Welcome to our home on Christmas morning. Come on in!
Actually, that door leads to the trash room, but I like it. It's pretty.
And so here we are in the year 2010. I really don't think there are 24 hours in a day on Christmas. How can there be? It goes by so fast! The kids woke up to stockings hanging at the foot of their beds. They're allowed to open the little gifts inside, and eat all the candy they want. I think Christmas stockings was a tactic thought up by St. Nick to buy parents extra sleep. Gotta love that St. Nick! We really took advantage of the extra sleep this year, seeing as we were up till 2:30 in the morning working on a special project. (I'll tell you about it a little later.) Joel and I walked into the kitchen to coffee already made by my sister. Annie sat on the couch with torn bits of paper around her, and a chocolate smeared mouth. She wanted to show me everything she got in her stocking. I bummed a Hershey's kiss off of her. Then, we all grabbed our steaming mugs of coffee and walked into the living room. The music was softly playing. The gifts were arranged around the base of the twinkling tree, and everywhere I looked I saw huge smiles and bed head. I love Christmas morning! One of my favorite moments is watching the children give their gifts to each other. They shopped for the gifts themselves, and even wrapped them. I was reminded of this every time I went looking for the tape, and found one of the children's presents secured tightly with approximately 3 1/2 rolls of tape. Mikey couldn't wipe the grin off his face when it came time to give Matt his gift. He had a special surprise. I need to give you a little background first. Several weeks ago, the boys were given a "totally awesome hat." Since that hat has come to live with us, there has been some "unrest" of whose hat it is. I decided to put on my judge's robe, and solve the problem. Upon reviewing the array of awesome hats that Matt already had, I ruled in favor of Mikey. I thought that was fair, and went about my day. Fastforward to Christmas morning...Matt received an awkwardly wrapped gift from his little brother. (you catching me here?) Mikey was smiling and bouncing on his knees. Matt tore open the paper and there, sitting on his lap was the "totally awesome hat." Matt beamed with happiness. "Aw! Thanks Mike!" He grabbed his brother for a sideways hug. These are the moments that touch a mother's heart. And this is why I do not blink on Christmas, not one little blink. I might miss something.
Another cute moment was when Matt gave Emma her gift. He got her a sweet, little nativity scene. Emma has been playing with the large one that is set up in the living room. It's been in the family for years, so I didn't really like it when Polly Pocket moved in. Emma opened her present, and squealed, "THANK YOU MATT!!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!"
I said, "Let me see, honey. What did you get?" She held it up and announced with pride, "Matt got me my very own ACTIVITY SCENE!!!" :o)
The Bible says, "It is better to give than to receive." I love it that the children are experiencing this truth firsthand.
(by the way, in case you're wondering, Mikey does not play hockey, nor does he have exceptionally large hands for an 8 year old. He was merely borrowing his father's gloves.)
The little girls were very surprised and happy to receive something ALIVE in one of their presents!
Daddy picked out a purple one just for Annie because "porpull" is her favorite color.
(Sadly, they've already been flushed. Fish just don't do well with us.)
One of the funniest moments occurred on Christmas Eve when Annie approached me with a very big problem. She was visually distraught. Upon counting her gifts, she came up three presents short. She looked at me with her hopeful, big, blue eyes, "Mommy, I forgot to get you, and Daddy and Aunty Kwissy a pwesent." I knew she was relying on me to fix her problem, but my mind was spinning with last minute projects and all the stockings that needed to be put together. I stared blankly straight ahead...all I could see was the large bookshelf. ***lightbulb moment*** "Well, Annie, I know that me, Daddy and Aunty Krissy all like to read...why don't you go shopping at the bookshelf?" The load was lifted! She grinned from ear to ear, "OK!!" She skipped off to the bookshelf, grabbed the first three books that her little hands touched, and ran for the wrapping paper. I had no clue what she grabbed. There are a bazillion books on that shelf. Christmas morning, Annie strutted confidentally around the room handing out her gifts. Joel was the first to recieve his book.
**Drumroll please** There are some real goodies here.
Joel got a book published in 1947 entitled, "How to Have a Better Relationship with Anybody."
(Looks like it's working already!)
And now my turn: I opened up my present, sneezed as the dust flew out, and turned it over to read the title. "ANNIE!!!" I retorted. "What's this suppose to mean!!!??" She giggled cluelessly.
The name of my book....
(by the way, I forgave her)
And then there's Krissy's book: I saved the best for the last. We all laughed so hard. I couldn't have picked a better one if I had hand picked it myself.
Let's just cut right to the chase, shall we?
The Total Man! (Hey K, what chapter are you on?...lol!)
Annie, thank you for giving us the gift of knowledge. We will cherish our books more than you'll ever know!
PS Wow, you are serious about keeping those ears warm, huh baby?
Remember I told you at the beginning that we were up late on Christmas Eve? My dear husband took on two rather large projects this year. He decided to make a go-cart for Matt. He stayed late at work each night, welding, painting and creating.
Then, he would come home to work on project number 2, a dollhouse for Mary. This dollhouse was given to us last summer, and was put in the garage because of its rough condition. It was a grand dollhouse, but it never really captured the girl's attention. It was dark blue on the outside. The carpet was old and smelly, and the wallpaper was outdated and torn.
And then my "Ty Pennington" came along for an Extreme Home Makeover!
Demolition Time! Joel was shocked at the details on this dollhouse when he got in there. Each room had crown molding and was trimmed with little baseboards. Some rooms had tiny chair molding. It was a beautifully made house that just needed some TLC.
Hours upon hours of work went into this love project.
When it came down to the "womanly touch" of the home, Joel summoned my help. As I was going through all my scrapbooking paper, trying to decide what colors to use, I thought it would just be easiest to let Mary make the decisions. I took the approach of, "If you could wallpaper your bedroom in any color, what would you choose?" And, "What about a bathroom?" and "How about a kitchen?" Any other little girl, whose mother was acting odd at Christmas, smelled of paint, and told the kids to stay out of the garage, might suspect something, but not my Mary. My little sweetheart sat there, shuffling through paper, completely clueless that she was decorating her own dollhouse.
As Mary was deciding, she held the papers up on the wall to show us how it would look.
After she made her selections, I was anxious to get back outside to the garage and start wallpapering. However, my sister was still feverishly thumbing through all the paper.
I had very little time, and wanted to be on my merry way. The clock was ticking. I patiently waited for my sister to hand the rest of the stash over. I waited for her to look up at me so I could give her "the eye." She knew about "the secret project in the garage." In fact, it was her job to keep Mary occupied. I waited and waited. She was really digging for her favorite colors, and was just as clueless as Mary. After OBVIOUSLY tapping my foot for a good, long time, I gave her a look and said, "Uhmmmmmmm, Kris? Ya done down there?" She looked up at me, burst out laughing and sheepishly walked away.
(Pst! Mom! If you're ever thinking of refurbishing a dollhouse for Kris, I know what her favorite colors are.)
Finally, it was time to give them their gifts!
And all the hard work paid off.
We didn't quite get all that trim up in time, but Mary was still shocked at the transformation. She said she didn't even recognize the dollhouse.
As I sit here, thinking about all the special moments of Christmas morning 2009, I am smiling with tears in my eyes. Just as quickly as Christmas flew by, today's moments are ticking by. Enjoy each one. "Redeem the time." Make it count for eternity!
-and whatever you do, don't blink...your kids will be grown!
Merry Christmas and have a blessed New Year!