It seems like as soon as he got here Friday night, he was gone again..
Let me explain:
I love Christmas, I always have. I especially love the memories I have of Christmases from my childhood and desperately wish for my children to have some of their own. I have thought of every activity that I enjoyed as a child, and have slowly implemented them in my home. At the beginning of the season, Merrill and I made a list of the things we wanted to do, together as a family, this year. We only did the list, because in years past, we have put off so many things (like Festival of the Trees, Ogden's attraction, or Temple Square) but if it's on a list, we'll feel that urge to cross it off.. then we won't be so reluctant. Who doesn't love crossing of items on a list? ;)
We have been doing so well this year, and having a lot of fun. Nothing is calendared in, we just do it when we feel like it.
We have had the two oldest, being punks lately. Too much sass for my taste, and them doing too little or arguing about what they have been asked to do.
They will do or say things that get Merrill and I looking at each other in shock. If we had done that when we were kids....
So things have been strict, and I wanted a fun way to teach the girls.
After some asking around, and a request made, we had a package arrive on our doorstep Friday night.
It was from the North Pole.
It was Christopher.
Santa included a letter and a book, explaining Christopher's job, and some things that were important for the girls to know. He asked them to be obedient. He explained that when children are good, it makes it easier, and funner for him to bring special gifts. He also explained to them the true meaning of Christmas, that he gives gifts to express love, just like we do. He asked them to do kind things for others and to remember that Christmas is really about celebrating Christ's birth, not just getting stuff. He told them that it is important that they do what Heavenly Father wants them to do.
Christopher was going to help in this. He would sit very still in our house, and observe the girls. When we were asleep, he would fly back to Santa and report.
They were so excited.. they would leave him cookies and draw him pictures. They were trying so hard!! Very rarely did I have to ask twice for anything. Lynn especially was mindful of all that was said in the letter. Bedtime was hard, but when isn't it (unless they are drugged...)?
Then Sunday came...
They were in and out of the room watching a movie with us, playing together in the other room. It came time for the First Presidency's Christmas devotional, and I went to make a treat for us to eat while we watched.
I noticed some things out of place in the front room (where they had been playing, against the rules mind you..) and went to see what damage was done.
It was awful!
It looked like someone had tried to attack us with anthrax.
Suspicious white powder was all over just about everything.
They had tried to make a snowstorm for their playthings, but I was trying to figure out just what the artificial snow was.
I was eventually told it was my amoxicillian caplets, broken open, and the contents used for the princesses, little people Nativity, and the Disney Christmas village, so they could have snow.
I was furious!
But all I could do was cry.
I have tried so hard, and it seems like they just don't get it.
I stood, sobbing. looking at the Christmas tree, contemplating taking it down, taking away everything, when one of the girls came in.
"Mom, are you looking at Christopher, he's hiding in the tree!"
That, I do believe was my breaking point.
Christopher and his book were thrown back into the box in which they arrived, taped shut, and placed on the porch for pick-up.
THAT was when they got it.
Things suddenly got really tight, and really serious around here.
I don't want Christmas to be nothing to them, but I certainly don't want to keep giving to a vacuum.
We have had some service oriented activities planned, and I know that they won't get it all as young as they are, I am trying to not be so hard on them, but Ebay is soooo tempting right now.