It really was a special Christmas for all of us this year. You remember how much fun it makes it when you have little kids who are so excited about everything? That was the girls this year. Everything was new and fascinating. They enjoyed every minute of it. During December, we watched every age appropriate Christmas movie available and listened to Christmas music as often as possible so the girls could learn the songs. It was so funny because in explaining the holiday and that the focus and reason for it was Jesus’ birthday and that Santa was a fun story and not real, it was interesting that after watching several animated movies about Santa they got confused! I have no problem with Santa – other than the fact that I NEVER have told my kids that Santa was real and then pretended to be “Santa” with gifts or anything. But, I certainly didn’t want the girls to get confused and forget the real reason for the celebration. I did have to repeat several times that Jesus’ birth was the real reason we celebrate Christmas and that Santa is a fun story about giving to others. I need to get a good book that explains the real story of St. Nicholas.
In the end I think we did okay. On Sunday, when someone asked them at church what Christmas was about they said Jesus was born and then they mentioned giving gifts – which is a much better answer than getting gifts! ha
My three elves on Christmas morning!
The girls had so much fun making or buying gifts for the family. They had amassed AWANA bucks and shopped for several people at the AWANA store. Kalindi went into her typical methodical, hardworking, systematic, and creative mode and after I made her a list of everyone in our extended families and different friends from church (when she asked me to) she determinedly set to work making either a picture or card for that person (sometimes both) and/or made a bead and string book mark – sometimes all of the above! It was so cute. The funniest part was that she kept asking me if she could “pack” her presents to which I would respond, “You mean, you want to “wrap” your presents?” She used the “pack” term so often that I found after a few weeks of hearing it that I used the word myself to describe wrapping gifts. Eventually either you wear them down or they wear you down!
Kira's gift to Kalindi
Kalindi's gift to Kira
Helping Daddy open his gift from them
The girls got baby dolls, strollers, a girl doll, doll clothes, and a wonderful handmade oak doll bunkbed. They love to pretend with their dolls. I get a kick out of listening to them playing and how they talk to their babies or girl dolls as they “mother” them. It is so sweet. I hear them repeat things that I have said to them – reminding me yet again that I need to be so careful how I model being a mother to them. One slight bump in the baby doll gift. Kevin and I had run to Toys R Us for a last minute gift shopping trip in between snow storms. I wanted to get the girls babies and I wanted them to be a little different – like with different colored clothes. So, after much hemming and hawing and going back and forth (while Kevin IMpatiently looked on) I chose two babies that seemed the least offensive in bells and whistles (Some of the dolls had sensors and would cry and say mama, moving their arms and heads when you walked by them. Creepy!). One of the babies was dressed in blue and one was dressed in pink. Well, on Christmas morning, after the girls opened them and we spent twenty minutes cutting all of the wires and strings holding them in the boxes, we found out that the babies would wet their diapers after you had fed them a bottle of water (didn’t notice that detail when I bought them!) AND, lo and behold, the baby in blue was anatomically correct and was NOT a girl! Well! That put a damper on things. Kalindi was not happy about the fact that hers was a boy. I told her that when “he” was wearing a dress and had his diaper or pants on no one would know it wasn’t a girl. I am not sure if I will ever live that one down.
Kevin and I at my parents house
Grandma (my mom) and Kalindi
- The girls with their baby bunkbed
We had a very quiet Christmas Eve at our home with just the five of us. We lost power for about an hour and a half that day – thank you God that it came back on so quickly! We had our dinner and then read a devotion that our pastor had sent all of us since our Christmas Eve service had been cancelled due to weather. We then sang Christmas carols while Kelsey accompanied us on her guitar. It was a fun evening!
Christmas Day began when the girls woke up about 7:30 or 8:00 (it’s been too long ago, I can’t remember exactly!) and we all headed downstairs in our jammies to open the stockings first. I could have sworn that we always did stockings last, but Kelsey assured me that we did them first. 🙂 Then the girls couldn’t wait for everyone to open the gifts that they had chosen for them. After opening gifts, we had breakfast of hash browns, bacon, and eggs and then got ready to head to Grandma Rae’s house.
Christmas afternoon was spent at my parent’s with my sister’s family there as well. My Dad smoked a turkey and it was late getting done with it being so cold outside so we ended up opening gifts before eating. We had a great afternoon and evening at my parent’s house and then headed home hoping that it had warmed up enough to melt all the snow we had gone through on I-205 as we drove through Vancouver, WA on our way to their house. Thankfully, the roads were clear and our drive home was safe and uneventful!
We had another Christmas celebration with Kevin’s family on Friday at our house. It was fun to all get together – Kevin’s parents, his two brothers, sister, and their families. There were 21 of us in all. When I had been telling the girls about our different Christmas activities I showed them a photo from a previous Christmas so that they could see all the family members that would be at our house on Friday. Kalindi announced that, “The whole world was coming over” after she saw a photo of the 19 of us together that year! She also confessed that she had been confused seeing that photo – it was in the album we sent them at the orphanage. She thought all those people lived in our house! 🙂
The family photos that we take at the “S” family get togethers always end up with at least one person in the family looking like a deer caught in the headlights because you feel like the subject of paparazzi with so many camera flashes going off at once!
I always end up looking back at my photos and wishing that I had taken the time to get more posed photos of different family members and groups of people together – especially when it is at my house and I am running around trying to keep the hospitality angle going. We did a Mexican potluck this year and it turned out great. I really thank the Lord for our house with it’s large open area for entertaining when we have these family functions.
All in all, it was a great holiday. I remember how much we all had wished that the girls would have been here by Christmas 2007. We ended up finding out our papers had been signed in January, 2008 and traveled a month later. Last year’s Christmas was a good year for the three of us to spend together and I know that the Lord had many reasons for delaying the girls’ arrival. His timing is perfect. But, it was great to have this special Christmas together and to build memories and traditions for this “new” family unit.