Christmas this year was a low-key affair. Both N’s parents and my sister Jan live nearby but were out of town so it was just the four of us. Things were very relaxed (the kids stayed in their pjs all day!) which was nice after the craziness of the last few weeks.
We are starting to decided on our family traditions. Every night in December we read a scripture about Christ. And on Christmas Eve we watched The Christmas Story with the kids. So far this December has been one of the warmest in record so waking up Christmas morning to a thick blanket of fresh snow, just like in the movie, was magical.
One of most memorable aspects of this Christmas has been the kids’ excitement about Santa Claus. It was the first year that either of them really believed in him. We took the kids to visit Santa at a local outlet mall and he was really great. There wasn’t a line so he spent a lot of time with each of the kids asking them if they had been good and talking over what they would like for Christmas.
E had his heart set on Little Big Planet 3, the next video game in a series that we play with him, but also told Santa that his dad didn’t have an iPad and asked Santa to bring him one. Santa didn’t come through on that one but it was sweet of E to request something for N.
Mimi asked Santa for “a pony castle” and when Santa asked if that was all she wanted she also threw in a request for a “polka dot dress.”
Mimi took a little while to warm up for the photo but Santa was great and got her to smile and we ended up with this photo which I love. Mimi had had her preschool Christmas concert earlier that day and I scheduled our visit for that same day to get the most out of the holiday cuteness.
Seeing how excited the kids were about Santa, N and I took care to make things special. I bought Santa wrapping paper that we wrapped those gifts in, taking care to dispose of the leftover paper so it wouldn’t be found. (I distinctly remember the moment as a child when I was poking around the mall shop my parents used to own and found the wrapping paper Santa had used on our presents; I immediately realized my parents had been behind the whole thing. So now I wanted to avoid something similar).
The kids were so excited on Christmas morning. E opened his game right away and was over the moon. Mimi’s gift from Santa was tucked behind the tree because the box was bigger and after a few rounds of opening presents from family she suddenly looked up a little teary and asked about her “pony castle.” She realized that Santa had brought E his gift but didn’t see hers anywhere and was a little crushed. Right away we pulled it out for her to unwrap and all was right again with the world. She loved it.
I don’t know if E will believe in Santa next year. This year he told us that kids at school were saying that Santa wasn’t real (Thanks, Ellie!) and that he had some doubts. But it was touching to see him choose to believe and enjoy the magic of that aspect of Christmas. It was a lovely Christmas for all of us.