How rewarding is it to lavish gifts on your child when you know they appreciate it? Chad and I have made a conscious decision to not buy the kids toys or gifts throughout the year (excluding birthday of course) b/c we want them to REALLY appreciate Christmas. As a child, my brother and I always knew not to request things we wanted in the store, b/c it wouldn't get us anywhere! We never resented that...it was just a fact for us. I never remember giving my parents a hard time or begging and throwing a fit for something I knew my mom and dad couldn't afford. I DO however remember receiving every possible dream thing that I'd desired all year on Christmas morn!!! What a magical day!!! And THIS is what we desire for our children! To truly appreciate the items they receive and to not lose interest in their gifts the day after Christmas. So, this was a big Christmas...the kids are older and they had been dreaming about some rather pricey items...which made Black Friday shopping a necessity for us - but the midnight shopping and extra money spent was well worth it. The kids were stunned that their wishing and dreaming came to fruition - to see the excitement in their eyes was so rewarding for Chad and I!
Our Christmas week began with a trip to Palatka to see Great Granny! As you can see, Lillie Anna absolutely adores Granny...I think the feeling is mutual. :)
There's always a teachable moment! On the way to Callaway Gardens on Christmas Eve, we passed many cotton fields that had already been picked. So, we decided to pull over and let the kids feel the plants and pick some of the over left over cotton. It was a neat experience and they seemed to enjoy learning where our clothes come from.
Christmas at Callaway! Dennis and Linda (Chad's parents) blessed our entire family by taking us to Callaway Gardens. They got us a large cabin, complete with a Christmas Brunch (which was soooo delicious) and a trolley ride through the Festival of Lights. It was a wonderful Christmas gift that we all appreciated and enjoyed! Thanks again Dennis and Linda!!
Our adorable ginger bread house on Christmas Eve...about 5 minutes before it fell apart! Who knew that hot glue would be a necessity for success??
Wishes come true...
These gifts were dreamed about for several months before they were delivered Christmas Eve! Rauly wanted a horsie, and Shepherd wanted a new computer complete with new computer games. To quote Wesley from Princess Bride..."As you wiiiiiiish!!"
These two gifts were made by Peepaw and Meemaw...a rocking crib and a treasure chest. SO SO SO special...these will be heirlooms.
Everyone making Shep's "silly faces"...everyone except Chad that is...he was officially over the silliness. lol! :)
Can you find the butterfly?
Peepaw with his little peanut. :)
Meemaw with her two sidekicks in the Butterfly Conservatory.
Playing Mouse Trap...intently. ;)
It's hard to believe that Christmas is over! Now, we focus on the New Year and all that it will bring. So much can happen in such a short amount of time, so my prayer for my family and yours is that 2010 will bring many blessings, growth and maturity in our walk with God and a deep understanding of what matters in this life! God bless you!