Christmas is just better with kids. In spite of the problems we have had keeping the tree decorated and the philosophical differences we have with Grace over Santa Claus and reindonkeys, and in spite of the fact that JoJo was up at 6am and starting tossing presents around the room like he knew what was coming, Christmas morning with 4 littles gathered around the tree is just better.
This is our fourth Christmas with Grace, and of course, Christmas and Grace have a very special connection because Christmas Eve 2007 was her official adoption day. Our first Christmas together was spent in a hotel in Chongqing, China, with the Solberg family holding a simple Christmas church service in their room. Then dinner at "Cheers", the restaurant across the street, that was filled with beautiful Chinese women dressed in Santa dresses. On that first Christmas with Grace we dressed her in a little baby Santa suit of her own. Maybe these early childhood memories are what make Santa so important to her now.
This year's Christmas was a little more chaotic with the addition of Manny and JoJo, but filled with so much laughter and fun. The boys got a tent with tunnel attachment and it was a big hit. My friend Jackie described it as "a habit-trail for kids". Perfect for my little hamsters! Grace and Haven got some new DVD's. Haven's favorite has turned out to be The Princess and the Frog. Go figure. Grace got a pink pony with comb-able hair and a Barbie from one of my students that she absolutely loves. Both have been riding together all over our house.
Last night we took a long walk around the neighborhood looking at Christmas lights. On the way home Grace and Haven were singing "Angels We Have Heard On High". Here's how their version went:
"Angels we heard were high! Gloooooooooooooooria in ex-shell-sheesh-day-sir!" They sang these two lines over and over at the top of their lungs. They would stop to shout out "There's God" every time they saw a nativity scene on someones lawn. It was definitely the highlight of my Christmas Day.
But today we all suffered from a bit of post Christmas depression. The day after Christmas hangover! The kids were all a little grumpy, the babies were coming down with colds. The house was a disaster. Thankfully, Jackie said come on over. She cooked us dinner and our kids played for hours with no fighting. I guess we sort of had a little hair of the dog to end our day.
I am missing my future daughters a bit this Christmas. Wish they could have been home to enjoy the day, wondering what their Christmas was like. Praying we don't have to spend another Christmas without them. Because Christmas is way better with kids. And even better with lots of kids!