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Braeden and Jordyn dressed for the holidays. (Braeden is 6, Jorydn 1 1/2)

I know it’s almost been a month since Christmas. That’s the problem with writing a blog about being a busy mom/student/employee – it’s too busy to find time to write! So I will share my holidays with you a month late – it really could be worse.

The holidays were special for me, as we spent time with both Mike’s and my family. I had requested that everyone tone down the gifts this year. How do you teach your kids that they don’t always get what they want, when they do? I know they love their grandchildren, but Grandma and Grandpa can show their love in other ways – through spending special time with them and doing thoughtful things for them. For example, Mike’s mom Verna is amazing with Braeden. They have such a special relationship. When Braeden is anxious or upset, as he gets whenever his routine is changed at all, he asks if he can call Grandma Verna long distance. She creates stories for him about such characters as “Silent Man” and the three michevious travelling mice, Lily, Lollie and Lulu. He can spend hours on the phone with her, listening to stories and putting in his two cents. That is a gift that is worth more than any bought in a store.

So this year, the kids got a single present from people, instead of a stack. And it was perfect. We made and decorated cookies. We went sledding. We did crafts. We made Christmas ornaments. The adults had rum and eggnog, board games and visits. It was a Christmas like the ones I remembered when I was a kid. Here were my two favourite gifts:

Braeden was given money to go shopping by himself in the store. He handpicked and bought me a basket of bath stuff. He was so proud of himself! He even asked for the receipt at the end. What a big boy he is becoming.

Jordyn found my wrapping paper after Christmas, and took an entire jumbo roll and wrapped herself and several toys up. “Mommy! Present for you! Baby Jordyn is present for you!” Big mess, but so sweet.

I’m a lucky lady!

The literal way kids take things never fails to make me laugh. Braeden bonked his head when he was a toddler, and I mentioned he had a goose egg. Whenever anyone came near, he would say “Don’t touch! The goose might bite you!” I also have vivid memories of what I thought “a licking” was, or being “fired” from a job.  My mom said I also misunderstood the saying “in the meantime…”  I kept waiting for that time when she was going to be mean.

Kids have such a nice way of describing things and looking at the world. It can be so refreshing to see what their minds are thinking of!

This morning, my daughter was rubbing my leg. I haven’t shaved this week (give me a break! I have been trying to catch up on Christmas baking and shopping!) and apparently the stubble bothered her. “Don’t like Mommy’s ‘sparkles'” she says. ‘Sparkles’ is the absolute nicest way I have ever heard my leg stubble described! (Although she still doesn’t like it!)

Braeden, my six year old, has been learning about the value of a good homemade present. He is working on creating stories for many of his family members, complete with drawings. Let me share a couple lines from his stories.

From “Silent Man and the Adventure of His Kidnapping Rescue”: “Silent Man and Braeden landed on the trampoline and they bounced so high that they touched God’s eyebrow.” That’s high.

From “Davy Crockett Meets Pikachu”: “It wasn’t night but the forest was still as dark as if you were in a paper coated and coated in black permanent marker because it was the forest of doom.” What a great description!!

These moments are so sweet and really remind me how lucky I am to have such adorable healthy children. 🙂

Merry Christmas!