Friday, November 21, 2008

Christmas Conversations

Last Saturday, Hubby was gone hunting. So my mom and I decided to take the kids 'hunting' too. We hunted at that big store with lots of toys in it that has a famous giraffe on the logo. We were putting together their Christmas wish lists.

I'm one of those cheap thrifty frugal moms who refuses to purchase a toy for my kids on every shopping trip. First, I'd be flat broke in all of seven days because you know that with my scattered brain, I'm at Wallyworld at least 12,743 times a day. Second (and most important), I believe that if gifts are given *all* the time then they're never special. So in this house, gifts are saved for birthdays and holidays. Of course, Christmas is probably the biggest gift receiving event in our family. We know that the true reason to celebrate Christmas is to remember that God sent his son to Earth to die for our sins...the *ultimate* gift that could ever be received by anyone.

Our MOPS group made Advent candle wreaths today. I've never done Advent, unless you count the Santa-centric "25 days of chocolates" cheap cardboard thing, which I don't. They turned out beautifully. The youth pastor then talked to us about Advent and different ways to keep Christ in Christmas.

So when the kids were talking about what they wanted for Christmas this afternoon, I interjected with, "I can't wait until Jesus' birthday!" They all stopped mid-sentence as they pondered that for a moment. Rose was the first to break the silence as she asked with profound sincerity, "How old is he gonna be?"


Back to our hunting story...
Grammy arrived on Saturday morning and as we were excitedly getting our coats on, Matthew stepped forward, with a sad looking face and said, "Grammy, I'm sorry but I'm just afraid I won't get to buy anything today, what with the economy and the election and all." Classic. "Kids these days."

We get in the car and the three oldest kids are all chattering about making their Christmas lists. Even though I'm properly prepared (for once) with a notebook and pen, they've each brought something to write on (the back of an old Christmas card, a Hello Kitty mini-notepad and a piece of construction paper) and a writing utensil (a pink pen in the shape of some creature with rubber-band sprays of hair coming out the top, a teeny crayon stub and a watercolor pencil...I've learned not to ask and so should you).

Rose (5.5yrs) is reading signs outside and Matthew starts spelling them after she reads them. That's all it takes for Grammy (The Ever-Teacher) to ask.
"Matthew, can you spell Christmas?"
"Ummmmmmm...." he trails off.
"Just try it - I bet you can spell it!" she encourages.
"Well, it's just 'Christ' and 'mas' put together," he says.
I think that's a great answer. It probably also means he has a photographic memory like his mom does. But Ever-Teacher wasn't satisfied.
" how do you spell it?" she continues.
He reluctantly whines and says he can't do it. She sighs, guessing he probably can but just won't. I stifle a laugh to myself, knowing he probably can but just won't.
In the rear-view mirror, I see Rose whisper something to him (the two of them whispering is never good so I pay attention).
After a moment, he declares excitedly, "OK! I'll try it!"
Delighted, Ever-Teacher exclaims, "Great!"
I can see what's going on but I stay silent. I'm *almost* not sure that I'm correct in what I think is happening.
"C...h...........r...i......s..........t...............m...i........s," he slowly says.
Ever-Teacher gushes, "That was really good! It's actually m..a..s but you did a great job getting that close!"

At this point, I can't keep quiet anymore.
"Mom," I hysterically laughed out, trying to hold back the tears now streaming down my face, "Rose found the word written down on something back there and he was tricking you into believing that he was really sounding it out."
Grammy, humiliated that she was bested by an eight year old, said, "That wasn't very funny," despite the guffaws emanating from the van that proved otherwise.

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