I had to remind myself a few times that this was Mei Lin's first real Christmas (since we don't know if her foster family celebrated Christmas at all last year - probably not). I guess it seems like she's been here forever so it's hard to believe she wasn't here last year, too. She loved everything about Christmas! She loved the trees, the lights, the cookies, candy canes, the music, Advent candles, Advent story, the presents...the whole thing! She was in awe of the first lighted Christmas tree she saw at Old Navy and squealed and yelled "Avent" whenever it was time to light the candles and read from the Advent book. As we'd read, "For He shall be called Immanuel, which means...." she'd say "God wiff us" (that's God with us), but her favorite part was blowing out the candles. She also walked around saying "Santa, Santa, ho-ho-ho" and singing her own version of Christmas songs.
Why pictures of Megan are rare....
We hosted a little party with some of Miyah and Mei Lin's friends and their moms. Since we've all become too busy for regular playgroups, this was a fun time to get all the girls together.
The girls silently doing a craft
Miyah loved Christmas, too. She loved celebrating Advent and could recite nearly the entire Christmas story from the Bible after reading The Advent Book each night. She was dressed in antlers and a red nose nearly every day of December and could be found tied to her doll stroller (sleigh) delivering gifts to our stockings. What an amazing imagination she has and what a good Santa's helper.
Which reminds me of something. Have any of you parents had to deal with this one?
A few weeks back we were having trouble with Miyah not being completely truthful....no big, fat lies, but lies none the less. Lies like whether she'd already had a glass of apple juice that morning. Anyway, I was onto her and I knew I had to deal with it, so we had a couple of talks about telling the truth and that if she wanted people to believe her and trust her she had to be truthful in even the smallest matters. She happens to be a pleaser, so once she undestood, she quickly changed her ways.
So, here's a subsequent conversation one night and the real issue at hand:
Miyah: Does Santa REALLY come and bring us presents for Christmas?
Mom: Some people believe that he does. Do you believe that?
Miyah: Well, that's what you said, and you ALWAYS tell the truth.
Mom: (catch breath...then...) I told you that???
Honestly, guys, I never told her Santa comes to bring presents. I happen to be one of those weird parents that doesn't particularly like Santa. Sorry. Shocking, I know. I've actually had people look at me like I'm a horrible mother when I've shared that.
While mostly harmless, I see and hear too much Santafanatacism for my liking. I don't want my kids to feel that the birth of Christ isn't exciting and amazing enough itself that we have to make Christmas about some guy who brings gifts (if we're nice).
That's just MY opinion. I know it isn't popular so please don't write me with all the reasons you DO or I SHOULD celebrate Santa. We're both good mommies regardless. I don't think Santa is bad, it's just not how I choose to celebrate Christmas. Our kids read books and watch movies with Santa, because it isn't the worst thing in the world and let's face it, it's unavoidable. So, Miyah has read and seen quite a bit of Santa. We just downplay it as much as we possibly can.
Anyway, I didn't have the guts to come right out and say Santa...you know. She quickly changed the subject and hasn't questioned it since, but somehow I still feel kind of guilty.
Which leads me to another story, further fueling my dislike for the Big Jolly Guy (half joking here). One week before Christmas, after being asked by friends and strangers for the millionth time what she wants from Santa (argh!), Miyah informs us that the ONLY thing she wants from Santa is a Rudolph costume. HOW and WHERE do you find a Rudolph costume with less than 6 shopping days and only 5 shipping days (the only way I shop anymore) 'til Christmas??
She has the antlers and painted nose, what more does the girl want? Even the endless reaches of the internet couldn't find us a Rudolph costume, except for one being sold on ebay with an ending date of Dec 24th (??). So, instead we ordered a reindeer bathwrap (kind of like a towel with a reindeer-face hood) from a woman on ebay. A few days later we got her package with a stuffed monkey instead of Santa's gift!! Thankfully Target sells reindeer bathwraps, too (and much cheaper). So Miyah, I mean Rudolph, is happy with #*$%#*% Santa...just kidding, I don't even curse :).
Why couldn't we find something like this? LOL! Almost scary, isn't it?
On to cheerier things....
My parents came for Christmas and we had a wonderful time. My mother was particularly entertaining on Christmas Eve while staying up late and under the influence of Ambien. I won't embarass her, but I do have video if you ever stop by (kidding, mom).
For the second year in a row, Miyah found the star and baby Jesus before opening gifts Christmas morning. This year the star was a little cloissonne star from China.
And then the opening begins...
Matt's going to kill me for posting a pic of him in his glasses (sh!)
This is where Mei Lin quit opening gifts. We're hoping for no more fighting/sharing issues now that Mei Lin has her own Leapster.
Miyah in her Rudolph "costume" from Santa...Mei Lin gave Miyah a little Rudolph whose nose lights up
Matt and Megan have had a wonderful Christmas break, too. Matt was quite relieved after all of his mid-terms (including a 30-some page Humanities exam), but has worked quite a bit during the busy retail season. We all saw a lot of movies. Pat and another dad took Megan and her friends to see National Treasure 2. Matt and Pat went to see I am Legend, Pat and I saw August Rush, and I saw a chick flick with some friends.
And just in case you haven't had enough...here are a few photos from our trip to the mall the day after Christmas.
Mei Lin hating the carousel
Miyah bravely feeding the stingrays
Mommy kind of freaks out when the stingray splashes up for food
Well, enough about our Christmas. Hope you had a very Merry Christmas!