Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Little House Christmas

We had an early little Christmas...in our little house (which feels a lot bigger with our new basement) with Aunt Kelly and Uncle Sean. Since they won't be 'home' for Christmas, they decided to spoil my daughters early with some perfectly chosen (and way too decadent) gifts while they were here for Thanksgiving. Kelly made for Maya a beautiful "Laura Ingalls" bonnet and apron...wrapped together in a basket with a little glass jar of chalk, her very own 'slate', some yarn and wooden beads for stringing and a book of Little House on the Prairie Crafts.
The bonnet and apron are seldom removed. (Every time I see her in her costume, it's a little reminiscent of my own childhood, spent dressed as "Old Mother Hubbard." ...now if only she she added some white plastic sunglasses with the lenses removed....)

Her beloved basket now sits by her bed holding all her new treasures and her copy of By the Shores of Silver Lake. In the book, it's Christmas Eve right now. And the family is warm and happy by the fire, listening to Pa's fiddle and enjoying oneanother's presents and presence. With each Ingalls' Christmas we read about, I am struck again by the simplicity, the love, and the contentment, despite the incredibly hard life that they live. A typical Ingalls' Christmas included some hard-earned or hand-made Christmas gifts: two sticks of candy, AND a pair of knitted socks, AND... a tin cup.
Inspired by her heroes, Maya had the idea to make a "Charlotte" rag doll for Sophie this year for Christmas. Last week, she sewed one button eye to the doll's face...and then told me that she was just too tired to do the other. I love that she wants to do this for her sister. I hope Sophie understands someday how hard her sister worked....but mostly, how deeply she is loved.

Sophie was also quite spoiled... receiving her very own shopping cart and cash register. They love to take turns being "Da Lady" (who runs the cash register) and "The Customer" who fills the cart with pretend food, and uses the credit card to "pay". Their pretend play seamlessly leaps through time-periods and characters. And it's pretty delightful to get to pretend with them...or just watch and listen.

Thank you, Kelly and Sean and Chloe.

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