Home > Family Life, Wild Child > Holiday Happenings in AZ

Holiday Happenings in AZ

Well, starting a few days back… I got a package in the mail from Tyler’s paternal grandparents. The box had some new clothes for Tyler, including three hooded sweatshirts! I guess Grandmommy heard through the grapevine that Tyler has lost a hooded sweatshirt, a hooded denim jacket, and a winter jacket since the beginning of November. I told him, when I gave him the last jacket, if he lost it he’d have to suffer until the weather warmed up. And sure enough, when his dad came to pick him up, I told him… ‘Tyler doesn’t have a jacket. I hope it’s not too cold in VA.’ The clothes are all too big, so I put them away, and wrapped the sweatshirts. He’ll be thrilled to see them 🙂 Also included was a check for $200, with instructions for me to buy a gift for Tyler from them, and something for the girls as well so they would remember Lean & Rev, and know that they had been remembered. I pondered for a while on this… and decided to get them soemthing I’ve been wanting them to have for quite some time but have never felt justified in spending the money, and something the kids would have forever. I got each of them a chalice necklace. For those of you who don’t know, the UU religious symbol is a Flaming Chalice. While Tyler’s grandad is a Reverend for the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, I still felt this would be a fitting gift on their behalf… so I ordered Tyler a Contemporary Chalice (he always complains about chains so I’m hoping the leather works better) and Halle and Daija each a Rachel Chalice. I’m hopign they arrive by New Year’s Eve, which is when we are doing our family celebration, after Tyler comes home.

Christmas Eve: we were told Thursday to go to lunch and don’t come back… I was outta here by noon. Stopped and picked up tickets for Zoolights, similar to Ei’s light display but at the zoo and featuring mostly animals and classical and holiday music. Drove down to Ahwatukee becasue I found out Wednesday that one of Daija’s gifts ran out of stock before they shipped ours… d@mn amazon.com! I found something comparable, but not quite as cool at Toys R Us. I guess I could have waited till this week since we’re spreading out our gifts, but that was the only chance I’d have to shop ALONE. I stopped at Target to get batteries for Tyler’s stocking, and film. And earrings for Halle’s stocking. And candy for the stockings. But then I bought sunglasses for each of them. And a movie to be a New Year’s Eve gift. And a footed bowl candle holder… I was actually looking for a chalice for our table but ‘real’ ones are quite expensive. This one is glass (easier to clean), is the perfect size, and was only $9.99. Unfortunately, I still spent about $100. I’m hopeless… I should never have gone in there.

When we were grocery shopping on Friday early afternoon, we saw these porceilain dolls that were 50% off from $24.99… Halle was practically hyperventilating. They not only had a black doll, they had two wearing different dresses. I love porceilain dolls and the girls have a few… but they’re hard to come by. I couldn’t get back before the store closed at 6PM, and of course I had totally hinted that maybe santa would bring them each a doll. I was not feeling motivated at all; we usually watch a sunset to observe the solstice or attend UU services, but about 4:30 I decided we weren’t going to do anything. I read, and tidied around the house, and eventually we went to McDonald’s drive thru because I’d forgotten about cookies and all the stores were closed by then. We went home the girls took baths, and we watched Christmas cartoons on cable until they passed out. I put together the scooters and filled the stockings. I tried to carry Halle to bed but she was crying hysterically to see Santa, so I let her sleep in the living room. She came back into my room at some point, going right past the scooters without seeing them. When we woke up around 7AM, she asked me if it had snowed LOL. Then we went to check for Santa’s visit. The girls both loved the scooters and their stockings… I put Halle’s earrings in a jewel box and it was so cute to see her slowly open it and squeal. I hoped she would forget about the dolls but a few hours later she commented that Santa hadn’t brought her doll. 😦 I made up an errand and went and got them as the store was open for a few hours Christmas Day. Daija was down for a nap, and Halle fell asleep watching a movie while I was gone… so I snuck the dolls under their stockings and didn’t say boo about them. Halle spotted them after she woke up, but it took a while (Crystal and I were both dying). She figures Santa forgot them the first time around. 😉 Ei, it must be an 8/31 thing too because that night at dinner Halle was talking about believing in Santa and Santa believing in you.

Then Saturday night we started our new tradition… honestly I feel a little fake doing Kwanzaa. I wouldn’t if Ro or Joel celebrated the holiday, but (culturally speaking) Joel is darn near as white as I am and Ro has absolutely no interest in celebrating it. I’ve just always questioned my ability to ‘officiate’ that ceremony authentically, without denigrating it. So when Ei forwarded me an email about something called ‘Chalica’, I was enthralled. UU has seven principles, and someone somewhere suggested taking a week in December to really focus on our seven principles and what they mean. Like the world really needs another candle lighting holiday/light festival in December (Hanukah, kwanzaa, solstice, christmas, new year), but it’s wearing sometimes trying to adapt the traditions of other cultures or faiths to be meaningful to us in ours. So Christmas night, we light a candle in our chalice for the first time for our first principle, and talked about what that principal meant, and what it meant to us and how we ‘live’ it. I’d bought seven gifts for Kwanzaa anyway, so we were all prepared. The girls each opened one gift the first night, and a second gift last night. The first night was great… I’m letting them choose their own gift from under the tree each night. The first night, Halle chose the package with he 4-ever Best Friends, so I gave Daija her beauty set. Halle was over the moon with her gift, and Daija loved hers too. They played with them all night and most of yesterday. There was minimal mess to clean up, and no overwhelmed, worked up kids with too much stimulation. Then when it was time to choose a gift yesterday afternoon, I was so glad I decided to scale back this year. Halle has such a case of the gimmies. She chose her gift and one for Daija… it turned out to be the book of tangrams for her and a puzzle for Daija. Well, Daija loved the Care Bear Puzzle, but Halle burst into tears. Despite the fact that she loves the tangram set that the school psychologist loaned me last year for Tyler, this gift just wasn’t good enough. I explained to Halle that I chose that gift because we really need to give the school back their tangrams, and I know how much she loves them. I told her that I bought her that gift because I thought she would really enjoy it, and that it was very kind of me to do so, and her rudeness was hurting my feelings. I told her that when someone does something kind for you and gives you a gift, you have to use manners even if you don’t care for the gift. I insisted that she say thank you, and then I told her I would put the book away and while she thought things over. If she changed her mind about it, I would get it for her, but if she decided she did not want the gift, we could donate it to someone who maybe had never been lucky enough to play with tangrams. Either way I am fine with what she chooses – she will either learn to appreciate a kind gesture, or she will learn to give to those less fortunate. After we ate dinner and lit our chalice for the second principle, we took the zoolights passes ‘Santa’ left in their stockings and went to zoolights. We really had a wonderful time. The moon was full and it was a little overcast, so kinda hazy. I took a couple pictures of it that I pray turn out. On the way home, Halle told me, that she was thinking about ‘the game’. I asked her if she’d decided she wanted to use it, and she said, “I’m still thinking”… and that warmed my heart to know she is really giving the situation thoughtful consideration. I hope she learns what I’m trying to teach with this… that it’s the thought behind the gift, and not the glitter that makes it special.

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