December 25, 2010

How to celebrate Christmas when you live in a trailer

Since we were spending Christmas this year in the trailer in Arizona, rather than in Washington amongst family and friends, needed to come up with our own unique way of celebrating Christmas. Since Hilina is almost three, she has an awareness of what this holiday means and has seen enough Santa's and Rudolf's on signs and in stores to know they are significant. But, not only do we have space limitations in the trailer, but we wanted to keep things simple, cheap, and avoid too much throw-away plastics this year.

We had a surprising White Christmas in the Desert
The first heavy frost of the year left a layer of ice on everything!

So, first of all, Linda stitched together a stocking for Hilina out of felt and string using her two favorite colors (pink and purple). Then, we told Hilina that Rudolf would drop off the gifts in her stocking by coming through the vent in our roof. Santa would have done it, but the vent is too narrow for him, of course.

Hilina excited to open her stocking

As far as what we stuffed it with, Linda had stitched together finger and hand puppets with felt and made some pom-pom friends as well. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive, nothing large, but definitely exciting for her, as you will see in the images below!

The first to emerge from the stocking was "Trunky" the pink elephant finger puppet

Linda had hand-stitched a brown felt monkey to join Hilina's monkey family of Monk (the black one), Hearty (the red monkey with pink heart Hope had given her), and Whitey (the baby white monkey). But, alas Hilina decided it was a sheep. There was also a little green pom-pom frog Hilina named "hermit" after Kermit the frog. A lady bug pom-pom, some plastic necklace poppers, and an orange-and-clove "hedgehog" which rounded out the first round.

But, Hilina was particularly excited to see a "ming-ming" finger puppet (a yellow duck like on the Wonder Pets)

Hilina's old friends "Sara" the triceratops and "Sop" the cat watch as Hilina continues to extract goodies including "Sop Jr." the plastic cat, smarties candies, and a currently unnamed finger-puppet mouse.

Sop and Sara watch as Hilina continues to dig in

Ultimately, below you can see everything that was stuffed in the stocking, including the dinosaur tattoos and a candy cane. Hilina was over-joyed and excited all day. The total cost of everything was probably not even $12. Ultimately, this Christmas taught us the lesson that size and cost do not matter. It is whether you think about their interests. We managed to get or make just about everything she is into right now and by keeping it simple, the expectations can also be kept low for the future.

Everything you see on the couch is what she recieved.
(minus the black monkey, blue dinosaur, and orange cat which are old friends)

While we missed the opportunity to spend this time with our families, in some ways this was one of the best Christmas' because of the look on Hilina's face when she would pull something from the stocking.

"Buba" Jeff got into the act with playing with her toys too!

Anyways, wherever you are this holiday season, I hope you have a great and Happy New Year!

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