Thursday, January 19, 2012

Christmas 2011: Gifts

I was determined to make Christmas 2011 amazing and memorable.

Christmas 2010 was hard.  There was rejection, pain, loneliness, and just plain anger.

I was not going to let someone.anyone ruin this Christmas. 

I was going to make it good for my children.

I had a few fun events planned.  A special cousin was coming over for a sleepover.  Roasting marshmallows in our fireplace and a fun breakfast planned.  This Christmas was going to be the best yet.

Last year I told the children they would only get three gifts.  Three gifts was good enough for Jesus, so it should be good enough for them.

After a year of cleaning out, sorting and getting rid of so much STUFF, I didn't want to buy anything.

I told the kids that they would only get two gifts.  Jesus got three and He is The King.  We aren't royalty, so two should suffice.

Then I remembered I had bought a pair of pajamas in the fall for a Christmas gift.  They ended up with three anyhow.

They really didn't need anything and with all the other family Christmas's we attend they would be getting plenty of gifts.

I wanted to be more practical this year.  I knew that with all the upcoming travel and such, good sleeping bags would be a necessity.  I found awesome deals at L.L.Bean and bought each one in their color code. (Each child has a color for their toothbrush, towels, cups, bowls, etc.). 

I was afraid that they would think the sleeping bags were boring, so I planned the whole evening around them.  They could sleep in their new jammies (my kids LOVE jammies) camped out by the fire.  Our special Cousin Ann was coming for the night to add to the excitement.

Once they opened the big boxes they were squealing in excitement.  Then one of them yelled "It's even in our color codes!" 

Only one of their three gifts was a toy.  At first I felt bad for them, but once I started thinking about what to get each one, I knew that the one 'fun gift' would be really, really good. 

Riley saw a punching bag in an ad.  He asked for it.  I was thrilled at the idea.  What a better gift to give an over-active-agressive nine year old boy.  He could burn off steam in a positive way.  And maybe his mom would use it to beat out her frequent frustrations??

Rhianna loves.loves.loves.her American Girl dolls.  She had been saving up for Kit's scooter.  When I found it on Ebay this summer for a good price, I knew it was her gift.  I could not wait to see her open it.  I was hoping she would squeal with delight.  She didn't fail my expectations.

The smile on her face was priceless...and the squeal of delight was music to my ears.

Reagan is my train man.  His collection of Thomas trains is almost sinful.  I wanted to get him something other than an addition to his set, but he insisted that he wanted more trains.  I relented.  He plays trains all.the.time.  He has enough tracks to start the track in the basement, through the hallway, up the basement steps, through the living room and part way up the other set of stairs.  Like I said. It's ridiculous how many trains he has.  Record breaking, I'm sure.

I got him a Thomas/snowplow set.  He was ecstatic.

My kids were so amazing this year.  They were so appreciative for each gift they were given.  I like the idea of only two gifts...with maybe a small third one.  We kept the meaning of Christmas at the forefront of our holiday weekend.  I think next year I am going to search for paper that symbolizes each one of Christ's gifts.  I have gold colored paper for 'gold' but am not sure how to represent the other two gifts?!  Any ideas?

Next up:  Christmas 2011: Roasting Marshmallows and the Slumber Party

P.S.  I apologize for the horrendous quality of the pictures.  My camera is bi-polar.  Sometimes it takes the best pictures and other times it simply refuses.  Lithium treats bi-polar...maybe it needs a lithium battery???

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