When I was a child, my Nana started a tradition of giving her grand kids an ornament every Christmas. I have a wonderful collection of ornaments and each one remind me of my Nana and of my childhood. It's lovely. My sis decided to carry on this tradition with my own kids and they look forward to it every year. Last Christmas, I had the crazy idea of getting our tree on St. Nicholas Day. That day is busy enough without adding "Get and Decorate Tree" on the list. But what WAS cool about that idea was that the kids put their shoes outside and after decorating the tree, they checked their shoes and Aunt Jan's ornaments were there! So, of course this year on St. Nick's Feast Day, Chatterbox asked if we were getting our tree. I told her, "No". Then she asked if they could at least put their shoes outside and see if St. Nicholas would deliver Aunt Jan's ornaments for her. Kids have great memories, don't they?
Christmas came and went and the kids did not mention Aunt Jan's ornaments or ask why Aunt Jan didn't send any presents. But they did tell me they wished Aunt Jan could have came for a visit on Christmas. This of course made me very happy. I love that they love their Aunt Jan even though they only see her about once a year. She does a great job of keeping in touch. I was so proud that my kids were more concerned of seeing Aunt Jan than of getting gifts from Aunt Jan.
But then came the day of taking down our tree. "We can't take down our tree! We haven't gotten our ornaments from Aunt Jan yet!" protested Little Miss Chatterbox. I was glad that the ornaments mean a lot to them. I assured her it would be okay.
Then came February 2. The day of Candlemas. Candlemas ends the Christmas season. During our morning prayers, I read to the children about Candlemas and Mr. Funny shouted, "What?! It can't be the end of Christmas! We haven't gotten any gifts from Aunt Jan!" Hahaha. There went my lovely ideal of how my kids were not concerned with getting gifts from Aunt Jan! But, as luck would have it (providence, maybe?) Jan's packages were to arrive that very day! What a great way to end the Christmas season. And as far as the kids know, they think Aunt Jan planned it this way. ;)
Here are the Fab Four, waiting to open their gifts. Mr. Funny went outside to get the packages which is why he has his jacket on. They decided to open their ornaments first because they couldn't wait to see what they would be this year!
We always go youngest to oldest so Little Miss Sunshine went first. Chatterbox helped her get the box open. My sister made all the ornaments this year and Sunshine got the sweetest, cutest little felt bird. Sunshine immediately starting making the sign for bird and saying, "Bird! Bird, Momma! Bird!"
Next up, Mr. Tickles. A cute little snowman with a green hat. Tickles favorite color. :)
Here he is, explaining to us that Aunt Jan knew their favorite colors! he thought that was really cool.
Last but not least, Little Miss Chatterbox opened her ornament and found a gorgeous, crocheted fan with roses and a jewel. Absolutely perfect for Chatterbox.
She is very pleased with her 2011 ornament!Then came the gifts. I love this shot of Sunshine! Can you tell she liked her gift? She seems to be following in her sister's footsteps as far as loving books go. This little set of books are just perfect for her. She loves to take the books in and out of the case and of course loves to look at them even more.
Mr. Tickle got a set of Hot Wheels!
After seeing Tickle open it up, Funny immediately grabbed his package of the same size.
"Yes! I got Hot Wheels too!"
In the meantime, Sunshine sat looking at her books. In fact, Chatterbox was looking at them too. :)
Then the boys opened their second gift. Dallas Cowboy aprons, handmade by Aunt Jan!! They're even personalized! (Hmm.. it appears I didn't get a picture of Funny opening his)
Here they are, showing off their awesome new aprons. Aren't they cuties?
Chatterbox was so excited with her art bag! She especially loved that it had her name on it. And she thought the fabric was "sooooo beautiful"!
She also got two new books! The Christmas Carol & Beauty and the Beast.
Here she is, posing with her new bag after putting some art supplies in it.
Hmm... and what is Sunshine doing? Still looking at her new books, of course!
I got a Knitting Journal!! I think this is such a neat idea and it's got me itching to start a knitting project!
Here's Tickles explaining that this car has wings like a dragonfly. Sure enough, the name on the bottom is Dragin' Fly.
Chatterbox got right into one of her new books. (She finished that book that day and finished the second book the next day)
And Sunshine starting organizing her books.
The boys lined up their cars and gave them all names.
And for the next hour or so, the living room looked like this:The girls with their books and the boys with their cars. It definitely felt like Christmas! When mike got home he opened his gift: a Dallas Cowboy pillow! He loves it! (forgot to get a picture though...)
Jan, thank you so, so much!!