This was our family's third Christmas together. Last year my stepkids spent Christmas at their mom's and we went to Texas to my sister's house. Santa brought a Wii, we only have one child that no longer believes in Santa Claus. But I think we won't have anyone left next year believing in the jolly old man. Last year I bemoaned the whole Santa charade and was anxious for it to end. However, I did not welcome the question, two days before his planned arrival, if I thought Santa was real. I looked at Anna, wanting to blow the lid off the whole deal but knowing we had a plan in place and mommy does not like her plans jumbled, so I told her that when I was her age that yes, I thought Santa was real. I quickly left the room before she could ask anymore questions.

I think it worked because here she is reading the note she asked Santa to write her after he ate his cookies and left her Horton Hears a Who. A what?? All month I have been asking her what Santa was going to bring her and she said she didn't know and she didn't care. She acted all cool about it. And then low and behold at 9:00 PM while writing a note to Santa to leave with his milk and cookies, she writes that all she wants is Horton Hears a Who. Well, forget it sister you are getting a Wii instead.

And just to document the unnatural event, the above picture is my husbands ex-wife, my stepkid's mother, passing out the stockings. She came over Christmas Eve and ate with us and returned at 7 in the morning. She was invited to spend the night, and her kids really wanted her to, Tony said nothing, but she had made other plans. I think it all turned out great.
We got her three gifts so she had something to open. She seemed a little wierd about how many presents the kids were opening because she has the family tradition of three gifts, like the wisemen. (so does my sister) But I assured her the Wii was the big expense. We bought $60 worth of stuff from the dollar store and we wrapped each. and. every. thing. Even the chapstick. I just wish I had started that tradition six years ago. Quantity over quality for the 10 and under crowd. That will be the wisdom I am going to impart to Anna when she has kids.
And not to put myself on a pedestal or anything, but I think forgiving her for the false abuse charge and trying to make things easier for our kids was truly in the Christmas spirit. Because there is no way on my own I would have done this but I think it is more in line with what would Jesus do.
3 Responses
  1. Carrie Says:

    I have been a reader for a while and just had to comment today.
    First - way to go on opening your heart to your husbands ex. Honestly, pat yourself on the back because that has to be hard for you under normal circumstances, but given the other stuff it is even a greater gesture that you are forgiving.

    And as for the dollar store treats - My father in law started that some time ago when my husband and his sisters where quite young. Jims dad was doing Christmas on his own and money was tight. So, they got one "big" item and lots of little gifts. Each individually wrapped. It may be true that for the younger ecspecially quantity over quality is best, but we are 31 years old and look forward to the still continued dollar store gifts every year on Christmas morning. He actually also has some of the little things from the reindeer, Mrs Claus, etc.

    I love your blog and love that there is someone else out there with the same tradition. We don't have children, but when we do (fingers crossed), we too will do the same thing.

  2. Jkhb Says:

    I think it is great you had your husband's ex and yes it is what Jesus would do. Sometimes it is hard to be like him. We have friends that do the 3 gift thing. I just try for equal # of gifts.

  3. Crockstar Says:

    I really think I hit on something with the whole dollar store thing. We have always done the same amount so that it was fair and the dollar store does help with that. I really do like the idea of the 3 gifts but I think that when the kids are older we might do that considering the prices of things teenagers want completely leave the spectrum of the dollar store.

    Carrie-keeping a cool tradition like your FIL does is very cool and I think you have giving me inspiration. I am trying to be forgiving yet I have so many little jabs that are so close to the surface I still have to watch myself.

    Janelle-It is so hard to do the right thing some times because getting back "feels" so much better.