This year, gift opening was a very rewarding experience. Satisfying for the kids and affirming for the parents. You know it is NOT always this way, so we savoured the experience :).
We gave Esther and Hope a wooden dollhouse, and Esther opened the matching dolls with Eva's expert assistance.
Eva had a very specific list of desires for Christmas this year, including jewelry, make-up, and an American Girl doll. From us, she received a pretty little necklace and her American Girl doll, Josephina. The doll has been on her wish list for several years, but we always said she had to wait until she was five years old. It is sort of a rite of passage, one that she has been dreaming about for a long time! She actually saved her money since last summer when we told her that she would be able to get her doll this Christmas. I paid her one penny for each weed she pulled from our yard, garden, and flower beds. After the summer of weeding and a few other odd jobs, she ended up with $24.70. That is a lot of weeds!!!
Her response to opening the doll was a crazy arms flailing, high-knees dance with lots of screaming and overall elation. (makes parents feel falsely affirmed...good parents buy their children expensive dolls :) So far, she has done a good job caring for her and protecting her from Hope and Esther.
The necklace was also well received, and well protected in a musical jewelry box that came as a gift from Grandma Patenaude.Esther-P totally lived it up during the gift opening. She loves tearing through the paper, with plenty of high pitched squeals and laughter!
Hope was overjoyed by the dollhouse gift, which she demonstrated by hugging and kissing the box over and over again. I am also in love with the doll house (I've wanted to buy one since Eva was a baby), and I'm sure it will be one toy purchase I won't regret. Grandma and Grandpa Patenaude gifted Esther and Hope with much of the furniture for the house when we got up to Crookston, so hours of fun will be coming our way!
We snapped one family picture in front of the tree before all the craziness began, and for once everyone looked at the picture. Not all smiling, but pretty good for us!
Merry Christmas from our little family!