Now that the growth spurt has ended, and the office has been quiet, I have time to share once again. With Christmas just days away, Dana and I have been working on making it memorable for our kids. Kaia and I have been checking the Santa tracker to see when he'll be leaving the North Pole, we checked her name on Santa's list at claus.com to make sure she's on the nice list, and the last 3 nights she's played games online at NorthPole.com. Last night we fell asleep on the couch together watching Rudolph. In trying to make it memorable I think back to my most memorable Christmas Days and two come to mind.
I have no idea how old I was, but I remember that we adopted a family through the hospital where my parents work. I remember that the 2 kids asked for simple necessities like earmuffs and gloves, and I remember us buying Cabbage Patch Kids and art supplies to go with the gloves and earmuffs. It was so much fun that year putting our energy into making someone else's Christmas nice, instead of wondering what we might be getting. And I have no idea what I got that year. I only remember what I gave. For Kaia this is a difficult concept right now, but I still show her the gifts for Toys for Tots, and always give her money to put in the bucket for the Salvation Army. Next year I may see if we can take a half hour of the ringing time my co-worker always signs up for. Kaia couldn't do a full shift, but I know she would benefit from spending some time raising money for others.
The other most memorable Christmas was almost recent. 9 years ago I was home after my first year of college, and things were pretty rough in our family. But by December all 4 of us were living in one house. I had gone to Petco after work one day, and saw 3 albino ferrets. I fell instantly in love, and went home to tell my parents how great they were, and how we needed to get one for Christmas. They had a ferret when I was young, and I talked and pestered non-stop about how they needed one again. On the 23rd my dad told me and my brother to get in the car (I think mom had recently had surgery on her knees as she didn't come with us). I figured we were going to help him buy mom's gifts. When my mom asked where we were going, I told her it was to pick out a ferret. Her reaction should have given it away, but it wasn't until we got by Petco and the car slowed that I knew it was true. Dad had gone to Petco to see the ferrets, and fell just as in love as I had. That night we brought home Rikki and Tikki. Dad couldn't take one and leave the other by herself for Christmas. That Christmas with the Ikki sisters was the best. The most memorable part of Christmas day was after the gifts were open, letting the girls out to romp through the pile of wrapping paper. Those two tiny white ferrets healed many of the wounds in our family, and at least for a few days, we spent time together laughing as a family.
This year Dana and I have opted to spend Christmas day as a family (instead of going to his parents). I'm making a turkey and a ham, and it will be just the four of us, enjoying ourselves on Christmas Day. We will make the rounds to see both families on Christmas Eve. I'm hoping that we can make memorable Christmas's for the kids, and for us.
Merry Christmas to all of you!