We had Sam's night on Sunday evening. He worked hard on his jobs to earn enough money to buy every one a gift, so after church I took him to the dollar store. (What a great place for kids to shop- he didn't have to worry how much things cost- he could pick whatever he wanted.) He was so cute looking through the stuff, finding just the right thing for each person. When it came to me, we walked through the store and he told me to shut my eyes as he put the item in the cart. (I guess he didn't think about check out when I had to pay for it!).
We got home and his sisters helped him wrap each gift and then he excitedly passed them out. A toy for Emma, a dinosaur for Ben, WarHead candies for Anna and Ellie, RedHots for Paul, soap for Zack, cookies for Dad and scissors for me. Yes, scissors. My 5 year old son bought me scissors for Christmas- isn't that cute??
After presents we headed out for caroling. Anna had made some delicious peanut butter cookies and nutmeg sugar cookies and we packaged up six boxes to pass out, thinking we'd have some left over. We tried to pick older people, or people who were alone this Christmas. Most people were surprised when we rang the bell and started singing, but the joy on their faces was our inspiration to sing louder and more joyously. As we drove around, we thought of more people to sing to and before we knew it, we were out of cookies. What a great time and it showed visibly to our children how little it takes to bring joy into someone else's life.
Christmas on the Lake was next. Our community has a good sized lake in the middle and each Christmas, many houses that back up to the lake decorate their back yards. Some of the houses are amazing! It is such a unique treat, and we look forward to it every year, but it had been several years since we've been able to go and we, um, forgot a few things about Christmas on the Lake. Like how much colder it is on the water than on the land. Like how a small breeze is magnified when you're in a moving boat. Like how nice gloves and scarves or a blanket would have been. But we enjoyed it, cold and all. Emma stayed the warmest of all of us!
After the boat ride,we were starving so Dad took us to Waffle House to end the evening. It was a fun time and we all enjoyed it. I personally enjoyed the caroling the best. May I remember all year round how little it takes to bring joy into someone else's life.