On a November evening our kids gathered together to draft a letter to Santa.
A mother should be feeling proud, right?
But as I sat near the tree on Christmas Eve I had a lump in my throat
bigger than the orange that sat in the bottom of each of their stockings.
I knew that Santa had decided to honor their request.
Santa could have slipped them a few presents anyway,
but Santa must have known that letting them feel the sting of their willing sacrifice
would prove to be more memorable than any gift he could provide.
But as the mother I worried.
Would they wake the next morning and be disappointed that there were no presents
under the tree from Santa?
Would the magic of Christmas be spoiled?
Would the morning hang silent with the absence of anticipated squeals and excited laughter?
At 5:00 am I stood puzzling...
"... puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."
- Dr. Seuss
Now, before anyone goes on believing the Wilcox Children should be translated...
We did have a few gifts.
The kids worked very hard and spent every last hard earned penny
to buy gifts for each other. Typically we draw names. But this year, they wanted to buy
a gift for each sibling. I was impressed with the thoughtfulness and generosity of the gifts.
It was beautiful to hear them say
"I can't wait for you to open mine, I know you're going to LOVE it!"
And it was beautiful to watch their faces as they anxiously handed over
their well-planned gift to their sibling.
The true magic of Christmas was not lacking one bit!
The anticipated squeals and excited laughter were an abundant and welcome clatter!
And what would Christmas be without a few flying styrofoam packing peanuts?
Hayden made Jacob a coupon box full of real treasures:
"I will do your chores for one week"
"You can use my 'screen time' for the Wii"
"I will give you a 15 minute back scratch"
Hayden was so excited to give this one... so cute!
Amelia begs Aubree to play doll house daily... hourly!
Aubree knew that doll house furniture would win her sister heart!
This is "Gunther", the Teddy Bear we bought for Jacob when we found out we were expecting him.
He had been loved and worn nearly beyond recognition.
So I had his body 'refluffed' as a little surprise!
You never out grown some toys.
Seth bought a purple football for everyone.
I know JUST what my brother likes....
See. Cheese balls. He worships them.
A Lego game from Amelia for her brothers.
Amelia and Eve will be staying home with Aunt Laura while the family goes to Ecuador to play with orphans, so they received baby dolls from Santa to love and play with:
Mae Lin from China
Josie Rose from Ecuador
This Fluffy Dog from Jacob for Amelia and Eve provided lots of laughs all season long!
Each time someone would walk near the tree, the package would begin barking for the next 2 minutes!
And yet somehow the girls acted sincerely surprised and excited
when they opened this on Christmas morning!
Bath Gel and Lotion for Aubree (that Amelia will surely sneak to use herself)
"I hope he likes the present I got for him!"
"Yep. He likes it."
My worried mother-heart will always remember the magical Christmas of 2011.