Santa arrived on Friday, December 1st this year.
Our tradition is for the kids to put their wish list letter to Santa in their stocking a few days before Santa actually arrives, which we usually aim for a weekend around December 5th. This year Matthew still believed in Santa and didn’t really seem to have any doubts about him, except to ask once or twice if Santa was for real. When we asked him where he thought his presents came from he was content again to think it was Santa that brought them.
The Wednesday before our gift exchange Matthew put his letter in his stocking and the next morning … tada, Santa had picked up the letter and left a few presents. Kids made sure they were up on time that morning to check out their stockings. Since I really rather not put too much candy in their stockings I try to get a little gift instead.
Matthew got a round baler for with his tractors
Rebecca received a bracelet; Marietta receive a razor and shaving cream (she’s dressed in her school gym clothes for the Volleyball Tournament which was that day)
On Saturday, December 1st we decided to go see the Santa Claus Parade. Since the summer when Rebecca was on the 4H float in the parade (see here) the kids have had an interest in parades. So off we went to see the local parade and gather a collection of candy canes.
Just before we left while the kids were waiting in the van Rob and I quickly put the presents in the living room and so when we arrived home Matthew discovered that Santa had stopped by our place on his way to the Parade and left some gifts.
We did a $5-10 gift exchange again this year (we all buy something for Matthew also but he’s oblivious to where they come from). This year us girls pooled together and made a basket of items for Rob …some cologne, dutch stuff, work gloves.
As the girls get older and already have an over abundance of craft items and can be a bit complicate to decide what to get them, although each year we end up finding more then enough in the end. Books is something that we give more regularly now and this year we gave the girls each some books that they can use for their nighttime devotions. They aren’t necessarily devotions books, but church history books written for them to understand and so they can slowly work through these at night reading a page or two at a time.
Rebecca received 3 books written by Sinclair B. Ferguson about Irenaeus of Lyons, Polycarp of Smyrna and Ignatius of Antioch. Marietta received the book This Was John Calvin by Thea B. Van Halsema and Faithfulness under Fire by William Boekestein
Together the kids received the book Amazing Stories from Times Past, Devotions for Children and Families by Christine Farenhorst. We have actually not read any of these books yet as we are currently working our way through the book A Message for You . We would love to find more time to read but since the kids like to read them all together it doesn’t always work out to read a lot at a time and we find the current devotion has provided good discussions so there’s no hurry to work through it.
Rebecca received a new watch, waterproof this time so in the summer they aren’t constantly looking for or without it because they always have to take it off. Matthew’s glee about receiving a whoopee cushion from Marietta … one the inflates on it’s own so no more slobbery gobber all over the thing … the last one only lasted a day, lucky us this one has already done just fine for two months.
A snow tube …this quickly became the new favourite once we actually received some snow.
Contigo Travel mugs and Water Bottles. Rob gave me one of these for my birthday last year (okay, the package had two, but really he wanted one and figured I might like the other one). Love, love, love these!!! This is THE travel mug. You want hot you got it. My tea stays HOT (as in too hot to drink) for a good hour, warm (drinkable) for 2-3 hours, but 4 hours it’s might still have some heat … but it never lasts that long so I’m not sure. And the better part … these things DO NOT spill! Love it … just throw it in the purse right side up, upside down, whatever … no leaking AT ALL. I just went to their website, I had no idea they had so many different options because I haven’t seen them all .. the ones the kids got is the only kind I ever see for travel mugs. The prices on the website are interesting too since the other thing I was going to say about this product is that it is such a reasonable price. You can get these at Costco, the travel mug comes in sets of 2 for $19 and the water bottles in sets of 3 for $19. So there’s my sales pitch in case you haven’t heard of them (in this area they are very common)
So the kids each got their own travel mug. I found that they were often using mine in the past year when they were sick as they were so handy for keeping their drink warm and not spilling. I figured they would put them to good use for more reasons then just sickness (although the number of colds we’ve had this winter means they’ve been well used just with sickness … great for taking tea to school for a cough or sore throat) Everyone in the family also got waterbottles … these are very well used for lunches and at home.
The kids open their gift
The mugs were Rob’s gift exchange item. I put my gift exchange items inside the mugs … but they didn’t notice that the mugs were a bit heavy, so I finally had to suggest they check the inside of their mugs. The
Matthew found dutch candies inside his mug … and this is his message to dad to say “they’re all mine, don’t touch”
The big gift did not arrive on time … even though it had said it would arrive a week already before we had gift exchange. I was not too impressed about this since I would have waited for a sale if I knew they weren’t going to make it on time. So instead the kids received a letter.
Dear Van Middelkoop Family
I regret to inform you that one of your “biggest” presents was not prepared on time and will not arrive for a couple weeks.
After much thought and consideration about what present would be well suited for the entire family I came to the conclusion that instead of a trip away for a few days, or a special event, it would be nice to have a present that can be used to remember events and enjoy the past. The present was something that my elves could not prepare in my workshop and so I had to ask someone else to put it together. They were unable to have it completed by today but I knew you would love to have your other presents so I have delivered the other gifts for you to enjoy in the meantime.
Since it is a very busy time of year for me I thought the quickest way to get the present to you would be to have it delivered by mail and so you should receive another present in a couple weeks time. Hopefully you will enjoy the memories that it brings.
Marietta quickly guessed what the gift was … the blog put into print/books. This has been a well enjoyed gift and while Matthew didn’t seem much interested at the time of the letter he is quite often found surfin’ through the books and looking at the pictures … in a couple years he’ll actually be able to read it.