Well, the Christmas rush is finally over. I have noticed that with a child it seems to last a lot longer than it did before, there are so many people that you have to get together with, so many friends who also have kids. I think this year we have had about 5 'Christmases' so far and there are still a few more friends that I haven't seen yet. Even though I know T* is being spoiled, I don't really mind, she's our only child so I figure why not?
This month has been great. We had my family Christmas, all my Aunties and Uncles and cousins. I love getting together with my family, we always have such a good time. This Christmas was great too because we got to see one of my cousins who lives in British Columbia, because he lives there we don't get to see much of him so it was a really great surprise to have him here. It was a great time had by all. We all get along really well, we talk about all kinds of things together, I never feel out of place with any of my family, they are truly great! All of us (the adults) get something for all the little ones and they all go crazy over their gifts, ripping a tearing all the paper off. Then for the adults we do the best thing. Each couple buys 1 or 2 gifts that can be for a guy or a girl, wrap it up and then we put them all in a pile. We each pick a number (depending on how many presents there are) and whoever gets the number 1 goes first, that person chooses a gift and opens it, the next person can either steal that gift or choose a new one. The game goes on like that with everyone trying to get the presents that they want, it's a total blast! We put a $30 spending limit on the gift so you don't go all crazy with anything, I think its actually more fun trying to figure out what to get that way, you not only have to get something that's not really expensive but you also have to try and find something that anyone would like to get. Gift baskets are a good one, most people will be happy with one, you just have to come up with a theme, then go find it all, and home made gift baskets are much better than store bought ones. This year was actually pretty quite for the gift game, there wasn't a whole lot of stealing, oddly enough we were kind of disappointed that the game didn't last too long. We had a great time though, catching up and hanging out.
R*, T* and I had another Christmas with my brothers and their families, we tried to save money this year by doing secret Santa's, though we all knew who was buying something for who, it was still nice, it gave us all a chance to figure out what the other person really wanted, then we all just hung out and relaxed.
T* had her Christmas pageant at school the week before holidays started, it was so cute, her class (senior kindergarten) and the junior kindergarten class were all together singing Do a Deer and Rock Around the Christmas Tree. They were so cute to watch. T* always looks so shy when she is on stage for the pageant, she sat really still and didn't move very much, you could see her moving a bit but they were very soft movements, she was singing too, though it was probably pretty quiet. The last day of school had us going to a Christmas party at one of her friends houses, the kids had a blast and even got a visit from Santa. He was great, he read them The Night Before Christmas, got pictures with all of them, and he just did a great job with it. T* was hilarious, I had taken her to get her picture with Santa at the mall the week before so when it was her turn to sit on his lap at the party, she puts her hands on her hips, looks at him and says, 'I already got my picture with you!', but she still sat on his lap, let all of us moms take pictures but then Santa asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she got all indignant, looks at him and says 'I already told you that don't you remember??' Santa was great and recovered quickly, telling T* that he just wanted to make sure she hadn't changed her mind. He really was a great Santa, apparently he has been playing Santa for friends and neighbours for about 30 years. It was a great kids party, even all of the parents had a good time.
After the party T* and I had to run off to her dress rehearsal for ballet. It's so cute to watch all the little kids dancing in their little costumes. This is the first year T* has been in a Ballet school that does a huge production with all different age and grade levels. It was really cool seeing the older girls dance in their toe shoes. T* though it was really neat to see it, even asking me if she would ever get to dance in those kind of shoes. I told her she just has to stick with ballet and one day when she is older then she will have toe shoes. It pretty neat to think that even though she is only 5 she has been dancing for 2 and a half to 3 years. She loves it, any time you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up she says a ballerina princess, and has been saying that since she was 3.
Christmas eve T* put out her milk and cookie for Santa, she was so funny this year, soooo excited about doing that, last year it wasn't a big deal but this year she was so excited to leave it out for him. She had gotten this little Ziploc baggie from her teacher that had (reindeer food) in it from her teacher (it was oats and some silver glitter), she was to put it out Christmas eve so that the reindeer could find their way to our house, we had R* put it out by the windows so that we could see it sparkle. Then we checked the Santa Tracker to see where Santa was and T* played some of the games before going to bed. Christmas day saw us with R*'s parents, sister and her husband and son. T* was up bright and early, running into our room and yelling 'Mommy, Daddy come look what Santa got me!!' She is always so happy Christmas morning, it so cute to watch her face light up as she opens her gifts. I really love Christmas, I would be totally happy not getting anything but just watching other people open their presents with a smile.
Last year I started this thing with T* that I am happy to see has stuck with her. Before any holidays where presents are involved T* and I go through all her toys and get rid of the things she doesn't play with or the things she has more than one of, then we put them all together and give them to a second hand store. It's our way of helping others that might not be able to get many things. It makes me feel really great to know that my daughter is able to think of others at a time like this. She has actually started bringing it up on her own. Randomly throughout the year she will tell me 'Mommy, I think we should go through my toys and give them to kids who don't have much', it's great to see. I would like to find a place that actually just gives the toys to kids but I don't know if there is anywhere.
All in all this has been a great Christmas. I am actually writing this from the comfort of my couch on my new laptop! My Christmas present from R*, I love it!!
I hope you all had wonderful Christmases too!!