Jian’s First Christmas
Until this year, Jian had never experienced the Christmas season. Needless to say, she was so excited she could hardly contain herself. She loved putting up the Christmas tree and hanging up the “socks.” She knew that we were supposed to make a snack for Santa. I reminded her after working all week that we had gone to a nice bakery and had some yummy cookies already that we could give him. She thought that was ridiculous. So we went shopping. She chose the cookie dough and decorations and loved working with the rolling pin and cookie cutters to make the cookies herself. We put some carrots in a bowl for the reindeer, and she wrote a letter explaining to Santa not to eat the carrots himself.
Around 4am, she yelled out in her sleep something about the reindeer eating carrots. We all woke up and asked if she thought Santa had come yet. She got really nervous and grabbed 2 stuffed animals for protection. We tip-toed into the living room to find all kinds of surprises. She started yelling, “He did it! He already came!” He had brought a doll house that looked like an exact replica of our house! I told her that we could use her Christmas money to go to the store to buy some furniture for it, but by the time she unwrapped all of her gifts, she had furniture for every room!
She wanted to go to Hobby Lobby to buy some accessories (dishes, food, blankets). She took $20. The total was $23. I paid the difference. When we left, she said that the cashier was not very nice because she took all of our money and didn’t even give us back any. I used that as an opportunity to explain that everything that we do costs money (turning on the lights, turning on our water, living in our house.) This news was very shocking, and led to lots of questions about people who don’t have much money, don’t have jobs, and don’t have food.
She had already realized that Christmas was more about others than herself. In fact, when she went to see Santa before Christmas, she told him that what she wanted for Christmas was for him to take all of her friends in China some toys. He listened and used his helpers to send lots and lots of toys, games, socks, bibs, etc. to all of her friends. We received photos of her friends with their Christmas gifts, and Jian was completely shocked that he had actually listened to her. Then our friends and family decided to help buy a heater for the orphanage. People kept giving and giving so that we were able to purchase 4 heaters! This was truly the best Christmas ever!