Though I only have 3 grand children, I've been in the precense of 17 kids over the last 48 hours while visiting parents in-law and friends of Jade and George. The ongoing supply of delicious food and drink and watching the exchange of gifts between family and friends was quite overwhelming as there were so many more people gathered together.
Santa is for kids. I felt like I had been in a Christmas movie where I had spent a couple of days in a trashed toy department store! I've never seen so many colourful toys and discarded wrapping paper in one place before.
Let me see if I can remember some of the gifts that Santa bought for all these children I spent Christmas with....
Loads of Lego from Lego-land and Maccano machines
Princess dress ups, The Little Mermaid and. Ninja Turtle outfits with Ninja masks.
A two-headed dragon and a flying dragon with the widest of wings.
Spider-man with his super stretchy suction pads inside his rocket-like racing car
A whiz around loop-the-loop matchbox-car-race-track
Beautiful barbie dolls with beautiful clothes and little shoes
Trolls with their own private hairdressing salons set up to style their fluffy green and purple straight-up-in-the- air-hair.
A barbie-doll pink plastic dolls house fully furnished with dinky little furnishings
Wooden farmhouses with little farm animals.
Cute horsey merry-go-rounds that you fill up with water and glitter
Blow up punching bags, a water-slide, even some handcuffs and pink guns on a belt
Computer games, connecter pens and other crafty things
Colorful plastic skate boards and a Pop-the-balloon game.
And finally Santa stockings full of lollies and those good old gold chocolate coins which seemed to be on the floor of every room in the house, much to my daughters dismay! She threatened if she found any more on the floor they would go straight in the bin...and she meant it!
Seeing the children tearing the wrapping paper from their present was stage 1. Next came the impossible task of removing the packaging. You needed a fair amount of grit and some very sharp scissors to separate the toy from the grip of it's casing. I realise the department stores dont't want these items stolen but hello, we grandma's need to be able to cut the damn thing loose if we want our grandkids to start playing with it!
The items are finally released and O-oh! Now they need to be assembled. Then come the instructions! An arms length worth of instructions to read, which is no small feat when you have several excited children breathing down your neck.
This is where I take my hat off to my daughter who would swing into action, sit down on the floor with instructions in one hand and all manner of bits and pieces to build or connect in the other.
I must have seen her assemble half a dozen or more toys and not once did she swear or loose her patience. She took her time and methodically followed the instructions step by step and persevered even when parts didn't fit together. I was so proud of her!
She wondered why she felt like she hadn't stopped running and that we hadn't had much time together to chat. That's because every time I looked at her she was reading a new set of instructions!
Well done Jade!
Christmas 2013. It was great to be with my daughter and husband and 3 little grandees, especially while they are still young enough to believe in Santa and be wide-eyed with the wonder of Christmas. To watch them have their imaginary world come to life through these spectacular toys and in amongst all of that to hear the words "I love you Nana and I want you to stay with us for ever!"