This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to All!

Guess I better hurry or it won't be Christmas anymore!

This was a calm Christmas although Kitty and Bear had a hard time. Bear was the most shut down, but he hid it best too. He basically was "sleepy" all morning. Maybe he really didn't sleep well - I don't know. He disappeared in his room for quite awhile. Maybe he didn't really like his presents. He's hard to shop for!

Grandma commented that she thought Kitty didn't like her presents. I told her it was just that Kitty was having trouble sitting through opening presents (took over 1 1/2 hours!). Kitty spent some time decompressing in the playroom afterward.

One of our Christmas traditions (started last year) is that the kids only get 3 presents (just like Jesus). I do this for several reasons:
1. With 4 kids, making sure everyone has the same number and equivalent value of presents gets ridiculously difficult.
2. We often have other family there and that gets even more complicated (nieces and nephews especially).
3. My kids don't need a lot of stuff (especially Kitty and Bear who get overwhelmed if their environment is cluttered)
4. I want to help the children focus on the reason for the season, not presents.

Of course the kids got around this by giving each other presents! Silly Bob decided to give joke presents. She also did a lot of regifting this year! Including some of my Christmas decorations! *sigh*

So one thing I realized is that because I do a lot of thrift shopping, a lot of times the gifts I've chosen are small and inexpensive (but will be liked/loved/wanted by the child). I don't want to make a small paperback book the child's entire present when they only get three! So last year I did "theme" presents. One present was all books and school supplies. One present was a big one (couldn't afford that this year). Bob got contact lenses, Bear a bike, Kitty a bed, Ponito got Heely shoes.

This year the gifts were a little more random. As I tried to group things, sometimes the theme of the gift was not obvious. I didn't want the kids to think they were random! So this year I decided to write fun "clues" on the packages. (I didn't put them out until Christmas Eve so the kids wouldn't have much time to think about them!)

Axis or Eyes (with a pair eyes - one winking ; ) - this made Bob nuts! She could not figure it out. Inside was a big purse, a bunch of head bands, etc. She didn't get it until I reminded her of the game Mad Gab and she said it several times out loud.

The pen is mightier than the sword - school binder/organizer, movie called Warriors of Virtue, Teen advice book, some fancy mechanical pencils...

Here there be dragons (with a compass rose) - for Ponito who loves dragons! A pair of jeans and shorts with dragons on them and a fancy coin bank that looks like a dragon.

Dragon rider (like a rider on a contract this one went with the other present that I found after starting the Cmas wrapping) - a couple of t-shirts with dragons on them

Beauty is only skin deep - Although she'd never heard this expression before, Kitty, who'd asked for makeup figured it out quickly.

"Life is a work of heart. You've got to paint it colorful." (This is a quote from Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen which the girls know by heart!) In that one was a paint brush, a roller brush, and a lime green fuzzy pillow sham. I'd already told Bob we were going to redecorate her room so she figured out what this odd assortment meant.

Don't hold your breath - a gift certificate to the dive store for Bear.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun. I think the kids had a good Christmas. I did end up making the Cinnamon Roll Christmas Tree, and it was totally worth breaking my diet for! I'll include pictures as soon as I get them downloaded and uploaded!

Yikes! Two minutes till midnight! Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good night!

1 comment:

Lisa said...

So glad you had a great Christmas!
You're an awesome mom, Mary!