Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Rachel's First Christmas

Lucky for us, Rachel wasn't excited about Christmas this year so she didn't come running into our room at 5 in the morning begging to open up presents. I have a feeling that will occur sometime in the future but this year we got up sometime between 9 and 10 PM.

Rachel didn't really know what was going on. All she knew was that when we got up in the morning, Mom and Dad started throwing paper all over the living room and there were mountains of toys everywhere--baby heaven.

Andrew throws a wad of paper at Nancy, who was in charge of garbage at the time
She wanted to open every gift herself but she was too slow, so Andrew and I took turns opening up her presents. And then I opened up my presents. And then Andrew opened up his presents. We were kind of sad because Rachel had so many presents and we had only about 5 each, which took no time at all to open. Then we remembered that there was another pile of presents behind me that were addressed to both of us! We took turns opening those, too.

Rachel got quite a few stuffed animals, a cooking set, some toy food, some books, and a new outfit. She liked reading the stories and chewing on all of her toys (and the paper, boxes and bows involved).

Andrew and Rachel got a communal present from Aunt Sarah. We were confused about this until Andrew opened it and found a big Barney doll. It was a gag gift--Andrew hates Barney and always have but, being the nice older brother that he is, he would watch Barney to placate his younger least, that's the story as he tells it. I've seen him transfixed by Teletubbies and all manner of children's shows, so it wouldn't surprise me that, if deep down inside somewhere, he really is Barney's #1 fan.

I guessed all of my gifts this year well before Christmas. I didn't even just kind of happened. Like, the gift below. That could have been either a blanket all rolled up, or a giant thing of cookie cutters. I guessed cookie cutters. That's what it was.

I disguised most of Andrew's gifts this year so he had no idea what he was getting. I even took the pieces out of his Mancala set before I wrapped it so that it wouldn't shake. I'm so tricky. He didn't guess one of his gifts right.

So...with the commercialism of Christmas aside, I will say that Christmas really was a lot of fun this year. We've gained a lot of perspective entering the Christmas season as parents. I think that we understand a little better how Mary and Joseph were feeling. It's a lot of pressure to be given a regular, ordinary (and absolutely wonderful) baby...but to be told you're going to be the parents of the Messiah would be completely overwhelming.

We also better understand the love that Heavenly Father has for us as His children. We love Rachel so much it's hard for even us to understand how much we love her. The minute we met her, and even before we met her, we were deeply in love with her. We love her more every day we know her, regardless of how many times she pinches us and scratches us and screams and screams and screams and makes messes and screams and screams and throws things and screams and spits up and screams. We just love her. And we always will. Heavenly Father loves us even more than that.

We're grateful that the Savior came and atoned for our sins. I've made plenty of mistakes in my life, much more grievous to Heavenly Father than the things Rachel's done to me as a parent, I'm sure. Without the atonement, it would be impossible for me to return to my Heavenly Father. I've done things wrong that I haven't noticed I've done wrong. I've made more mistakes than I could possibly repent for on my own. The Savior made up for that--and that's the most wonderful gift of all!


  1. Sounds like you guys had a fun Christmas. It gets better when the kids are little older and are excited by Santa coming and opening presents. Maggie didn't care for much of anything. I had to unwrap her gifts, she wasn't even interested in the paper or bows, go figure!!! Glad you had a wonderful day!

  2. Wow... waking up between 9 and 10 PM to have Christmas is LATE! no wonder everyone wasn't guessing their gifts. Hehe. You know, I don't remember ever getting up at 5 in the morning and waking our parents up to open Christmas gifts. We have Christmas breakfast instead of Christmas dinner, and don't go in to the tree til after that, so we all just sleep comfy on Christmas morning.