"Good morning, Emily! Merry Christmas! Did Santa come last night?"
"I don't know, I'll go check!" She runs out of the room and instead of running into the living room where we left the stockings sitting with care on the couch and a paper plate of clumsily frosted coookies, she runs to her room to look out the window. "I don't see him, Mommy!" she says looking straight up.
"Let's go see if he ate your cookies and milk."
Emily runs right past all of Santa's gifts to the cookies and jumps up and down. "He did! He ate the cookies and the milk!!" Not until it is pointed out to her does she noticed the bow-topped presents sitting in front of the stockings. "Wow!"
Using an advantage we will probably never have again, we tell her that Santa wrapped them so that they would stay a surprise until after going to Church and surprisingly this works! She gets to eat the mini box of Lucky Charms Santa left in her stocking. Well, actually he left it in Becca's stocking, but she didn't mind trading for Trix since she would only be able to eat them crushed and mixed with yogurt anyway. :)
One hour of church was harder to get through than 3, I thought. There was no promising "you get to go to class with your friends in 10 more minutes," or threats "you won't get to go to class with your friends if you don't settle down!" There was mostly pleading, "please sit still and be quiet so Mommy can hear the beautiful music." I didn't mind making it a priority however, He is after all, the reason for this season.
After Church, we were thrilled to find that even though Santa didn't bring us an attic or a princess bedroom, that he brought exactly all the right things. His helpers even brought magic to the grown up kids in our family and we are so thankful for thoughtful friends who blessed us with their generous spirits and giving hearts. Thank you! You made 3 little princesses and two grown ups a very nice Christmas when there wasn't much of one before. Thank Heaven for friends like you-- all of you!
We all took turns opening gifts even though it was hard to wait sometimes. It didn't take long to realize, though, how much fun it is to give gifts to others and see how happy it makes them, too. Over all, we shared really well and didn't have any major melt downs or fights. Yay! :)
Now Emily and I sit on this relaxing Sunday while Gracie and Becca nap having a conversation about which to do first, play doh or puzzles while we eat our lunch. :) Most, if not all, of the presents that didn't come from our Secret Santa Helpers came from the dollar store, but you know what? She loves them, too! And I really don't think they realize how tight things get and they're happy all the same.
So, whether your Christmas came from Dillards or the Dollar Store, I hope you had a glorious time with your loved ones and are feeling happy and content. I am. :)
So much love!!!
Diana, Geoff, Rebecca, Emily and Gracie