One of the kids has been coming home with reports of a classmates Elf who leaves daily chocolate treats, like chocolate treats the size of the largest chocolate treat our kids receive from the Easter bunny.
The green monster of envy has entered our advent.
To add insult to injury I always mix up St Nicholas day and do the treat in the evening of the day, i.e. tonight rather than last night. In part I forget and in part when I was a preschool teacher we would celebrate the day OF St Nicholas day and I have not adjusted. To that I can hear James' voice in my head well, ya you have only had 13 years to adjust Mom.
It is in every kid's nature to look through Christmas catalogs and circle their wish list. It is fun to watch commercials and see the latest invention in the world of toys. I totally get this and remember how fun the huge Sears catalog was to look through. That said it is stressful for mom.
Sheff is more pragmatic. He is constantly reminding everyone to think about being kind. The kids remember when he went to get Brueggers bagels for a family whose car had broken down in Saint Paul. It was cold they had four little kids and had to wait for a tow truck. It was Christmas time and he explained that this time of year you should always go out of your way to be kind. I adore this attitude and try to promote it.
In the business of life, when I get Saint Nicolas day timing wrong, I find it difficult to do as much outside our home as I would like. We participate in a program to purchase pajamas for families in need and always give Heifer international as gifts to some family members, a tradition passed on by my mothers parents. But it is not enough! I wish I could facilitate more giving, more energy towards others and less about the stress of gifts.
As our kids get older I hope to learn about more ways we can make a positive impact in our community. Right now I am a bit overwhelmed with the purchasing, wrapping and dream fulfilling of the 8 kids right here. While I know so many kids need, so, so much more this holiday season.
Wishing everyone a balance of giving and receiving this holiday season. And if you happen to run into an Otis kid today remind them Saint Nicholas can come ANYTIME of day, i.e. while they are at school and little girls are napping.