Tuesday, December 22, 2009

In which we decorated and partied twice

We were very busy yesterday with a Christmassy-themed party and a birthday party. It was a very full day, but somehow didn't feel overly busy or tiring. It was fun.

Introducing the host of the Christmas party:

I don't think it was really meant to be a party. Just a small gathering of a few friends in her greenhouse to make evergreen hangings or wreaths. Once it included all of the kids, there were 17 people that I counted. I'd call that a party and it was lots of fun. We didn't all fit into the greenhouse at once, but there was plenty of room in the nicely heated space for two shifts: kids and then adults.

(I should probably ask permission before posting pictures of others, but I needed to show Rosa's sister that good pictures can indeed be taken of Rosa. Just don't ask her to pose or you might get something like this!)

Alice made her hanging for our ladies in the back yard. Now they can hear the jingling bells when we change their water or feed them treats from the kitchen.

Because I've been so busy making things for our own Christmas, I neglected to do anything about a birthday gift for a 3 year old. In the morning, I converted the sleeve of a felted wool sweater into this little wheat bag.

Roughly based on Ugly Dolls, I love him. He's soft and cuddly and when warm, might help her to sleep.

But actually, I have no idea how welcome he will be in their home.

I realize that everyone has different parenting styles and values and I really do try not to judge, but I think the judging was going both ways at this McDonald's party. We can start with that: McDonalds. Hmmm, not my favourite place.

I have no idea what the top toys are this year, or the movies or tv shows for kids. There are no game systems, my kids learned to read with real books instead of LeapFrog systems, they can sleep without the sound of waterfalls or Disney music playing softly in the background. No one has a cell phone here. The contrast between our families is pretty large.

Because she loves her older siblings' Nintendo systems, the birthday girl now has a game system that does little more than teach her to text friends. She's three years old.

I know. We're mean parents. We deprive our kids of much good stuff. And I veer away from name brands as much as I can. And blinking, noisy electronic games. And McDonalds with it's greasy, unhealthy food and it's bright plastic indoor playground. It's all so unlike me, but it doesn't make it wrong. Just very different than our choices would be.
In and of itself, there's nothing really wrong with name brand toys. My girls still play with Polly Pocket a lot and Barbies. There's a lot of Cranium here. And they do read some books based on TV shows like the Wizards of Waverly Place (but they wouldn't be my choice). And Beth had her camera with her at the party while another girl took pictures with her Nintendo DS. What's the difference really?
Imagination, I think. It takes more than a click of a button to warp a photo in a crazy way, or insert a face onto a playing card. Role playing is involved with Polly Pocket and Barbies. A book with few pictures or unknown characters requires you to read more to develop the characters and imagine what they might look like or how they might think and act. Cranium games make you draw, sculpt, act and interact with others.
I was so happy that my girls loved our gift to her, and that Beth asked to have some good food as soon as she got home because she didn't like her supper. Yay!
But we really did have a good time at the party. The kids ran, climbed, slid and played together for a couple of hours and had fun. And they left hoping to get together again over the holidays. The parenting differences mean little to the kids themselves. I should not be bothered and stop judging.


Coralee said...

love your evergreen - it looks great! I agree with you on the toy front - my mom has been stashing costumes for a tickle trunk for Abigail instead of buying toys at all and I'm thrilled. I hope imagination is used in abundance in our house.

Tamara Jansen said...

You are a MIRACLE worker! How EVER did you get that great photo of Rosa?! Seriously, I never can get one :)

Now I have to agree that we are all very different in our parenting styles. No doubt about it. Good thing we're all different otherwise the world would be a very boring place :) Love the sock doll!!

Patty-Jean from LittleQuiver said...

yes that sock doll is wonderful! i can SO identify with your post. the choices we've made sometimes put us on the fringe, oh well. i just figure, us artistic odd folks (forgive my english) herald the coming of new eras, fads, and world changes. presently the landfills are filled more with plastic toy junk than anything else!
so you are moving in the right direction - plus, who does not love opening a gift that is handmade - way to go!
i'm putting you on my reg.reads blog list btw.