Sunday, December 28, 2008

Quin's 1st Christmas (That She Will Remember...)

We tried to keep Christmas in check this year. As parents, we recognized that we really didn't need to buy Quin many gifts, since our friends and loved ones are so generous. We were going to buy her a wooden kitchen but I decided that it would be a better idea for her birthday in May. She will appreciate it as her one gift then, where as there were piles of boxes of gifts that arrived in the mail to open for Christmas. It is important to me that she not see the holidays as a me-me-me time. I want her to think of others and to remember those that are less fortunate everyday of the year but also during the holidays. She deserves to have fun and enjoy her gifts, but it doesn't need to be ridiculous. I don't think it is my place to tell our family members anything other than she doesn't need many gifts, and then it is up to them what they do. But I do think Andre and I can curb things on our end. Santa brought Quin one gift, a barn that is a bit like a doll house. It sets on a table or the floor, is made of wood that is hinged so she can open the barn and put the animals inside the stalls or close the barn and use the barn doors. There have been so many toxic toy recalls, for lead and phthalates, I am trying to buy items that made by reputable toy makers. This is from Melissa and Doug, whom I must say I don't trust completely, since they are a huge company with factories in China. But they swear by their products... And they have told other parents who call that their products are safe. But since they have had recalls in the past, that is up for debate. I like to keep this blog light, so I won't dwell on toxic toys here but I will delve into it more on my other blog.

Quin was thrilled with her new easel. She LOVES it! She paints at it numerous times a day. Yesterday, she could not even finish her breakfast before she had to paint. She knows how to remove all the tops from her paints, and to put the right brushes in the right paint pots. I need to help her with the paper but she can put the clips on the bottom, and I put the ones on the top. She is a good painter, sometimes using one brush, sometimes two, one in each hand. I usually help her clean her brushes but once she even put all the lids back on the paints and I walked in the bathroom and there she was on her step stool, cleaning her brushes in the sink! I am a very artistic person, and I must say, I really don't have any preconceived notions on what she should like. I am very different from my parents, I expect she may be the same. Other people are very much like one parent. It is fun for me to see she loves to paint and as Andre keeps remarking, she is quite good at it. But I didn't buy her the easel for my satisfaction, I am just thrilled she finds it so fun.

My aunt Helen, Quin's Great Aunt Helen, has always been a special person in my life. She taught me about art and culture. She always took me to grown up places like the theater, museums, and fine dining restaurants when I was just a child. She has already started this tradition with Quin, as have I. True to form, Helen sent us a gift that I would never have guessed. She send a carousel, a replica of on from the World's Fair, complete with little people riding it and milling about on the platform below. It plays 15 songs, plus 15 Christmas Carols, it lights up, and the chairs move out and up, then in and down. It is just magical for a child! Quin asks me to turn it on all the time. I wish I knew what she was thinking as she watched it.

Quin was blessed with many other wonderful gifts, and this post does not mean to leave any of the generous gift givers out... She received clothing, hats for the outdoors, books, play dough and accessories, a French music CD and a French game, big girl undies, and more, and she loves it all! Thank you to everyone!

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