Christmas is coming up fast. There's not going to be much to go around, but I'm determined the boys are going to have so much fun that they won't notice the amount of gifts not under the tree. I've spent the past two days doing the most fun things I've ever done with the boys.
Last night we watched "A Christmas Story" after homework was done. We had a great time and lots of giggles filled our home. Today, they came home with big grins asking what today's surprise was going to be. Trying to keep a straight face, I told them we had to go to town to run an errand. They didn't believe me. (Of course there was a surprise!) We stopped to get a little drive-thru dinner and drove to a parking lot in town to eat. So far, so good...UNTIL...an older gentleman knocked on our car window and asked if the parade was going to go passed where we were parked. Busted. Tonight was our town's Christmas Parade. I'd been planning this for 2 weeks and I almost pulled it off. Oh well. The cat was out of the bag.
When it was time, the boys and I got out of the car to watch. I noticed the traffic was turning at the light in front of us instead of a block down, so I knew we would have to move if we were going to see. We didn't have to go far, just about a half block down. The boys were thrilled! They thought the parade was going great, the best thing they'd ever done until the first float threw candy at them. Holy Cow! You would have thought they were throwing $20 bills the way my kids scrambled the sidewalk to pick up each precious piece and shove it into their pockets for safe keeping. By the end of the parade, they had three full pockets each of candy, coupons for free cookies, pencils and Liberty crowns.
Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, fire trucks, classic cars, horse drawn carriages, floats and Santa himself. We stood in the cold for 90 minutes as the parade slowly crept past us (with a huge gap every 5 or 6 entries). The best part was when the Salvation Army rode passed and handed out hot chocolate to the crowd. It was cold! 38 degrees at 6 pm. I couldn't feel my toes by the time Santa rode by shouting "Merry Christmas".
When we got home, we dug the tree and decorations out of the shed, I assembled the tree and strung a string of musical lights and let the kids to whatever they wanted to the tree. It looks fantastic! Tomorrow, I head back to work, so there won't be any surprises for the rest of the week.
I don't have a dime to spend on my kids right now, but I totally believe in Christmas Magic. And overtime. I plan to get them each a few small things, but there won't be any giant gifts under the tree. Honestly, if I can keep up these awesome surprise days when I have days off, then by the time Christmas gets here, it won't matter what's under the tree. It will be about the special time spent with mom and dad watching movies, going to parades and whatever else I can dream up. I have 6 more days off until Christmas, with my last day off being Christmas Eve. I'm thinking one night can be cookie baking night, and another another night we can do a fun craft to create a gift for the grandparents. We can share the story of the Nativity another and I hope I can instill in them the reason for Christmas and not the gifts behind it.
My gift to my children is me. I can't wrap my time up in a pretty bow or put a price tag on what it is worth. My kids will still expect gifts under the tree, but I am hoping their hearts will be full of Christmas love well before the day on the calendar.