Now that there is more to our family than "just the two of us," David and I needed to set some new traditions this year. We've always spent Christmas Eve night at the home of one of our sets of parents, since we alternate years between our respective families. We wanted to keep that going, so when were we going to have Christmas with Yikealo? We decided to spread it out a bit, allowing him to open one gift on Tuesday night, one on Wednesday night, and then the last one on Christmas morning at my Mom and Dad's house.
We had already decided a year ago or so to give our new child 3 gifts at Christmas - one for each of the gifts brought to Jesus by the wise men. Gold was very precious and costly and identified Jesus as King, so to signify gold, we wanted to give him something that he really wanted - something precious to him. Myrrh was used to anoint the body for burial, signifying the death of Christ, so we chose to get Yikealo something for his body. Frankincense was an incense used in temple worship and stood for Christ's priesthood, so to represent frankincense, we gave something to augment Yikealo's spiritual life. I realize that this year, the symbolism was completely lost on our little guy, but hopefully, in years to come, it will be one more way to concentrate on the real meaning of Christmas.
So, on Tuesday evening of Christmas week, following a reading of part of the Christmas story, Yikealo opened his "gold" gift - a GeoTrax remote control train set. He loved it, and has played with it nearly every day since then.
The only thing that we hadn't planned for was the complete fascination that the cats had for the moving train. Yikealo was not happy about Frankie trying to knock the cars off of the tracks every time that they moved in her direction.
On Wednesday evening, we read another portion of the Christmas story, and then opened the "myrrh" gift - a new pair of light up tennis shoes to replace the precious Thomas shoes that we had given him in Ethiopia. After wearing them nearly every day for six months, those shoes are well-worn, and starting to fall apart. Needless to say, my little shoe fanatic was thrilled, and spent quite a bit of time jumping up and down in front of the full-length mirror in his room so that he could see the lights. Upon leaving his room, he ran into Frankie in the hallway and had to stop to ask her opinion: "You like 'em, dese, my new shoes, Frankie?" She didn't appear to be terribly impressed.
Christmas morning was fun for me, since it brought back my childhood memories of waking up early before church, walking downstairs in the dim glow of the Christmas lights on the railing, and opening presents in the family room in front of the fireplace.
We gave Yikealo his "frankincense" gift - some children's books about God - and then opened our stockings as well. Among other small items, Yikealo's stocking held - Oh Joy! - a Donald Duck Pez dispenser. This kid LOVES Pez, and was quite excited to get a "Duckey Mouse" dispenser. Tragically, we accidently left "Duckey Mouse" at Mom and Dad's house, so he has been asking every other day or so if we can PLEASE go to Grammy's to get "Duckey Mouse." Unfortunately for him, I am NOT driving three hours on slick roads for a cheap piece of plastic, so he'll just have to wait until we visit again at the end of January. Besides, he has another Pez dispenser that someone gave him in church. I think that it's supposed to be someone from "Pirates of the Caribbean", but Yikealo has named it "Dear God." He thinks it looks like pictures of Jesus, which I suppose it does - if you use your imagination and ignore the earring!