It was a very merry Christmas in my family this year. Mainly because my three boys were showered with all the presents their little heart's desired and as much loving attention from relatives as they could wish for. They wouldn't admit it, but I noticed their happiness meters went up significantly the more attention they got from grandmas, grandpas and cousins, rather than from which presents they got. It was wonderful seeing them revel in all the adoration. They are so fortunate to still have all of their grandparents and most of their great-grandparents still living. The most anticipated part of my holiday season is seeing these beloved relatives.
If my boys were asked what their favorite part of Christmas was, though, they wouldn't hesitate to enthusiastically claim, "PRESENTS!!!!" They spent two entire days opening gifts. Spoiled doesn't begin to describe my little munchkins.
They harvested a whole bushel of weapons and ammunition. I'm not kidding - I have a bushel-sized wicker laundry basket that now holds our weapons cache. This year alone, they became the proud owners of eight Nerf dart guns, three marshmallow guns and three "Star Wars" lightsabers. They also got the ammo to go with the first and second, and Jedi capes to go with the last.
I'm not a lover of violence or weaponry, by any means. In fact, I'd consider myself more of a pacifist. I'm coming to learn that one woman in a houseful of boys doesn't stand a chance at instigating quiet, peaceful playtime. But I have to admit that these new toys have already provided hours of imaginative activity. My boys have shot down the bad guys in a battle zone, fought the separatists and empire at a rebel base camp in a "Star Wars" galaxy far far away and hunted down ghosts in our supposedly haunted house, just to name a few. I can't help but smile when their playtime is punctuated by shouts of "Dang Nabbit! The ghost got away!" or "Hurry! My gun needs to power up!" (In other words, "Bring more darts! Quick!") It makes my heart smile to see them interacting so joyfully with each other.
I did come up with one gift to counteract all the weapons I knew they were getting: a play doctor kit. When they get hurt, they go visit the "doctor's office" to get patched up so they can return to duty. The worst injuries reported so far have been suffered by my 3-year-old: once when he was whapped on the head with a lightsaber by Grandpa, on accident of course. And again when he decided to turn his Jedi cape into a ghost costume and head-butted a table because he couldn't see where he was going.
The bruise on my 3-year-old's forehead is just beginning to fade, but I hope their happy memories of this holiday season stay with them for years to come!