(picture of Ruby and Sadie wearing reindeer masks picked up as a gift for them at Tescos in Bournmouth)
We got our first Christmas gift almost immediately upon opening the door to receive Mike, Marissa, Ruby and Sadie. Both parents flopped down on the couch beside Joseph, Mike's teen aged son, who had travelled into town with us. Ruby and Sadie, however, plowed over to us grabbing us for a hug. It's amazing how a big hug can come from small arms. Then they were jumping on the bed, grabbing pillows and having a huge pillow fight with Joe and I. They laughed until they cried.
Then it was time for my patented 'Chair of Death' game, wherein they each take turns sitting in the hotel office style chair, holding tight to the arms, while I try to cast them out by twisting and turning and tipping and rocking the chair. This game is a huge favourite with both kids and they each want several turns. I give out before they do, but it's terrific fun and we all laughed a lot. Mike wanted me to do one more so that he could film it on his camera phone (!) and we did that and the chair rocked and rolled and kids laughed and screamed.
The neighbours must love us.
All this happened in a room that was chock full of wrapped Christmas presents. Gaily (shut up) wrapped presents lay strewn about the room - ignored. Two little girls were so wrapped up in just being with us, playing our silly games, laughing and making others laugh that they didn't have time for gifts. They left, tired, without having picked up one parcel, one package, one prettily wrapped box. They left without guessing contents or pleading to open 'just one'. They left, instead, tired out from playing and their last hug on the way out lingered just a little. They were glad to see us.
Ruby is five and Sadie is two, and already they know how to give the gifts that really matter.