Christmas 2013


Last year, we started to “do” Christmas a little different.  Moving across the world made us really think about how we wanted to celebrate holidays.  There weren’t any parents here to have us over or for us to piggybank on.  We, as parents, got to choose our own way to do things.  It felt strange. And awkward.  This year, however, it didn’t feel so different.  It felt a little bit more normal and more our own.  Instead of waking up and diving in, we get up and slowly start the day.

With coffee.

Surprisingly, the girls are completely okay with this change.  They don’t complain or beg or whine about not getting to open the mounds of shiny gifts right away.  It feels, instead, like they are just really happy to be doing everything together.  This year all but Cam was sick, so we were really slow in getting up and around.   Once we were all up, we opened stockings.


Usually we would make and eat breakfast after this, but no one has had an appetite for a week so we weren’t anywhere near ready to eat.  Instead, we all sat together and read the story of Christmas.  Then, the sweetest, most precious part of the day occurred…each of us gave thanks to the Father for the greatest gift we have ever received.  There weren’t any requests or needs voiced, just thanksgiving.  Tears rolled down my cheeks as I listened to the hearts of my girls telling Him thank you.

They get it.

Everything else kind of paled in comparison (for me) the rest of the day.  However, we didn’t just stop at that.  I don’t think the girls would’ve been okay with that decision…


When we open the presents from us, we open them one at a time.  It is nice to get to see what everyone gets…makes you appreciate it a little bit more.  Ellie really loves this plan because she likes to be the center of attention.  She says she wants to go LAST so that everyone can watch her longer.  I am not sure where this side of her personality comes from…


Gracie got some Minnetonka moccasins…except in true Chinese fashion, they say MINNETQNKA.  Awesome.  I mean, that “o” and “q” are pretty hard to keep straight.  Ha!  Faith was thrilled with the full set of Mercy Watson books.  These are her favorite books, and she will read them over and over again.  Hopefully so will Ellie.


Ellie informed me after opening her birthday presents that “hopefully she will get what she really wanted for Christmas since she didn’t get it for her birthday”.  Wow.  I mean, can’t be more blunt than that!  What she really wanted (apparently) was “the prettiest Barbie I could find”.  Lucky for her, that beautiful Barbie was hiding in my closet.  Faith wanted a shelf for her craft supplies and a pencil sharpener.  This is after she told my mom all she really wanted was hair  mousse.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Mousse.  Maybe because my mom needs to use it to tame her wild curly mane, but us straight haired gals don’t get to use fun, foamy stuff like that everyday.  Gracie wanted the moon.  And an iPad.  And a Furby.  And some Beats.  Ummm…yeah.  She got a Furby.


NannyClaus (that’s Cam’s mama) got all the girls new shoes.  Ellie seems to be contemplating hers, but in reality she was SO excited.  So, when you see us and she is sporting sweats and pink pointy toed flats, it is not my fault.  Honestly, NannyClaus spoiled our house rotten this year.  We didn’t need Santa at all!


I thought it was funny that Gracie lined her bracelets up and Ellie lined her dolls up.  Sisters.  Faith got a new watch in hopes of mine getting returned.  My plan backfired though…Faith gave my watch to Ellie.  I tried to convince her to give her new one to Ellie and keep mine, because, well, because Faith is a little more responsible than Ellie.  I’m pretty sure Ellie will be getting a watch soon.  Ha!


Christmas without Vera isn’t Christmas at all.  She is part of the family.  They also all got these loom things…I think that a person who hates moms invented it.  They may go missing very soon…


Scarves are a necessity in this frigid place.  Texans aren’t made for weeks in a row of cold weather…we need a couple 80 degree days thrown in!  A true princess never removes her crown…and what in the world is so great about Minecraft?  I don’t get it.


As only a mama can do, NannyClaus gave her son underwear.  And his face was priceless.  The girls laughed SO hard.  What is even greater though, is that he really appreciated and liked them.  We also laughed when he opened his “murse”.  I have been asking him lately if he wanted one because all the men carry purses here.  Even the foreigners.  When you walk everywhere, it is really quite convenient…especially for the wife who gets man things put into her purse.  I think it is great.  I’ll take a picture of him on the sly when he has it strapped on (its cross body and sleek) and is on his scooter…

Meili got a new ball that lights up.  She was terrified of it.  Cam had to get down and show her it was safe and fun before she would play with it.

Despite the fevers and chills and overall sleepiness, we had a really nice day.  We got to talk to our family, feel their love from afar, had a good friend bring us homemade, warm cinnamon rolls, and lay around all day with no guilt.  The only thing that would have made it better would have been sugar cookies, and we got those last night…


One thought on “Christmas 2013

  1. Thanks for the fun glimpse into your Christmas. I love the Murse. We call them man bags and noted the same in Japan. The girls are growing so quickly and it was fun to see the joy on their faces – as their personalities shine through. We’ve also made changes to Christmas over recent years. With a big family it all got to feel like “too many gifts”….and we love the downsize. LOL


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