underestimated the amount of time it took to wrap all the gifts, especially since I wanted to wrap each tiny little thing so it'd seem to the girls to be a ton. Notice in the first picture, the complete (so I thought) loaded Christmas tree scene, the sky quite light. It was 7:30am Christmas morning when I finally climbed into bed for a couple hours of sleep! Needless to say, I had to be VERY, VERY quiet as I went about my elfish duties, thankful that the girls have no idea what typical American kids do to on Christmas morning, and stuck to the routine of staying in bed until I come in to get them.
Then, after I took the picture, I realized I'd forgotten the traditional addition of the dolls, who each received a matching outfit under the tree as well as having to be in their Christmas finery, and the new stuffed animals for the older two. Blossom received the big dog. She's been asking for a large stuffed animal for her bed for quite some time since Jie Jie has one. Sissy never asked, but when I was trying to find out what Blossom preferred, Sissy said she wanted one, too. However, knowing her as I now do, I gave her the smaller dog, knowing she wouldn't attach to it, but only wanted to have what the others had, which is fair enough at this point.
Sissy opened anything and everything with her name on it, without so much as a thank you or glance at any of us unless I made her pause to have her picture taken. She even opened the gift she got for Jie Jie, put it on her stack, and didn't realize what she'd done until I pointed it out to her. All she saw was her name on the package, even though it said To: Jie Jie, From: Sissy. She did like her gifts and even realized the crafts were to help her not be lazy. She made a very neat pile of her new things, ready to treasure and protect them.
Blossom's strategy was to grab anything and everything with her name on it and rip it open as fast as she could, barely glancing at what was inside. I had to slow her down and get her to pay attention to the gift itself. She made a haphazzard pile of things that kept falling over, but she didn't mind. The largest gift was hers to open last and I love the expressions on her face. See how she smiles in the first one even though she doesn't know what's in the box? Then, she opened in and got her first clue. She's really into emulating our family with her Barbies and putting them into Jie Jie's doll car is something she loves. So, she not only got a car for her dolls, but a van, like we have, well, our's is white. She's been good enough to share with Jie Jie, too.
Jie Jie is my sweetheart who is truly appreciative, opening each gift and carefully studying each item, thanking me or whoever gave it to her with sincerity and love. She's such a good example to her sisters.
I did have catnip toys for the feline members of our family, but they moved too fast for family photos and I didn't make it into any because I was controlling the chaos and couldn't stop to set the timer on the camera. However, I thought Poppy gave a good example of how cold we've been here (I do realize that our cold is relative, no offense to those of you who really live in the cold, especially if you have snow). She's plastered herself to the heater vent. And Brother and Henry have snuggled up to share bodily warmth, too.
As for me, I enjoyed the celebrations throughout the season far more than the gifts on Christmas Day. I was most touched at the Bethlehem night and the musical performances we attended. The two older girls always noticed when tears came to my eyes and I reached a point of ignoring their questions about it because they just can't understand how touched I am when I think of Mary giving birth to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to keep trying to explain it diminished it, which was part of their goal in asking so repeatedly (I'm learning the various ways in which they attempt to control me and ignore the behavior). I hope that they will one day feel the Holy Spirit as I do and truly understand the meaning of Christmas.