|Waiting for Mommy to come home from work|
One source of joy: we're not traveling (yay!) and have family coming into town (double yay!).
Another: Allie really understands the Christmas routine this year. She has an advent calendar that I made her last year filled with assorted chocolates. She's so excited every morning to see what will be in it. She loves the Christmas lights and tree. She likes all the decorations. She is excited about Santa, making cookies, and getting presents.
In an effort to give her some perspective about how fortunate we are, we decided to sponsor a low-income family with two kids through our city-run Holiday Drive. We got a wish list from each of the four family members (a mom, a dad, a teenage girl, and 2-year old girl we'll call J). Their wish list really put things in perspective for me. All they asked for were coats, hats, gloves, and blankets. Their dream item was a microwave. We bought all their wish list items plus a few toys for the little girl.
We also boxed up all of Allie's old clothes that would fit J. To combat Allie's urge to take her beloved boots, etc. out of the box, we talked with her about how J didn't have many clothes or toys so we were helping them out. This really hit home for her. She said "I have a lot of toys. J can have some of mine." So, she went into her playroom and filled a box with toys and books that she thought J might like. Some of the toys were things that Allie likes a lot. When she was boxing up her Mr. Potato head that she plays with often, I asked "Are you sure you want to give that away?" She looked at me with shaming eyes: "Mommy, J doesn't have one and she'd really really like it." In the box it went.
Jonathan and I were tearing up watching her look through her belongings. She looked up and said "Don't be sad! I'm just helping J!" We explained that we were so proud of her. She seemed really proud of herself.
Jonathan tucked her into bed and I peaked in a little later to see what she was up to. She was sitting in bed flipping through her favorite Curious George book. This book is a collection of about 10 Curious George stories and probably totals about 100 pages. She reads it every night while she falls asleep. Allie looked at me and said "This book has a lot of pages. Maybe J would like to have some of it?" I kissed her goodnight and told her we'd find more ways to help.
I'm going to go ahead and call this Holiday Drive a success for us.
We also had my work's Children's Christmas Party this past weekend. Allie had a blast, especially when she decided to join the dance troupe. She loves showing off her dance moves.