Christmas Day dawned bright and beautiful!
We were even told by a couple of our visitors that the sky was so clear that you could see the trees on the mountains. That would have been a gift for all those traveling, to and from different houses. But for us, we stayed home all day, enjoying the company that came to spend part of their day with us.
After sleeping in to 7:45 a.m. , which was much later than we had originally planned (poor Paul had been sick all night and I didn’t feel well myself), we called the kids down to Christmas. Curly Cook was so excited she literally squeezed GingerSnap almost in two.
Our morning routine is to first hunt for hidden Christmas stockings. This year Curly Cook found her stocking in a potted plant, Joy Boy found his stocking in the drapes of the living room, GingerSnap found her stocking in the Christmas tree, and El Gringo found his stocking in the piano. Well done Dad!!
The kids were tickled at what they found in their stockings: a variety of hot cocoa from the United States, a cute bottle of gourmet ginger ale (that proved to be too spicy for most of them), 3 Brach’s Candy Canes, 2 Cliff Bar Organic fruit ropes (a family favorite but SUPER expensive to enjoy year round in Costa Rica), a Push-up Pop, 2 marshmallow Santas, and some european chocolate disks (milk, dark or orange flavored).
Next the kids gave gifts they made for members of our family. I especially loved the skirt GingerSnap made for Curly Cook out of one of her old dresses (one of my favorites). Both girls gave from their hearts to our family. Joy Boy gave El Gringo a nice picture of Christ, reminding him the real reason for this season. Then we opened a few gifts from our Austrian neighbor (a box of chocolates), and two couples serving missions in the temple (Harlans and Sparks).
After that came gifts from Mom and Dad. Each of the kids got new swim clothing, a box of PopTarts, a box of CapriSuns and a special gift each of them had hoped for (a nice writing pen for El Gringo, headphones for GingerSnap, a Leatherman for Joy Boy, and note writing supplies for Curly Cook). They LOVED their gifts and were all smiles as our friend Spencer arrived to enjoy the rest of our day.
Spencer brought two hams, a cheese ball, homemade guacamole, spicy cheese dip and salsa, tons of chips and crackers and homemade English toffee. We spent the morning visiting and eating and then we watched “Home Alone” together. We enjoyed it very much and enjoyed laughing together. Then the Elders came over for lunch. We gave them their Christmas bags and watched them enjoy PopTarts and CapriSuns for the first time. They ate as much as they could, played pingpong or drew drawings and then it was time for Paul to take them to their next appointment.
Spencer had “something to go do” and left us for awhile. We rested and then Paul’s friend Guillermo came over with his girlfriend. They ate “dinner” with us, visited and then left for yet another party they were to attend. After a Skype call with Paul’s parents, we decided to watch “Home Alone 2” and called Spencer to see if he was coming to join us. He said he would be over soon . . .
We were about a 3rd of the way through the movie when he did come, but he didn’t come alone. He brought his FIANCE with him!!!! While he was gone, he had proposed to sweet Sofia. We were ALL SO SURPRISED to learn of his “UNBELIEVABLE” news. He had just asked us that morning to help him find a new word for him to use this next year. Last year was “Awesome” and “Incredible” but this year is “Unbelievable.” Spencer’s announcement made our Christmas that much more special.
We went to bed feeling at peace and completely satisfied. Heavenly Father had answered our prayers. The kids were more than happy with their gifts and we were more than relieved. I hope that this little post will help the kiddos remember what Christmas is really all about – it isn’t worth worrying over “what will”, instead be open to “what can be.”
Merry Christmas and here’s to an UNBELIEVABLE New Year!!