Monday, December 28, 2015

Hearing the Bells On Christmas Day: Recap of our Unwrapped Christmas

Mr. Scientist was stoked Christmas Eve. He had many a question: Was Santa very big? Did Matt-hua (as he calls him) pretend to be Santa? When we read the Christmas story around the Christmas tree, he wanted to know if Jesus was the “heaven and earth child.” I’ve never heard a more appropriate description of what Christmas means.

He had a hard time falling asleep Christmas Eve, which meant he couldn’t wake up Christmas morning. Then, finally, he was up (with a little help from some impatient friends). He had a great time opening stockings and presents. Presents were a wee bit tricky (as a reminder, he can only go back with the suitcase he brought, which as you can see in this post, is not a very big one and I want him to be able to go back with a fair amount of clothes). But we did manage to find a few compact things that he seemed to really like, the card game Slamwich and a building set included.

All of the kids got virtually the same thing in their stockings including: a 3D sticker puzzle, an electric toothbrush, fun Bandaids, silly string, a box of animal crackers. The electric toothbrushes were a huge hit for all, but we especially struck gold for Mr. Scientist. He brushed his teeth so long that we wondered if we should intercede on behalf of his gums. But his love of the toothbrush is fortunate indeed given that he has a dentist appointment this coming week.

Chrstmas Mr Scientist
Because we were trying to spend Christmas with a decided unemphasis on the presents, I waited to put the gifts under the tree until all of the kids had gone to sleep. They still sorted through the wrapped presents in my room, but I really think it helped not to have the gifts staring at them for weeks beforehand. I also coded all the name tags either by scrambling the letters in the names or by making up simple codes (#3 indicating our 3rd child or replacing each letter in a name with its corresponding number). It made the presents more fun and while we’ve always had a ‘one person opens a present at a time’ rule, this made it self-enforcing because everyone had to work together to figure out the codes.

Each kiddo got a book (because, hello, is there a better way to celebrate??). I wrapped the books giving each present a long ribbon tail. I hid the presents under the couch cushions and in the wall nooks with just the tail hanging out. Everyone thought it was a lot of fun “chasing the tail.”

I had taken Mr. S to the library to get some Chinese books, but I didn’t have one for him as a present. Instead, I got him Star Wars stickers and bubbles. He was especially taken with the bubbles.

Mr Scientist bubbles
We’re all fans of the reason we had an UnWrapped Christmas and, by all accounts, I think our unwrapped Christmas – although not perfect – was a success.

I saw the poem First Coming by one of my favorite authors, Madeline L’Engle on a blog post (go here to read the poem in its entirety).

This portion really resonated with me:
He did not wait till hearts were pure. In joy he came
to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
To a world like ours, of anguished shame
he came, and his Light would not go out.

I don’t know about you, but we infrequently look like the people in our Christmas card. Those people are smiling and happy. They have their hair brushed and they semi-match. There is little truth in that advertising.

But Christmas comes to us as we really are. It doesn’t need pure hearts or brushed teeth (although both would nice).

We cannot wait till the world is sane
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!

As we close out this year and welcome in a new one, rejoice friends, rejoice.

No comments:

Post a Comment