We put up the tree two weeks ago and at first it didn't seem like a big deal. We put it in front of our big window facing the street. That window happens to be in the formal living room that we don't really use yet so it took a while for Maria to figure out such an exciting thing was in the room. Now we crawl over, sit by it and feel the funny branches and plush santa ornament that is hanging within reach.
On Dec 5th we put out our shoes and on the morning of the 6th discovered St Nick came and got chocolates and a calendar for daddy and a personalized ornament for Maria. It was nice to celebrate the beginning of Santa Claus.
Speaking of Santa Claus, we did not go see him this year. We did not get invited to any breakfast with Santa events (missed my grandma and childhood memories when I thought of that) and we did not want to pay for the mall photo so we passed this year. I will need to research breakfast with Santa events in my area next year so we can have that experience.
We also recently discovered the fun of opening gifts with visiting friends. Maria has not quite gotten the hang of wrapping paper and needs quite a bit of help, but she did enjoy taking the tissue paper out of the bags and playing with the wrapping paper once already torn off. My friends are also 2 for 2 in gifts that Maria loves almost as much as the packaging. She got an old fashioned phone that rings when you dial and is on wheels with a pull cord. She also received a dinosaur walker that she is learning to use. It is a blast to watch her lean and push it forward and then figuring out how to move her feet to catch up.
I am excited to see Maria get excited again and again as the festivities continue. We are blessed to be around so much family and friends that we will have a new experience every day from Christmas Eve through the 29th. It has also been fun having her pass out gifts.
There are so many gifts for my family to be thankful for this year. Thank you Jesus for the gift of yourself and the many blessings we have received in 2011.