Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas 2015

We had the pleasure of hosting the Christmas Eve party this year. Kent's siblings - Christine, Steve and Sheri - made the drive out to our end with their families for our annual Santa visit. We pulled together a Chipotle style meal, munched on lots of chocolate goodies (the Montierth favorite) and got caught up. It's crazy how the kids grow and change and the number that are young enough to sit on Santa's lap get fewer and fewer.

Keila was particularly sad that cousin Carly was too sick to come but Santa sent a gift home for her through her siblings. Joseph and his wife Jenny made it out from Wyoming which was a great surprise. I'm afraid it's up to this next generation to have munchkins for Santa's lap in the coming years.

Leora and Eli didn't care much for the tradition!
Isaac is in the know now when he asked us a rather direct question about it. Gratefully he was a good sport about it and didn't disclose his knowledge to his younger siblings. It's funny to me though, at times it's as if he forgets and the naturally believing and imaginative side of him starts theorizing just how Santa does it. His cousin Colette had him for a moment when he authoritatively told a group of older cousins he knew the secret when she got all wide-eyed and turned to her Mom to ask, "What secret? What about Santa haven't you told me?!!" For a split second he thought he'd ruined it for someone nearly 15 years his senior. I must admit it's fun though to have him know and help out with the magic of it but at other times I'm a little sad that he's grown up so fast. Childhood and the wonder of it is fleeting.

Santa does stockings and that is always opened first. I love that the excitement is barely contained in Isaac's expressions. Leora doesn't get what's up, but by the smile behind her binkie she just knows it's good.
The much deliberated gift she sought from Santa, either ladybug slippers or a necklace making kit. Somehow he just knew and gave her both!
Isaac and Keila's ornament gifts made at school for this year.
This year I took the oldest two to the mall for a couple of reasons: 1. I wanted to make sure we really knew what they wanted for Christmas, 2. To give Isaac (the wealthiest of the two) and opportunity to shop for a gift Keila truly wanted. It was a good experience because it gave them a sense of what money can buy. It was hard too though for Isaac, he had a hard time parting with his money but could tell that if he truly wanted the joy of giving, he needed to spend something to get his sister a gift that would mean a lot to her. Keila and I concocted a plan for her to do some chores to earn some money to get Isaac a gift. In the end they got each other the beanie baby owls, one pink and one brown. Their surprise at each other's gifts and the love they showed warmed my heart!
Leora took a bit to get use to the idea of ripping open presents but was more than happy to comply especially when one of them held a cuddly stuffed kitty!
Eli loves ripping anything but was not so thrilled when he saw the gift. "Therapy disguised as toys!" seems to run through his head as he tossed them aside. He did stop to enjoy some blocks and was willing to try out his headphones so long as he had access to my phone to listen to his playlist!
There were family gifts that the older two opened but the two largest ones were the grand prize at the end. For Isaac this was somewhat deceptive. The box was a large glow in the dark marble maze set for his engineering geared mind. It wasn't really what he wanted, but the much sought after Minecraft was on the Ipad and could not be wrapped because it was always in use. Instead after all the gifts had been open, I sent him into the kitchen to unlock the ipad to play music for Eli. It was then he discovered that we did download the game for him and loudest squeal could be heard as he jumped up and down like a yo-yo for the next 10 mins. I wish we could have caught his reaction on camera. After that there was total silence for the hour he was sucked into his game.
Keila was hard to shop for. Originally we had discussed the pet rabbit as being her gift, but you can't very well hold to that when she's allergic to it so we racked our brains for something else. Lately she's been fascinated by a guitar and plays around with mine so we got her one - a pink one at that! This girl has to be introduce VERY slowly because if she thinks it's someone elses idea, she won't do it! I've gone back to finger picking mine and dropping terms like fret, strum, etc. She now holds it right and maybe at some point she'll want real lessons ....

Hopefully you've noticed the pictures look better (if not then that speaks of our lack of skill!) but my gift was a replacement of our digital camera! I'm pleased that Kent shopped around for a good deal and we got it before Christmas day. I also hope the new shaver and the two half pound Reese's Peanut Butter Cups feel like an expression of my gratitude. Documenting these memories means so much to me and as time passes, it'll be fun to look back on. Merry Christmas one and all! May the joy of this season carry through to the next!

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