Today was a busy day. We started off this festive morning with the story of Saint Nicholas and a present sent from Linda O. (one of Adam’s co-workers) in honor of today’s celebration. Having spied it last night and told they had to wait until this morning, the boys were eager for it as soon as they got out of bed and didn’t even want to take time to dress.
Once the gifts were explored we had breakfast and the older boys did their chores and started their school work which was accompanied today with cider in big mugs to sip while we did our various readings. (This was interrupted once when I discovered Sebastian had found and eaten the tip of a marker and was covered–face, hands and clothes–with pink marker.) Then we assembled our gift bags to hand out when the occasion presents itself. The boys worked assembly line fashion, adding their assigned items to the bags and passing them on to the next person. This was certainly one of the highlights of the day.
Once the rest of our school work was complete and I finally managed to get everyone’s shoes found and on and get them out the door, we went to the mall to visit Santa Clause. I did not do this last year and sometime in January Jack started expressing his desire to go and was quite upset he would have to wait the entire year. So we ventured out and had to wait only a few minutes to see Mr. and Mrs. Clause. There were a few reservations at first by Gabriel and Jack to get too close, but by the end they had warmed up and let Santa know they were interested in remote-controlled cars. Jack deviated from this a bit–he wants a remote-controlled spider. They enjoyed the attention of one of Santa’s helpers who showed them all the tricks around the house, including how to turn the wheels and make it snow. We played there for a time and then in the play area at the mall a bit longer. Gabriel fell asleep in the car in the five minutes it took to get back to the house.
After supper Adam took the boys downstairs while I filled their stockings. This was my favorite part of Christmas growing up. My mom would wrap each stocking stuffer and we would pull things out one at a time and guess what it was and then unwrap it to see if we were right. With five small boys I have yet to find a way to carry on this tradition, but they enjoy the stockings nonetheless. With bedtime soon following the opening, I put boys to bed eager for tomorrow when they can put their things to use. Stephen, my latest sleeper usually, asked if he got up earlier than I did if he could paint before breakfast. Dangerously, I said yes. I don’t really expect that to happen, but I may be surprised.