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Best Christmas Gifts Ever

I know, I know – it’s mid-January and I’m talking about gifts from three weeks ago. But as you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been a bit, well, absent these past couple weeks – partly taking family time, and partly dealing with household sickness and me being simply too tired or preoccupied to write about said household illness.

So I’ve still got a few things to say about the holidays. And if it makes you feel any better, it’s not just cyber-world where I’m slacking: I still haven’t put my Christmas decorations away.

Baby steps.

Anyway: Christmas gifts. This year was the first time the girls were deeply involved in selecting their gifts for friends and family, and I’ve never seen them so excited on Christmas morning. About other people’s presents.

Maddie’s got a sign made out of her name up in her room, and Cora’s wistfully coveted it out loud several times. So Maddie called the babysitter who’d made it as a gift for Maddie and custom-ordered one for Cora. They solemnly worked out a fee and drop-off arrangements, and Maddie chortled with delight as she wrapped it on Christmas eve. By the time Cora opened the gift, Maddie was dancing around impatiently, about ready to jump in and open the gift herself so she could see Cora’s face faster.

Did Cora love it? Of course. But I loved Maddie’s happiness with it even more.

Cora bought Maddie a hex bug, something a school club was selling last fall,which of course made it the Hot Property on campus. As Cora wrapped it she only sighed ONE time, “Gee, I wish I was getting one.”

Which is pretty great, for a five-year-old.

The girls helped with grandparents’ gifts, parent gifts, and making presents for their friends (lip balm for everyone, but one kind for Maddie’s posse and a different type for Cora’s gang. To each her own, I say.) I watched their joy multiply exponentially as thoughts slipped from each girl’s own Christmas list to what she wanted to give to others, and for the first time they really GOT it.

But my favorite gifts, I’m afraid, were the ones they gave me.

Both girls gave me coupon books to Starbucks, a favorite Mommy/daughter hang-out spot. I could see how excited each girl was at the thought of one-on-one Mommy time, and I know they’re both dreaming of a long, cozy afternoon there with a stack of books and a favorite drink. (Which, by the way, is “kid’s milk, whole, one pump of vanilla, one pump of chocolate, please.” Yes, I know, ridiculously pretentious but also insanely cute coming from a sweetly smiling five-year-old.)

Hands down, though, my favorite gift was a page of coupons Cora had written herself. She’d come up with the idea, approached Daddy, and helped him design them on the computer – then hand-filled them in. Three coupons, and here’s what they say:

“This gift certificate entitles ‘Mommy’ to ‘hang owt at starbuks’”

And also:
“This gift certificate entitles ‘Mommy’ to ‘hang owt at half prise books’”

And finally:
“This gift certificate entitles ‘Mommy’ to ‘a snuggl a week’”

You know I’ll keep these forever. Best. Christmas. Gifts. Ever.


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