Tonight we had something at my school called "Father Christmas". It's a night where the whole school is used - they have room for Christmas crafts, games, a visit with Santa, and shopping in the gym. They take donations the week before, and set up tables - two 25 cent tables, a 50 cent table and a $2.00 table. Only the kids are allowed in, they are given a personal shopper and they can choose 4 gifts to buy for family or friends, or themselves. Then they go into the cafeteria to purchase their items, and have them wrapped so no one knows what they got. The school I work at has such an amazing supportive community, and it was such fun to be part of it - it really put me in the spirit.
I was a "personal shopper" and Joe-Henry was my elf. He was a little disappointed that he didn't get to shop, but I think it put him in the mood, too. He would point out things that he thought might be fun for brothers or sisters, and the kids loved having another kid to relate to.
When we got home tonight, we were both pretty tired, but at bedtime I told him I was excited about the presents I'd gotten him, and he asked me what it was. "Do you really want to know?" I asked, my eyes wide with sincerity? He nodded, afraid to say anything that might jinx his good luck. "Come here, I'll whisper it in your ear". He snuggled up, his ear to my mouth, and I whispered "I'm not telling". "Oh MAN, Mom! Just tell me where you got it then!" "Okay, lean in close...." I can't believe he's falling for it again, but it's so fun to torture children at Christmas! "I got it at the store" I whisper, and he collapses in a fit of groans and giggles.
Christmas IS for kids. But I'm learning that it's pretty fun for those of us who are lucky enough to hang with them too.
A Pair of Watermelon Salads
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