Thanks to a couple of sets of Grandparents and a wonderful anonymous, we had a nice Christmas. The kids all got new clothes and jammies that I looked at and said, "Too Big," but that actually fit. Anda put on all of her new clothes at once and wore them as she opened the rest of her presents. Daniel didn't really "get" it except that each package that did get opened was suddenly his favorite--especially the doll that "anonymous" gave to Anda with three little bottles. Dan really wanted one, too. And then a package from Anda's cousin had Another doll--and she very generously gave it and its bottle to Dan. Once Caleb found that he DID get a train for Christmas (from Anda), he could appreciate his other presents, too. So all the kids were happy.
They spent all day sharing their toys, taking turns playing with everyone's everythings happily. We all played six games of Candyland together--that, too, was a success from anonymous. Daniel discovered that painting is great fun. Everyone colored in coloring books, did crafts, ate candy, "went shopping", and generally had fun.
Tim had already informed me that they didn't buy me anything, and I knew it was okay. I only got him lunch meats and swiss cheese--that's all. But then Christmas Eve, as I put presents under the tree, I didn't find a single one for me from anyone. I learned a few years ago that I really DO want something for Christmas--just one package that I don't know what's inside that I didn't buy for myself. So I went to bed sincerely praying that I wouldn't care in the morning, and that I would have a genuinely happy day. Then I had a terrible night--Dan was up every hour or so.
Then I woke up enough before the kids that I got a shower before they got up--how often does a mom get a peaceful shower alone? And it turned out there were two presents under the tree from Anonymous for me--nice things, too. And some for Tim, too.
And then I realized that I got everything a mom REALLY wants for Christmas. Tim and the kids cleaned the house for me. It hadn't even been picked up since my birthday, so it was a disaster, and they got it clean. Even mopped the floors! Then everyone was happy with their presents and felt like they got what they wanted. Tim moved all the big furniture I wanted moved--even the piano. And Tim made breakfast for everyone.
And then I had the one-in-a-million absolutely peaceful day. Nobody fought all day. Nobody got hurt. Nobody cried. Nobody was sick. Nobody was mean. Nobody broke or spilled anything. Nobody demanded my time. Nobody made me get up and do anything. Nobody screamed in the other rooms, or played loud music, or made me watch their TV programs with them. Nobody even made me read to them, which I don't mind. Everyone helped pick up the wrapping paper messes without being asked twice. Everyone was patient as we struggled to open and put together myriad new toys. Everyone SHARED everything--even the crafts they got to do, and the paints, and everything.
Then Tim prayed a good night's sleep for me--and it worked. For the first time in over a year, nobody woke me up all night and nobody slept in my bed. Even Daniel slept all night in his own bed in the other room without waking up once. I actually got to wake up by myself in the morning an hour before anyone else and laze around like I used to before I had kids.
What else could a mom want for Christmas? And it's all stuff that you can't ask for and get. Nobody plans those things. Nobody can just try really hard and make them happen. And nobody can predict them.
So it was a really nice Christmas.