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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa at PNP

For the last couple of years, we've managed to contact Santa via PNP (Portable North Pole). Since they are used to video chats with Thaathaa and Pattee, Nana, and Cousin, the kids totally buy into the PNP's illusion. The trick is to let only one of the kids talk to Santa via PNP at a time or they'll easily call the bluff.

Now, whether I believe in Santa or not, I think there is something magical about suspending logic and reality to let the kids feel something special at least once a year.

Then again, what is reality? If it is as defined in the narrow sense: the state of things as they actually exist,  then it appears that kids have accepted the wider definition: everything that is and has been, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible.

The adults in the family have agreed that as long as kids want to believe in it we will sustain the fantasy.

And who is to say it is fantasy? Ana leaves notes for fairies and we build fairy houses in the backyard all seasons. She believes they exist but don't want to be seen, and that's why she cannot see them easily. And that's OK with her. And that certainly is fine by me.

But, I am digressing...

Ana wrote a Wish List to share with Santa. It was heartening to note that she had just 2 things on the list. Well, three if we read the note inside the note.

Of course, her Wish List to Nana was a bit longer - but it was all books anyway, about half a dozen or so.

Since Xmas and Birthday are the only official days in a year when the kids get presents, we do put some thought into it. Nothing overboard.

And she wanted candy, of course. After the mindful talk about children around the world who don't even get a decent meal for days, and what we can do to help them, I do let her have an occasional Werther's™ or a lollipop or richly frosted cupcake just to let her know how fortunate some of us are and how grateful we need to be. The profuse thanks and beaming ear-to-ear smile I get from her as she relishes the treat makes it worthwhile. No sense depriving, it only makes her crave it more. Moderation.

Her school did a Frugal Lunch day right before Thanksgiving. It was quite an experience for her: to be hungry for a long time and eat just enough to abate not satisfy the hunger. She decided to skip breakfast that day. Her teacher cooked some brown rice and beans - just enough, not much - and they all shared it - hence "frugal lunch". No snacks. Despite a cranky 6-year old I ended up with that evening, I was glad she had that experience. She really started to empathize.

"Mama, I have an idea. How about let us get a house with many many rooms for people who don't have a place to live or have any money to buy food or warm winter coat. A bunch of people with lots of money can give some of their money to buy things that we can keep in that house. Like food, blankets, sleeping bags. Then whoever needs it can come and have some food and take a blanket or sleeping bag and sleep in one of the rooms in the house."

And, rather than Spring Cleaning, we've adopted a Winter Cleaning habit. With a fairly lean wardrobe, and minimal toys and things, I know how tough this must be for Ana. She used to hang on to some things because she likes them even though she has outgrown them. But, this year, she was very enthusiastic about looking through books and toys and dress-up/costume things and such and gave away quite a bunch.

Oggie didn't ask for anything specific. It sort of doesn't make sense to him, this whole Christmas thing. Not yet, anyway. He lives in the moment mostly and doesn't worry about other things. He is also just 3 - well, 3 and 3/4ths.

We baked some gingerbread cookies. We are trying our best to save some for Santa when he stops by tonight. Kids decorated some cookies with colorful icing. We hope to keep up the tradition of reading The Night Before Christmas before tucking the kids in bed.

What has all this got to do with the Dragons at the top of the post? Nothing much really. It's something Ana did while Og was on a play date - with just a few random stickers, a sheet of paper, a pencil and imagination. And it says 'for my parents' which made me melt on the inside.

Nadolig llawen!  Dymuniadau gorau!

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