Since I posted a few details about our missteps en route to helping Santa with the girls’ Christmas present, but never actually said what the present was, I thought I’d reveal it here.
To inspire even more dramatic productions in our house, he brought them a stage (technically, stage curtains)…
Santa also restocked our art supplies and provided art bins (with labels, a gift truly for mom!) that allowed us to put a set of supplies in each girl’s room. We had actually sworn off markers in the months prior to Christmas because no one ever put the tops back on and I was constantly having to get rid of the ones that dried out, but Santa took a risk that paid off tremendously. Since he gave each girl her own set of markers, everyone has become incredibly invested in keeping their own set intact. In over a month, not a single marker has gone dry. Perhaps a lesson for mom in how ownership can lead to more responsible behavior? Hmmm…..
Speaking of T, he was actually the first one up on Christmas morning. While we typically have the rule that everyone waits at the top of the stairs until we can all walk down together to see the stockings, T is so young (and wakes up so early!) that my husband and I actually brought him downstairs for 45 minutes of his own time before anyone else in the house even stirred. He saw his train/car table midway down the stairs and began yelling “vroom! vroom!” right away. The opportunity to play cars trains with he and his daddy in the living room before anyone else woke up was an incredibly fun part of the day.
Another incredibly fun part of the holiday was having my inlaws spend it with us! Their making the trip was the real gift…such fun to be with them. In addition, they brought a gingerbread house that my father-in-law won in a contest just before Christmas
My inlaws also arranged for the girls to go horseback riding at a local farm
and my mother-in-law showed up with a cooler full of food that reminded me of Mary Poppins’ bag. Good stuff just kept coming out of it!
A directly quoted excerpt of one conversation…
Me: We should think about a dinner plan for tonight.
MIL: Well, I do have a fully cooked penne-a-la-vodka in my cooler that we could just heat up…
How amazing is that?! Have I mentioned that my inlaws are awesome? and that they drove (with that cooler and that gingerbread house!) 10+ hours to get here from New York?!
In case it hasn’t come across, we had a truly blessed holiday and loved just being together. The fact that while together we were able to see the kids put on shows in front of their stage curtains, enjoy coloring with fun markers, play with the “vroom, vrooms” and “choo choos” that T so loves, learn how to ride and care for some gorgeous horses and eat magical penne with vodka cream sauce…well that was just unbelievable icing on the cake!
My point is that I loved the togetherness that this holiday season brought us…time off work for my husband, a trip to see my extended family, an opportunity to host my inlaws, and many mornings hanging out in pajamas with the kids.
One last note: I also love how new art supplies inspire kids in ways you would never imagine. Though it may seem a strange gift to those who don’t know my daughters, Santa brought them each their very own pack of post-its. They were able to use as many as they wanted in whatever way they wanted. Well, check out my new designer wine charms, folks!
First a close-up…
And then a shot of the whole set…
I’ll leave you with that for today. One more Christmas recap is coming (specifically about our attempts to keep our focus on Christ amid all the glorious hoopla!), then it’s on to the new year!