Chinese Christmas

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It was Christmas at daycare today! I wish I’d known; I would have sent cookies or something… Or not because we were up late finishing the Christmas cards last night. Anyway… Chinese Christmas is something we look forward to at our house every year. This year was a little more exciting because Robbie was actually aware of what was going on (instead of his five-month-old self that just smiled with drool pooling on his bib last year).

He came running to the door this afternoon, carrying his Christmas prize: a stuffed Santa that he picked out himself (Addie also chose the Santa, while Luke chose the “flake” – translated, this means “snowman”). Zhining also gave us what is sure to be my new favorite Christmas decoration (previously a mouse house made for me 30 years ago by my babysitter). She makes figures out of clay, and she created a Santa and a Christmas tree. They are set up in a clear box with a picture behind them of the kids in daycare. She also put in a picture of Robbie running around a tennis court this fall because that was an important thing that happened this year.

It means so much to me that Zhining devotes so much of herself to QiQi. She made a Christmas gift bag for the whole family, including two “balls” (oranges, Robbie’s most favorite food ever) and an assortment of Chinese food that QiQi loves (and Justin and I are developing a taste for). I actually look forward to some of the snacks now (she sometimes has an afternoon snack for me when I pick Robbie up). Zhining also included some pictures over the past month of Robbie with the other daycare kids. My favorite is of Robbie and Pete on tricycles next to each other.

I’m sure everyone thinks they have the best daycare provider, and that’s important for you. But, we really do! And, since we have the daycare provider of the century (I know, you’d think it was a little early to call “of the century” in 2010), Christmas shopping for her is difficult. I don’t want to give her just cash; I want to give her something that shows how much we appreciate her, how vital she is to our lives, how much we love her (yes, even Justin!). A gift card seems impersonal. Zhining isn’t a frivolous woman, so I’m not sure that something like jewelry would work. I thought about pajamas because she definitely deserves some downtime, but that seems too personal. And, even though her job would drive me to drink, I don’t think she does. I guess I’ll just have to wander around stores aimlessly until the right thing hits me… Or until a creative reader posts a suggestion!

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