One of the blessings of a large family are special days, like Christmas. We had a fantastic time watching little ones open presents, listen to Daddy read the Christmas story from the Bible, and spend time with extended family. We celebrate Christmas in a two-day staged affair. Because we go to our aunt's house for a large family gathering on Christmas evening we have moved the present opening to Christmas Eve. This gives us a full day to take our time opening and playing with presents, and still get to Christmas Eve candlelight service. Then Christmas morning we have a hot breakfast, read the Christmas story, play with all our new toys, and finally have dinner with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We have lots of sweet memories, but I think one of the best is the "Great Toy Switch of 2007".
Nana worked hard to find something special for each child. She took my advice in what the little girls would like, and purchased an incredibly realistic shopping cart for Leah. It has all the look and feel of the ones Mama uses at the grocery store, complete with baby holder in the front. For Mary she bought a Little People airplane that plays music, comes with three new figurines, and has a handle so she can carry it around with her.
Both girls were napping when we set out the shopping cart, along with a ride-on scooter for Mary and a few more presents, including the airplane, that were still wrapped. We assumed the girls would get up from their nap and Mary would get her ride-on, while Leah got the shopping cart. Mary woke up first, and came down to finish her present extravaganza. We had the camera rolling to see her reaction when she saw her ride-on, but she made a beeline for Leah's grocery cart. The test drive turned into an obsession with placing everything into the cart and walking to the kitchen and back, kitchen and back, kitchen and back. We laughed about how we were going to get Mary to give up the cart when Leah came down. The longer Leah slept, the more Mary pushed that shopping cart, the more apparent it became that Leah was not getting it back! What were we going to do? The shopping cart was supposed to be Leah's "big" present from her Nana. There was only one solution.
When Leah came downstairs from her nap we presented her with the present from Nana. You can imagine her surprise when she unwrapped a new Little People airplane! She never even gave more than a passing glance to the shopping cart. Later in the evening Nana asked Leah if she liked her new airplane (she was spinning around in circles while pretending to fly the plane), or if she liked the grocery cart better. Leah didn't even stop spinning in order to answer that she much preferred the airplane.
There hasn't been even a hint of jealousy between the girls and "their" presents.