Several years ago, the kids wanted to do a Secret Santa in our family. They, of course, were little and didn't have the ability to drive and didn't have money, so we decided to do an actions-based Secret Santa. Make your person's bed! Put a cookie with their name on it somewhere! Just do something extra, whatever you wanted. This ultimately failed horribly, partly because Zane was too little and Juanito and Houston kept forgetting. It was disappointing all around. I quietly let the idea die for the next couple of years.
But then last year, Katrina really, really wanted to do Secret Santa, and the boys joined the "We want to do that!" bandwagon, and so i added it to the Advent calendar. We drew names, made a trip to the dollar store with the whole family, gave each person $5, and set them loose. And it was surprisingly successful.
Today's activity was the same Secret Santa thing. We drew names and set off for the dollar store. Everyone went through the line alone, and i don't think anyone saw what anyone else had in their basket. Juanito dropped us off at home and took off for the pizza place for dough balls, i started chopping mushrooms, and the kids headed off to all corners of the house. And two minutes later, Katrina yelled, "Thank you, Secret Santa!" (Me, to myself: "Well, clearly Juanito doesn't have her!") Clearly they are all super-eager, and probably half of the presents will be given by the end of the weekend.
I spent most of the day sewing and making Christmas presents. My sewing machine is being bratty and keeps quitting working, so then i have to stop for the day until Juanito can fix it again. It's making projects take longer than they should, which is not ideal at Christmastime.
We made pizza and watched "A Christmas Carol." We were eventually all piled on the couch together (minus Juanito) (plus Emma), mostly because the kids were all a bit frightened by the movie, but also because cuddling is happy. And thus ended the night.