Today we gave the bigs their Christmas presents. We usually do fairly small Christmas gifts and then we each select an organization to donate to. This year, however, Matt and I had something in mind that would make our upcoming trip to Italy much more peaceful (for us) and enjoyable (for the boys). And we’ll still do our donations, of course.
I went downstairs last night and pulled up a few Christmas things, including my Mistletoe Yankee Candle. I lit it at 6:15 this morning and as soon as Hayden came out of his room he said, “Does it smell like Christmas?!?” My plan was working!
In order to keep the surprise until I was ready, I put the gate up just outside Carson’s door and attached a note: DO NOT PASS: I’ll explain in the morning.
Absolutely itching to see what was in their gifts. I had wrapped poptart boxes with the top open, and then placed them down on top of their gifts. I wanted them to lift the boxes and see their gifts simultaneously. (Had they unwrapped their gifts, inevitably, someone would have opened theirs before the others and that’s never as much fun when all three are getting the same thing.)
We bought each one of them a brand-new iPod touch. There are all sorts of things they will use these for but the main thing is to have fun. They’re toys. Expensive toys, but toys nonetheless. (With military-grade protective cases!)
A year ago let each one them buy our old iPhones/iPods. They kept up with them fairly well and kept them in pretty good condition considering we never had cases for them. A couple of months ago, Carson’s came down with a case of the broken volume button. Matt had seen a tutorial on how to fix it and as he attempted to repair it, the screen shattered. Bailey’s was taken as a disciplinary measure and when I went to retrieve it from where I had hidden it (the pocket of my van door) it was gone. None of the boys know where it ended up.
With this trip coming up, I wanted them to have the Rick Steves Audio guides of several of the places we’re going to tour. Rick is a little more interesting than the audio guides whose voices we’ve heard on the rental things.
I also wanted them to have individual iPods to listen to their Adventures in Odyssey or Jonathan Park and play games on. Over the past few months while we were down to only a single iPod between the three of them, they’ve shared it very nicely. I told them today that had they fought over that one and made my life miserable as a result, we would have never considered giving them these.
We let them buy apps as they earn money each month and they’ve already personalized their iPods to their own tastes.
After so many years of “living like no one else” it felt really strange to buy my children something so expensive. I sort of feel like I have to justify our decision. Explain it. But then I remind myself that we’ve worked hard to get here. The boys have had very few “new” things and have learned to be content with what they have. An occasional splurge will not spoil them and their appreciation throughout the day was evident. For example, Bailey said, as we walked through the PX, “We won’t ask you for anything today because you already spent a lot of money for us on our iPods.”
He has a way with words, my son…
And Parker inherits the old iPod to have some “Buggle-Buppies” and “Dora” to entertain him while we travel.
Of course, the real meaning of Christmas is to remember Jesus’ birthday. We don’t officially know that His birthday was December 25th so it might have been October 2nd, right?