STRESS! LOL!! How come after every Christmas comes a stressful shopping day, followed by a stressful time of cleaning up the tree and ornaments (Not to mention that someone stole all three of the kids sleds - I don't know why - they were the cheap circle ones and nothing special, but my three kids are now sledless and I am so sad).
I hope you had a very Merry Christmas. I had a most WONDERFUL one. So wonderful that I did not take any pictures! LOL!! I was too busy enjoying my family. I have to share with you what made this year one of the best.
It wasn't the presents (which I got some REALLY nice ones), and it wasn't the food (Brian made duck and it tasted amazing), and it wasn't the fact that it was a nice quiet time at home, just the 6 of us (well as quiet as a house full of 6 - 4 being kids - can get).
A couple weeks ago, we went to a city run Christmas event. At the event, a reporter approached us and asked the kids if they were here to write letters to Santa, and what they were going to ask Santa for. She pried and pried, finally they let her know that we don't do the Santa thing. She continued to try to get them to "well what WOULD you say if he were real?" The kids really had no answers.
She thanked us and we walked away. About 5 minutes later, she came up to Brian and me. The kids were sitting down watching a performance in the main lobby. She asked us if not doing the Santa thing relieved us from the pressures of feeling like we had to provide a lot of toys. Now me, I was thinking, I would think that believing in Santa would mean a parent could provide less toys because they could just blame Santa or the kid (for being too naughty). We mentioned that actually we try to limit the amount of gifts the kids get at Christmas anyway (regardless of the Santa thing or not, we just don't want a lot of clutter in the house). But that the one thing I noticed was that because the gifts came from an actual person instead of an imaginary being, they were more thankful for the gifts they got, be it books (which what homeschooled kids doesn't like to get books?!?!) or clothes, the children are more appreciative.
SO skip forward to yesterday, Christmas day. We beginning opening the gifts, and the children, even JJ,reaffirmed what I had said. With each gift they opened, they were so thankful. Many times, after a gift was opened, they would stop, put down the gift, and give us a hug in thanks for giving it to them. To those who were not here, comments of thanks and "how did they know?!" showered forth. It was truly touching and one of the best Christmases ever.
Today will be spent in writing thank you notes, and the following days will be spent in adoring play and reading of the special gifts we received.