Christmas is four days away and one little "elf" among our children has been struck with the Christmas spirit of giving: she is bustling around making gifts or giving away her own belongings to her siblings, wrapping many tiny gifts that get placed in the pile. She even came to me and asked me to help her order a couple of gifts on Amazon, using her own money.
|Tiny gifts multiplying|
On Monday, Chris and his parents met in Greenville, SC, between our two cities for a Christmas gift exchange.
They enjoyed a lovely visit together and lunch at Red Robin, although later my 9-year-old reported to me with concern, "Mama, there's a new problem with Red Robin." We've gone to Red Robin less and less often over the last couple of years because of the blaring music and the television screens facing in every direction. Apparently now, I'm told, each table (at the Greenville location, anyway) has an electronic device (a tablet of sorts) at the table on which kids can play video games. My kids already know how I feel about how often I see entire families sitting at a restaurant table, each child with his or her own tablet device, and sometimes each parent as well, lost in their own electronic worlds. Now, even if a family doesn't own tablets, the restaurant will provide them! Letting kids draw with crayons on the fun paper activity sheets isn't enough, nor is interacting as a family. Oh, it makes me sad. (I know, I know, there are always exceptions, but I'm talking globally here.)
In the meanwhile, I stayed home with the two littlest boys shopping for stocking stuffers, doing chores, wrapping Christmas gifts, making a meal for a postpartum mama, and going to a long-awaited appointment for spiritual direction from my priest. In a scenario exemplifying my station in life, my first and back-up plans for babysitting fell through, so I had to take my almost-three-year-old with me to the appointment. I brought along our bin of Magformers so Father and I spent the appointment building creations with my son while we talked over his head. Motherhood is nutty, that's for sure!
And, in reports on our latest family reading, we enjoyed reading the story, "The Goblins and the Sexton," an excerpt from The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (which I've never read), which led to a fruitful conversation comparing Gabriel Grub to the other, more famous sour character by Dickens, Scrooge himself, from The Christmas Carol (which we are almost done reading aloud). (We read "The Goblins and the Sexton" in the lovely hardback "The Christmas Story Book" put out by The Neumann Press, not currently in print.)