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Money Can Indeed Buy Happiness

We tried so hard not to overwhelm the children with Christmas this year. Well, Owen is generally clueless, so that was pretty easy, but we wanted Mia to be able to enjoy it without going into total overload. And so we were so careful, bought her so little, decided against many things she would have really loved, and she still had 15 presents to open on Christmas morning. It actually took most of the day to open her presents, because she would tear into a few and then decide she needed a break to watch her new copy of Tinkerbell or admire her new collection of fairies, or even better play with one of the four hammers her brother received as gifts.

But all that aside, the absolute hit of Christmas, the one thing she has dedicated more hours to than any other in the intervening days, the best gift that any three year old has ever received anywhere in the history of time is the 26 cent goldfish that Santa dropped off. She's been named Dorothy, and Mia checks in with her frequently to tell her about her day and to make plans for what they should to later. Play (Mia) and swim (Dorothy).

Dorothy is better than her new computer, better than her new princesses, better than Owen's new choo-choo push/ride toy. Dorothy is even more exciting than the trip we took downtown on Saturday to see the Nutcracker, where it snowed inside and the toys came to life. (And since it took me 40 minutes to go from Pennsylvania and E to 15th and Constitution, I am inclined to agree on that point.)

Christmas was wonderful. The kids are amazing, Chris is home, and we are just enjoying being together and playing and doing the silly things we like to do. But it is all the more wonderful to realize that my kid could have received nothing more than that 26 cent fish and still have been blissfully happy. I hope she holds onto that power forever.

Comments (18)

Ah the wonder of Christmas through a child's eyes! I hope that she keeps the wonder of Christmas as simple as a goldfish for years to come.

From watching Michael on Christmas at the inlaws and doing Hanukkah at our house, I have to say the nice thing about Hanukkah is one toy each night. He was so overwhelmed at x-mas with all the toys.

Isn't that the best? Merry Christmas.

The joy and wonderment of Christmas through the eyes of a child is a beautiful thing. Enjoy the time with your family.

Wish you had posted this before Christmas... :) Ah well, next year.

Sounds like you guys had a great Christmas. Enjoy your time relaxing and playing together.

How wonderful!

All I need for Christmas is a new pajama and I am a happy camper, even if I have to buy it and wrap it myself.

We started doing this for giftslast year:
Something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read. Then we add a Santa gift, and the stocking stuffers. It's worked out well, even though our kids are bigger.
Enjoy that time together. :)

We tried to keep to the short list for presents for our two girls this year, too. We personally only ended up getting each girl one present from us and one present from "Santa". But if you combine that with the family who brought gifts over for Christmas, and a Grandmother who believes in giving one gift for each night of Hannukah, you end up with a three year old with so many presents in her room that she didn't have a place to sit down to play. I swear I need to institute a "get a present, donate three older toys to charity" policy to start de-cluttering her room.

Glad you all had a wonderful Christmas together and are happy and healthy!

My best Christmas gift? Having my daughter and her boyfriend home with us! That was the best. People make the holidays for me.

Merry Christmas! We tried to avoid spoiling too - but apparently grandma had other plans :roll: Have a Happy New Year!

This would be why I not longer am ashamed that I buy gifts for kids at the dollar store! I gave my friend's three year old a dollar store recorder for her birthday on Sunday and it was the HIT of the party! And it doesn't matter if it breaks!

What a nice post! That's what Christmas is about. Being together with family.. and fish!

Sounds like Santa did a great job!

That's so cute, the 26 cent goldfish. Christmas is so fun when they are little and full of wonder and magic. And then they become teenagers and want an iPod Touch and their own digital camera.

I remember those days. When Zac was about her age it was my favorite Christmas. He's open each gift and exclaim ... it's JUST what I always wanted. If you asked him what it was, he'd say, I don't know yet, but it's JUST what I wanted. I LOVED it and we still talk about it to this day.

Happy New Year to the Cactus-Fish family!

Declan used to be soooo overwhelmed by the presents.

Yeah, we're past that now.

P.s. Happy new year, sweets. Love you guys.

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So the Fish Said...

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear.

- Walt Whitman

Meet the Fish

I want to get a pet duck and keep it in the bathtub.
I am addicted to chap stick and altoids.
I am freakishly flexible.

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