My friends, Christmas 2012 has come…and just barely passed. For most of us, the lights and tree are still lit up and looking dandy. The stockings might be emptied, and re-hung. The corner of the kitchen where you stash extra cookies and cake is probably still overflowing. And the toy box is most definitely looking a little on the crazy side. The guests have headed back to their corners of the world, and you are enjoying the last few days off of school for the little ones. Here in the Pacific NW, we didn’t get any snow, but I’m not sure that matters – I can’t seem to pry the kids out of their rooms. They hide in there, giggling together, huddled over the gifts that thoughtful family members found for them. As the kids get older, Christmas just get more fun. They are able to enjoy their gifts, and the rituals of the day, just a little more.
Before I forget, I need to write down two tips, so I can remember them for next year.
1) Lo Gung and I tried to follow the adage “Something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.” Four gifts for each child. To keep track of what I had wrapped, I labeled each gift according to its portion of the rhyme. As Siu Jeun (my four-year old) went to open each gift, we would read to him the writing on the package. “Oh, this is from Mommy, and it’s something to read!” He immediately responded, “Oh! It’s a book!” Then, when he opened it and found a book…he didn’t throw it on the floor in a crying fit. He accepted it, and moved on to the next gift. What a happy accident!
2) Santa got smart – he brought “fruit ropes”, plus a few pieces of chocolate, for each stocking. (Fruit ropes are a product from Clif Kids – look like licorice, but they are made of dried fruit puree.) Again, the issue at hand is Siu Jeun. When he sat down to eat the entire contents of his stocking, I didn’t feel like I needed to stop him. A pile of fruit puree is a whole lot better than a pile of high fructose corn syrup and red dye #40. (You may disagree – I’m simply going with what I know to be true of my kids.)
A sneak at the stockings before the kids woke up.
The tree, pre-present demolition.
I could have sworn the kids left two pieces of peppermint bark out for Mr. Clause. Someone must have come by and eaten one. *erp*
The kids leave out food for the reindeer every year – a snazzy little concoction of raw oats and glitter. The oats are to eat, and the glitter makes it visible by the glow of Rudolph’s shiny little nose.
Perhaps my most genius move this year. All of my husband’s family is out-of-state, or country, so we use the post man to deliver most presents between us. This year, I decided not to risk ruining the surprise for whatever person opened up the brown boxes. We simply put all the packages in front of the kids on Christmas morning, with Daddy manning the scissors, and figured out which presents belonged to who. The kids got to open more packages, and Lo Gung and I were BOTH surprised by our gifts. Win!
Christmas morning. Just digging into the stockings. We do that first, and then dine on Li’l Smokies, pancakes, and orange juice. It’s tradition!
The kids both get new PJ’s every year, opened on Christmas Eve. This year, we found this adorable set for Ming Wai on Zulilly.com. Matching PJ’s for her, and her dolly. Precious!
Wishing all of you a very merry Christmas season, and an amazing New Year!