Christmas time is such an exciting time in our home, but this season, it was extra special, because now that Gemma is older, all three children experienced and enjoyed the magic of the holidays. Every morning in December, they awoke to find their three elves on the shelf migrating around in our apartment. Sometimes, they were staged in a cookie jar, or taking a bath in a bowl of mini marshmallows. Between our elves, our visits to Santa, and all our events in between, it feels like we celebrated Christmas for the entire year.
As much as I loved watching their overjoyed faces opening up presents from Santa, and listening to the squeals come out of their tiny mouths, I wanted to make sure they realized that Christmas is not just about receiving gifts. This year, I made it a point to instill the “Holiday Spirit” within them, by talking about the meaning of the holidays on a daily basis. We discussed the importance of giving to others, so they donated some of their old toys, and we even purchased new toys to donate to those in need. We baked cookies for our neighbors, and they went around to various apartments to hand them out. I had Ryder and Siella make gifts for each other, as well as other family members, and for the first year, Ryder helped us wrap gifts for his cousins. I did my best to make them realize how important it was to have one another because at the end of the day, the holidays are all about family.
Of all the children, naturally this idea was most appreciated by Ryder. When one of his sisters were acting out, he would immediately accuse them of not being in the holiday spirit. He even participated in our church’s Christmas pageant this year. He went to late night rehearsals without any hesitation, studied his lines daily, and I would even hear him humming the songs to himself. I think he enjoyed being part of our church community.
On Christmas morning, I think he was the most excited, and he was truly thankful for everything he opened.
Christmas morning turned out to be pretty magical for all of us. Gemma opened a little baby doll that she wouldn’t put down all morning, Siella almost cried when she saw her doll house, and Ryder screamed when he opened a Transformer dude that he’d been eying for quite sometime. I kept looking at Jason, with a “we did good” look. And, as much as I wanted to give them every single item on their Santa lists, I had to refrain, because they didn’t really need that much.
After all the presents were unwrapped, I whipped up a big breakfast for everyone while the kids continued to play. As we all sat around the table, I couldn’t help but take note of their smiles, giggles, and pure magic lighting up in their tiny faces.
But the moment that truly made my day was right before we were leaving for my parent’s house. All three kids sat crowded around Siella’s new doll house, playing together and enjoying one another’s company. There were no screams, whining, or fighting and I think at that moment, they all shared the Christmas Spirit. It is this spirit, and tight sibling bond that I hope they will maintain forever.