Monday, March 9, 2009
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
The Family at Busch Gardens
Ben enjoying the Ping Pong table
Tom's mouthwatering stuffing, the only man to ever equal my father's!
I LOVE Christmas!
I vividly remember as a child laying awake waiting for Santa. I still would place cookies out in hopes that St.Nick would come as an adult, if I didn't think one of our four legged family members would eat them (and we would awake with barf under our tree and not presents). Many a Christmas morning my sis and I would run into our parents room giddy with anticipation...only to be sent back to bed because it was 3 am. As a parent I now understand that they had just gotten to bed after spending 8 hours putting together our Barbie Dream House and Camper.
This year we decided to take Christmas to a new level. With the belief that our children have WAY to much "stuff " we decided it was time for a change.
To begin with we adopted a family in our community. Armed with a wish list we set out for a day of shopping. Watching my kiddies shop for this family was heart warming. I saw the thought and care that went into each item we selected and was touched as I saw the lights begin to go off in each one's mind. They began to realize that it does make you feel fulfilled to give and not just to receive.
Second it was time to change our gift giving tactics. My Mom had once told me about a family that exchanged "3" gifts...one for the hand...one for the heart ...and one for the head. With this in mind my sweet hubby and I agonized for many hours over what each child yearned for (the heart)...what gifts we could give as a group (the head) and what we could use as a family to spend more time together (the hands). I modified it a little, instead making a special bag for each child in which I placed small items that I knew they would love. We always struggle with homework time and keeping the kids motivated to learn...so Santa delivered a new Family computer (one for the head)....and after watching the fun my Sis and her kiddies have playing the Wii, we had our one for the hand. If I do say so my self (pat on the back, applause, applause) this might be one of our most memorable Christmas's ever....the Kiddo's still wonder how I found that "one" thing they had talked about. Gotta Love it!
After hearing our plan both sets of Grandparents stepped up to the plate and hit home runs.
Maam and Sir supplied our family room with a ping pong table (remind me to blog later about the ping ping ping of the ball at 10pm and what it does to my blood pressure). There is never a lack of willing players and it was a much wished for addition. I had bragged for weeks about my "mad skills" playing ping pong. Yet another humbling experience as my family gets to see just how uncoordinated I am. Not sure who I inherited this trait from but remind me to thank you later! There might be nothing worse than to sit and listen to your 14 and 15 year old argue over who is going to take "Mom" on their team. Thank goodness Tom agreed for better or for worse...I am sure he never realized it would come into play as we got partnered up at cards, ping pong and any other family experience where a team is involved. HIGH LOW JICK JACK GAME baby!
Grandma and Poppie took the whole crew to Busch Gardens, certainly one for the heart with this "roller coaster thrill seeking" family. I am baffled by the concept of a theme park that has a hospitality house, where you can drink all the free beer you like. Not that I am complaining...I just thought it was called "Heaven" not Busch Gardens. In typical Caplinger fashion the trip to BG was not without incident....Tom was limping around from a previous football injury from playing with the kids at the beach...being the wonderful great nurse that I am I examined it...proclaimed him fit to go to the park (I mean come on, it was all the beer you could drink AND roller coasters duh!)...imagine my reaction when it was x-rayed a week later and BROKEN...yes BROKEN....needless to say he has been elevated to "Superman" in our eyes.
So yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus......Christmas is all the things I remember as a child (thanks Mom) and having kids is the best gift of all.
It may never be easy but it will always be worth it....