As we've continued to add children to the family over the years, it became increasingly difficult for the children to buy for their siblings. Some while back, we started drawing names, that way each person can focus their efforts on one sibling. When we started this, no one could drive themselves and, to keep the gifts a surprise, the purchases had to be made without spying eyes.
My favorite Christmas tradition:
Personalized shopping trips with mom.
|Camilla, about to discover that crepes are her new favorite food.|
First things first, get the Christmas shopping done. It is always fun for me to learn about my kids from my kids. They know things about each other that I don't know or they understand things that I thought no one else understood about that brother or sister! They know favorites, likes and dislikes, whether the sibling has outgrown a phase or is on the cusp of a new one. I can't give away secrets because they all read this blog, but so far, so good. I am often surprised and pleased by their intuition about one another.
After shopping, we also get a little something to eat (every child has their saved-up requests) and other things that that particular child needs--one needed a haircut, another needed to visit Santa, and so on.
Because, here's the thing, with six children, it takes determined choices to make sure each child is receiving the parental attention they need. They are rarely lonely because there are so many playmates or confidants in a large family that they are hardly starved for attention. BUT, that precious one-on-one time, where I can listen to just her, without input (or derision) from a sibling, has to be intentionally sought. I think all mothers-of-many wish they were better at this. My whole goal during these outings is to make sure that one sweet child is heard and treated, understood and needed. Sometimes that results in face paint . . . with glitter . . . that matches her dress . . . which made her absolutely giddy.
Eliza gets her turn next week and Isaac, even though he can drive and is fully capable of shopping on his own, will get his date when he returns from Texas.
After all, it is tradition!
|A Churro from Costco was the one thing she wanted most out of our date.|