Christmas is Contagious

Lots of people complain that Christmas is getting too commercial and has become all about the gifts.  I may agree – to an extent – but lets not forget that we are the ones in charge of exactly how commercial or gift-grabby our holiday gets.  The truth is, in my house, the gifts are very important. We spend a lot of time talking about gifts. What it means to receive them and to give them…but mostly to give, because that’s my favorite. 

Like a couple of weeks ago when I bundled up the kids for a secret gift-giving mission.  We tucked a little gift card and some of the kids’ artwork into an enveloped and signed it, “A little holiday cheer! Love, your neighbor.”  Then we went for a walk and dropped it into a random mailbox we passed. The kids had a blast on their secret santa mission!  They were more excited about giving that one gift than they were opening most of their presents last year.  Giggling and tiptoeing and telling each other to “shhh!!” with huge grins on their faces.

(sidenote: apparently we weren’t too slick since the next day we were graced with a surprise banana bread with a note attached: “a little holiday sweet. love, your neighbor”)

Coming off the high of that little mission, Sprout went to his school’s annual holiday shop where the kids can use their own money to pick out gifts for the important people in their lives.  Sprout loved it and proudly showed us his gifts when he got home.  What I was really blown away by was the thoughtfulness of his gifts.  He explained to us exactly why he chose each item: Dora book for RB because she loves Dora and reading.  A new pin for grandma because she wears a pin every day (I hadn’t even noticed, but since he mentioned it I’ve been keeping an eye out, and you know what? she does!).  A bear figurine for his uncle because he has so much fun going on bear hunts (imaginative!) in the woods with him.

The sweetest gift of all was for Mommy T.  He got her a ring with the explanation:  “since she’s not married she didn’t have a husband or a wife to buy her a ring, so she can have a ring from her son instead.”  Instant tears in my eyes.  Blown away!  And Mommy T was too; she absolutely loved it, filling Sprout with such pride he was talking about it for days. 

And then there was last night. The kids had visit.  RB was throwing a fit over it and refusing to go all day (::sigh::).  But when they arrived, they found the most wonderful surprise.  Mommy T had turned the typical visit into a holiday party. Nothing big or crazy, but some very sweet and thoughtful touches like the children’s favorite treats and some music since the girls love it so much. She also picked out some gifts for the kids that really showed how much she pays attention to them and the things they are into.  They had a blast with this uncharacteristic move from mom – an especially wonderful gift for RB as she’s been struggling so much with visits.

The note home from mom read:

“I hope you don’t mind the gifts.  The holidays are usually hard for me but seeing the kids excitement got me into it.  Thank you for the [photo] book. It’s very nice and I will cherish it. Thank you guys for everything.” 

I’m pretty sure that note is the gift I will remember most this holiday season.  So when people complain that Christmas is getting to be too much about the gifts, I have to wonder…what’s so bad about that?

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8 Responses to “Christmas is Contagious”

  1. love love love it!! xoxo

  2. this brought tears to my eyes. First Sprout then their bio mom. Such amazingness.

    Many happy wishes for you this holiday season.

  3. I love your secret santa mission, stealing it! It’s so wonderful that the kids bio mom did that, Sprout will remember that forever and ever.

  4. Beautiful! Merry Christmas Mommies, Sprout, Rosebud & Daisy! May your holidays continue in such fashion!

  5. E, you make me cry all the time!! Lol. Merry Christmas to your big, beautiful family.

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