Friday, January 31

santa & giving.

the girls met santa for the first time this year.
in fact, i don't think they even really had a firm idea of santa until this christmas. now that they get it, they love him, but i think they still get the feeling that he's not quite all he's cracked up to be. we aren't very santa-centric in our house, even with the elves. we just don't take him too seriously, we treat him like the fun he is.

 they were so sweet and happy about sitting on his lap. not one bit afraid, but maybe a little bit shy. (maybe, somewhere deep inside, they realized that they had met this santa before...)
poppy just wanted to talk to santa about princesses.
ellie asked him for a lightbulb. again with the lightbulb! she said it was for me. i finally came to the understanding that she wanted me to have a nightlight in my room, just like hers. very considerate (but i wonder... because of how often she sneaks into our bed, she possibly just wanted a nightlight for her "other" room).

besides learning a little more about santa,
this christmas i tried to teach the girls about giving. i kept change in my pockets so that they could each put a little money in the salvation army buckets every time we saw one. 
the first time we did it, ellie was slightly upset. 
"no mommy, that's your money! that's for you!" she said. 
so we talked about how some people don't have enough food to eat, or nice clothes to wear, fun toys, or warm houses and beds. i told her that, because we have all those nice things, we need to help people who don't.
this made her more upset at first. 
"no! mommy, no! i don't want them to take our house! i don't want them to take my toys!"*

so i took the opportunity to explain to her that nobody was taking anything from us, because we were sharing what we have so that others can have more. the more we shared, the more she understood. in the end she loved knowing she was doing her little bit to help (and poppy just loved putting money in the bucket, maybe next year she'll be ready to talk about it). both girls loved yelling "merry christmas!" to the bell ringers and anybody else that happened to catch their eye.

and my favorite thing that the elves did was bring money to girls so they could go pick presents for toys for tots. the girls were so excited about the chance to help santa give toys to kids who might not have very many toys. it was great, and the girls loved it, but next time i'll have to leave a little more time to do it.

as soon as we told her the idea, ellie really wanted to give a train from ikea - and when she gets something in her head she doesn't want to do anything else. unfortunately, we didn't plan well enough to drive an hour one way into atlanta the saturday before christmas to get that train. she wasn't as happy with her second choice toy (a doctor kit), but surprisingly she wasn't even sad about giving toys away. she was just sad that it wasn't the toy she wanted to give. (as for her grumpiness, she was coming down with the flu and the fever started later that evening, so i don't blame her.)

poppy loved giving her toy (a magic princess wand) and she thought the greeter at walmart was santa. she kept trying to show him the toy she put in the box and said "dat's santa. he my best fwend."**
he didn't really notice but she didn't notice that he didn't notice so it was all good.

i can't wait to do it all over again. watching my girls being kind and generous just filled my heart. it really brought a special spirit to our christmas and i hope we can do even more next year.

*by the way, i'm so glad ellie is a girl who expresses herself and asks real questions. i know some kids go through that phase of questioning and asking "why?" until your ears bleed, but i can't think of a time that i have ever been annoyed with her questions. i don't recall her ever just asking "why?" instead she asks specific questions about what things are, how things work, and why we do things a certain way. and she really, truly wants to know and listens to and understands the explanations.
it's one of my favorite things about her. 

**gosh, penelope is cute. i mean, i just can't get over it. i think two is just the most adorable age.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Your girls are adorable and you are a wonderful mother!