Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hot Chocolate...O, Christmas Tree!

Traditionally, we deck the halls on the day after Thanksgiving; however, this year we will have guests staying with us for Thanksgiving through the weekend. Even though they are family, I still want to extend the type of hospitality to them that does not include pulling a million boxes out of storage. So we decorated last night and this morning.

I still have ornaments from my childhood, and I want my children to have ornaments they can take with them when they have their own tree to decorate. This year I tried to make it a little more special. I selected ornaments that are significant to each child because of an event that happened in 2009. Then I wrapped them and placed them under one of the at-the-time still undecorated trees.

Alex's ornmament is a good resemblance of our cat, Cara. Alex calls Cara "her" cat (although she completely disowns her when it comes time to clean out the litterbox). And Cara very truly and clearly favors Alex over any of us. She follows her around and comes when she calls (so unlike a cat), and steals into her room to sleep in her bed whenever she gets the chance.

A plaid letter "A" was fitting for Audrey since she learned her letters this year.

Ever since we got the Wii last year, Michael has been our Super Gamer, so he got the game controller ornament.

Jacob was the most difficult. I wanted to find him a bike ornament because he was so proud when he learned (in 20 minutes, no less) to ride his bike. However, I could not find one, so he received a robot. He loves gadgets, and I thought this fit him well.

Before the children were permitted to open their first Christmas gifts of the season, we read A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree, a favorite in our house. I have mentioned before that my earliest memory of this book is when I was reading it to a two-year-old Alex. As we read about how lonely the Christmas tree was, I looked down at Alex, and her pretty blue eyes were brimming with tears.

We enjoyed Hot Chocolate with our storytime. And when I say Hot Chocolate, I mean lots of marshmallows, chocolate chips, and whipped cream with a little homemade hot chocolate thrown in for good measure.

Later in the evening, Mark asked Audrey what she wanted for Christmas. This prompted her to make a list. The other 3 followed suit.

Audrey's List
Polly Pockets
American Girl Doll

Jacob's List
Webkinz shark
Webkinz reindeer
(he says he hasn't finished his yet)

Michael's List
Power Miners Lego set
Webkinz cardinal
big blue bean bag chair
Webkinz reindeer

Alex's List
American Girl Doll
Biggest Littlest Pet Shop
Webkinz shark
iPod gift card
clay sculpting kit
Barbie Digital Nail Salon
DS game, World of Zoo
Webkinz reindeer

Alex's list is a little longer since she has a birthday thrown in there as well. I'm a little torn about a gift for her. I was cleaning this morning and came across a page she had torn out of her journal. I don't know how long ago it was written, but in it she mentions how much she would like an American Girl Doll. Audrey is always asking for one as well.

The problem is that I just don't know if I can bring myself to pay such an exhorbitant price for a doll. Not to mention the fact that this doll's clothes and accessories cost more than what I will pay for my own clothes. And I'm a real live person in case no one else understands my reluctance. The reason I'm torn is because she has never, ever asked me for an American Girl Doll or bugged me about the fact that many of her friends have one. She hasn't because she's heard me get on my soap box about the cost of these things.

So do I go against my principles and buy her one because she has been so positively sweet about not whining about this thing? I'm sure I'll end up not going for the extreme doll; however, it is a proud mama moment when you discover, by accident, just how sweet and thoughtful your "baby" girl is.


Cynthia@RunningWithLetters said...

Even though I have hard-and-fast personal policies against Christmas anything before Thanksgiving...I would have loved being a fly on your wall today! It looks like such a wonderful, cozy day--and I just love what you did with the personalized ornaments.

My family will be here over Thanksgiving, but I am afraid I am going to not only subject them to the boxes--I'm going to send my brother-in-law up on the roof! It's terrible, I know--but it is the only way i am going to have any Christmas lights this year, since my husband probably won't even be walking by Christmas...

Arby said...

Better get started on those babies...or are you giving her a gift certificate for a baby NEXT Christmas?

CrossView said...

My 20-yr old still has her American Girl doll. And she got the extra "stuff" for birthdays and other special times. The books I ordered through a book store so I didn't have to pay shipping. ;o)

Now the My Twinn doll was way higher and was special But never like her AG doll. No pressure! Just wanted you to know that at least one little girl loved hers for years.

Lookslike it was quite festive at your house! I love that sweet list... LOL!

dclouser said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time decorating and dreaming of Christmas! It was neat to see the pix of Mark with the kids this time. Can't wait to see you all!

@nnie said...

I am soooo jealous. you are light years ahead of me. happy for you though!

5thsister said...

I truly enjoyed this post. It's just going to be the 4 of us this year and we usually put up Christmas right after Thanksgiving, too. Your kids are sweet, bright and adorable. I'm loving the lists: Webkinz, Magnetix, Wii and DS games, etc...always makes the list every year around here. And I, too, have a child whose bday falls just after Christmas. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Samvach said...

The American Girl dolls ARE expensive but I wanted you to know that my almost 13 year old girl STILL plays with her doll, though at this point that consists of changing her outfits. The doll is always on display and she has mentioned many times that she will be passing it on to her daughter. I would also mention that the doll is well-made and adorable homemade clothes can be found on Etsy. We have also found clothes for an 18" doll at our library's little fundraiser store, Target, and other places. The doll is REALLY expensive but, in our house, the doll has been treasured for years.

tsinclair said...

I love the idea of the ornaments. That is something we never did growing up. Our old homeschool group did an ornament exchange at Christmas time and this is the first exposure to that I really had. I am now noticing that I have a small collection started, and I enjoy it.

I had planned to add to it each year, now you have given me an idea.

I love traditions - hot chocolate, tree trimming. That is a large part of Christmas for me.

**I will be on the lookout for deals on the doll

Linda said...

A doll is special. It's one of our splurges in our house. If you can afford it, go for it.