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It’s now December. Black Friday has past, and most folks are well into their Christmas shopping. As Brenton and I made our lists of who we were buying presents for, there was a little addition this year. Or rather, there were 2.
For those who don’t know, I had twin boys back in February. Yes, we decided to start a new business 2 months after I gave birth, because apparently we like to stay busy. Those little peanuts are now 10 months old, crawling everywhere, exploring everything, and we’re trying to figure out how to baby-proof our 12 foot Christmas tree.
But being a first time mom at Christmas has made me reflect a bit. As I peruse catalogs and websites, for the first time pausing on the toy sections instead of just flipping past quickly, I smile at the wonders they are about to experience. Introducing Santa Claus to them, leaving out cookies and milk, and seeing their little faces light up as they open their first present. I can’t wait! And this all reminds me of a story my mother once told me after I was no longer writing to Santa Claus. So today, I thought I would share that story from 2 perspectives.
One Christmas when I was almost 5, my mom was working part time in a toy store. My dad would take me in to see her and they had this AMAZING dollhouse that I would play with. It was 3 stories tall, had a sunroom and a second story balcony, and even a rooftop space. It came with all this furniture and little people to play with.
When it was time to sit on Santa’s lap, he asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I answered “The dollhouse from the toy store!” In my house, Santa left his gifts on the table unwrapped so I could play with them at once. So on Christmas Morning, I came downstairs, turned the corner into our dining room, and sitting on the table was the dollhouse in all it's glory! It was the best Christmas ever!
My Mom’s Perspective:
My Mom was working part time at a toy store one December, and every time I came in to see her I couldn’t stop playing with the Playmobil Victorian Mansion 5300. If you google it, you can see why. It was a thing of beauty.
She saw how much I wanted this dollhouse, so she and my dad decided to get it for me that year. About a week before Christmas, after they put me to bed, they got the box down to see what all was involved for assembly. Opening it up, they nearly laughed.
Everything required assembly. Every wall was a frame which you had to snap every door and window into manually. Every railing was separated into the posts and panels which had to be snapped together. Every window also had an exterior window box. Each window box had 3 pots of flowers. Each pot had a stem and on that stem went 5 individual flower buds. There were even tiny picture frames that you had to apply stickers inside of. You get the idea. I have since found the manual for this dollhouse online and I will link it here if you would like to see how crazy this is: https://manuall.co.uk/playmobil-set-5300-victorian-large-dollhouse/
She didn't remember the specific number, but the box said something like "Allow 10-20 hours for assembly.” So for the whole week leading up to Christmas, every night after I went to bed, my parents spent several hours assembling part of this dollhouse before putting the pieces . On Christmas Eve, while munching on cookies, they arranged the dollhouse on the table, knowing just how happy I would be to see it there the next morning.
My boys are still too small to understand what is about to happen in 2 weeks. I know this year they will spend more time playing with the wrapping paper than the presents. But in a year or 2, and I’m actually tearing up typing this, I can’t wait to see the wonder in their eyes as they realize a magical man came in the night to bring them something they truly wanted. That anticipation is reminding me of the joy I had as a child. It will make all the hard work worth it.
Until next time,
Alana and all of us here at Beth’s Christmas