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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sheng Dan Kuai Le

also known as a boring post for the relatives that you may wish to ignore

I'd like to say that Christmas at my sister's house felt quite peaceful, but I know y'all would realize that's a bold-faced lie. Especially since five children under the age of 12 ran through the house. Plus two Colonels.

meet Colonel, the dog (yes, THAT dog) AND the Colonel, my dad

And yes, we are aware of the sarcasm.

In fact, I believe that just might have been my sister's point.

Anyways, I promise this is my last Christmas post. Our Christmas Eve and Day were much like all y'alls, I'm sure, filled with family traditions and chaos and love. We checked out Santa flying along the Great Wall of China through NORAD's site. We sprinkled reindeer food in the snowbanks. We left cookies and milk for the jolly old fat man. We argued over a Scrabble game or two. And we ate a ton. Of course. As for the loot gifts...

Something the Tongginator wants...

Ivy, an American girl doll

Something the Tongginator needs...

a pink-and-purple-bike-with-streamers-and-
hearts-and-flowers-and-EVERYTHING, Momma

Something for her to wear...

a super fancy church dress I would never buy just to buy

Something for the Tongginator to read...

the Tinkerbelle chapter book series as well as her first Bible

Santa also brought her a much wanted gift as well as some wonderful surprises in her Christmas stocking. She asked for a rainbow pony, a vanity table and make-up. With momma's coaching, Santa was clear to remind the Tongginator that her make-up? Might not be "real" make-up. But the vanity table surely was.

right now it is down in the playroom, but eventually -
in a few years - it will move up to the Panda Room

Santa got VERY creative with the make-up, since our poor
deprived gal is not allowed to wear the real stuff, even during
play: powder with glitter in a fancy brush; an after-bath
spray; rose salve and several scented, flavored chapsticks

the all-important rainbow pony, found in her stocking

The Tongginator received many wonderful gifts from extended relatives as well, but I thought I'd share with y'all just a few of the China inspired gifts we received from one another, from Santa and from a few relatives. Of course y'all expect to see at least a few pandas...

well aware of my the Tongginator's panda obsession, Santa included
a few panda surprises in her stocking; plus, Mrs. R gifted her with the
stuffed panda and another friend passed along the Beckett book

Santa also shared this little stocking stuffer, which I highly recommend

Santa gave this Chinese opera mask bottle opener to the husband...
finally - thankfully! - we have a replacement for the bottle opener that
appeared three years ago in a Christmas stocking - the one that shares
a loud rendition of the Marine Corps Hymn whenever you use it

these Fu Dog bookends appeared in the gift pile

as did this lovely piece of art, featuring
three women of different ethnicities

and this little gem reads "Wo3 yu4 yu2 chun3" or - in English - "I'm
with stupid." A huge thanks to my sister and brother-in-law for giving
this shirt to me, although I'm none too happy with them for ALSO
gifting the husband with an identical (albeit larger) one

Our favorite gifts of the day, however, involved two donations made in honor of our family... one from my sister's family, donating money to a Sichuan province earthquake relief fund, which means the world to us. And the other from Mrs. R, who donated money to a local safe house that helps women who recently left abusive relationships. If y'all are long-time readers here at Our Little Tongginator, I'm sure you can guess why this last donation touched us in a special way.

We can't help everyone, but we could help one amazingly special friend. Now she is able to help others, which means more than we can say. It's the circle of giving - sharing what you can, when you can, so that the recipients will feel the love and safe embrace of Christ. And when they've sat long enough - feeling the peace that only Jesus can bring - then they, too, can reach out to others who hurt as well.

Truly, isn't that what Christmas is all about?


Colleen said...

whoo hooo check out that new bike!!!! How does she like her new Ivy doll??? Addison loves her Ivy doll...Ivy is friends with Addison's Ashley doll. : ) My daughter is an AG-a-holic LOL
cute pictures as always...

Aunt LoLo said...

Miss T. made out like a bandit! The definition of "need" is rather broad. LOL.

The gifts are all so lovely, though!

Oh, and my SIL found a website that specializes in chinese-language books and DVDs, including loads of Disney ones. I think it's Asianparent.com, but I'm not positive. Maybe Tinkerbell will showing up speaking Cantonese next year, under our tree. ;-)

Wanda said...

Great re-cap of your Christmas cheer. Love that fancy smancy dress T got but I had to fight the green-eyed monster when I spotted her vanity table. It's purdy - real purdy!

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Wanda (At Last...)

Janet said...

Loved this entire boring post. Only yawned once and that was because I am up faaar too late. LOVE the artwork and teh bookends. TOO COOL!

Anonymous said...

Oh my, that piece of art is stunning! And I congratulate your photography skills - even without seeing her face, the Tongginator's joy over her bike is palpable.

If she's still into dolls in a year or so, check out the Carpatina doll Ana Ming (http://www.carpatina.com/AnaMingDoll.html) I bought one of their dolls on clearance for Joy (to receive in several years), and though it pains me as a long-time collector of AG dolls to say it, their quality is far superior.

Just in case you're looking for ideas for next Christmas already!

Sharie said...

So not boring. I love to see what gifts others give; it prepares me for gifting all year through. Amelia received a gift card for American Girl last Christmas and we were able to get Ivy on a trip to the Mall of America the first week of January last year. Amelia calls it The Mall of American Girl...so funny! It is nice to have one really special doll.

Anonymous said...

LOVE the pic of her twirling in her new dress! And I really like your new artwork too--it's beautiful. And I have always wanted a vanity table. Maybe this year!

PS Ilsa will be 13 in March so we'll be revisiting the make-up issue one of the these days, but we didn't allow it even in play either. Just wait till she's 8 and a friend has a make-over party. And you're all, "WHA??? for an 8 y/o???"

Asianmommy said...

I love the Ivy doll, pandas, and Kids' Chinese kit. So cute!

CC said...

Okay, I'm moving in. That doll is wonderful. I've been TRYING to get my mom to buy Marvel Girl a certain American girl doll (you know which one!), but neither my mom or Marvel Girl are very interested in the idea. Ugh.

My kids got a ton of stuff that I won on blog contests. Or got for free at Walgreens. Luckily, they just like "stuff" and aren't too picky....yet!

And for us? Well, I already commented about the knife and the nail brush. And seriously, that was it.