I have had a lot of questions about how the girls are responding to Christmas. It has been so fun to see things that have been our traditions for years through their fresh viewpoint. I was telling a friend about how the girls responded to Thanksgiving and how after I explained the meaning of the holiday they were calling it “Thank you to God Day”. As I go through the process of explaining these holidays it really makes me appreciate them more and remember what I should be focusing on myself.
They knew Christmas was coming – it was hard to avoid it when they started putting Christmas stuff in the stores in, I don’t know, wasn’t it September?? It was crazy. Anyway, so I had to try to show them on a calendar how far away it was because they think that anything they hear about must be happening – TOMORROW! So, we have been crossing off days and counting how many until Christmas so that I wouldn’t have to answer each morning that, “No, Christmas is not tomorrow.” And, actually, the word the girls use to describe the day that comes after the one you are living in usually comes out as “yesterday”. Luckily, I translate very quickly in my head. 🙂
In our conversations about Christmas, the girls would tell me that they knew about the holiday – that it existed – but not really what it was about except there were gifts. They had never celebrated Christmas either with decorations or gifts. They were very excited for the day we would put up our tree. That morning when they got up they were beside themselves in anticipation. We invited our very good friends over to decorate with us and it made it all the more special. It also served to distract me as we unwrapped all the ornaments for the kids to put on and I saw each one that belonged to Grant and remembered the time he had picked that one out or how much he had liked a certain one. Holidays are always hard.
The next morning was Sunday (after we decorated) and when I woke the girls up to get ready Kira said, “I want to go see our tree!” It was so sweet to see her enthusiasm. I also loved that she said “our tree” instead of “your tree”. The girls often call our house “your house” and I always correct them and say that it is “our house”. I was glad that she had taken some ownership of the tree – probably due to the fact that she had helped to decorate it.
The other thing the girls wanted me to do was to video tape them looking at the tree and saying what they saw on it. You see, one of their favorite past times has been to watch old family videos. What these videos have done is let the girls see how Kelsey and Grant grew up and the different things we did as a family and when Kelsey and Grant were four and two I taped them looking at the Christmas tree and I asked them to tell me what they saw. My motivation at the time was to get Grant to talk because he was just starting to say more words and I wanted them captured on tape.
I granted their request and made the video. I hope it made them feel like they are part of the family and doing the same things that Kelsey and Grant did growing up. The other thing about them watching the videos is that they talk about Grant as if they knew him. It is so sweet. Sometimes Kalindi will ask me if I am missing Grant. I tell her that I always miss him. She will then say, “Mommy, I miss him too.” They both say it. It is so interesting. Grant is having an impact on his little sisters and he isn’t even here. God is so good.
One of the other cute things that came out of watching the video tapes was Kalindi came and asked me how Kelsey learned to read. She had been watching a video of Kelsey as a three year old sitting on her bed and reciting the entire book of Cinderella. Kalindi figured she was sitting there reading it and she wanted to know how I accomplished that task. I had to explain to her that Kelsey wasn’t reading the book – she had it memorized cover to cover! She loved that book and I read it to her every night. After awhile I got so sick of reading that book that I tried the ol’ turn more than one page to get the book over with quicker trick. Well, it doesn’t work very well when the kid has it memorized. When I realized she knew the book that well I started to say the first word of the page and Kelsey would recite the rest of it. That was repeated on each page as we finished the book. One night I told Kevin to come in and tape her and the rest is history.
I am sure that I will have more to share with you about Christmas as we get full swing into the season. I do know that the girls are not only thrilled at the prospect of getting gifts, but that they are very happy to be buying gifts for everyone as well. They already spent a wad of their AWANA bucks last week on gifts for different family members. That is something that I have noticed with both the girls – they love to be given something, but if they know that someone else would like to have something they would happily give it away to that person. I love that spirit.