Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Friday, December 26, 2014

King Christmas once again, part 1

Well, it was that time of year again. That most wonderful time of the year. A time of trying to keep the right balance between the real reason for the season and the fun of gift giving. A time of traditions and relationships.

As always, our festivities began on Christmas Eve Eve. We've graduated to two movies on this night and I think this was the third year for that tradition. The age difference is just too great. This year's selections were Prancer for the little kids and The Truman Show for the big kids. The latter like to make fun of our 80s and 90s movies but I don't think we've let them down on Christmas Eve Eve (Split) Family Movie Night Yet. The Good Doctor, who isn't good at surprises, had let it slip that it would be a Jim Carrey movie.  We did give some of the big kids quite a scare when we handed over a Little House on the Prairie DVD, explaining that there was a Christmas episode that Jim Carrey played in as a child. But we had to admit the truth when some children were ready to walk out of the room and skip the movie altogether. Someday we'll be able to all enjoy the same movie together. But by then maybe we'll also need to have a selection for the grandkids.

Christmas Eve morning starts with cinnamon rolls and brunch.

Then on to reading the notes in our stockings. I have often wondered if the kids mind that I did away with stocking stuffers several years ago but several of them assured me this year that reading their notes is the best part of Christmas. I have to agree.
Help! I can't read cursive.
She even put a card to herself in her stocking.

Not all the notes are serious. Guess who this one was from?

Then the kids exchanged their Secret Santa gifts. Yes, we do all know that there is no Santa but it's just an easy way to identify the fact that we don't force each child to purchase gifts for all the others. Some years there are those kids with a love language of gift giving and who have enough funds to surprise everyone, but the exchange of names keeps the pressure low. It's always fun to see what they come up with for each other.
Some are master wrappers
Some say, "Mom, I want to get him something that has Superman on it."
Some give funny gifts (and a serious one later).
And someone remembered that time when Big Brother took her to the mall and he wanted to buy himself that Spiderman sweatshirt but refrained.

This year I packaged all of their gifts inside snowmen. I positioned them all around the house but said nothing about there being gifts inside.

After the kids exchanged their gifts, I gave them this speech,

"Some of you may have noticed that there are snowmen all over the house.

Some of you may have noticed that there are 8 snowmen around the house.

Some of you may have noticed that there are gifts inside.

Some of you may have noticed that there are numbers underneath the boxes (a few sheepish hands went up).

So, okay, go ahead and find your snowman."  Of course, they assumed the numbers were for birth order.

"Now that you have your box, I have a confession to make. I was afraid you'd figure out that they were in birth order so I put them in reverse birth order."  Time to find the right box again.

"I have another confession to make. They are not in birth order at all. They are in order according to when your birthday falls in the year, beginning with the January birthday." There were a few mad faces at this point but not wanting to miss out on gifts, they all rearranged the boxes a third time.

"I have another confession to make. They are actually in alphabetical order."
If looks could kill, Mariana!

Thankfully, this was correct or I may have been banned from the house for the rest of the holiday season.

Fun, fun, fun. For me, at least.

So now we will have even more music playing around here...

Tomorrow, part 2 of the King Christmas

1 comment:

  1. I loved the snowman idea and making the kids think about birth order, reverse birth order, and alphabetical order. Ever since my kids became teens we have had a scavenger hunt for their Christmas gifts. This year we did the clues and had it tag team style. Sarah, Scott and Sarah's boyfriend would each find a clue and follow the path to their gifts. It took them two hours to find their gifts and made for great conversation as I made breakfast for everyone.