Friday, December 10, 2010

The Early Christmas Present

Last night was a night of Christmas festivities for the Appletons. Every year the kids get to pick out an ornament for the tree. We mark it with their name and the year. The plan is to someday, when I can bear to part with them, to give each child their ornaments from childhood.

This year the kids wanted to go to the Pottery Place for the ornaments. This is a paint your own pottery place. You choose a piece. You paint it, and they fire it. Then you go pick it up. The cost is reasonable, especially when you consider it as a few hours of entertainment and the pottery piece to keep.

But the real highlight of the evening was the early Christmas gift. From the Pottery Place we headed to the mall, telling the kids that someone was getting an early Christmas gift. That, of course, got everyone's attention. I think by the time we got there, the kids were convinced that we were getting a video game or something along that line. They weren't even close.

We ate dinner at the food court, and then ducked into the first store that would provide what we needed. The boys looked around at all the glittering and shiny items, and asked, "Why are we here?"  The girls however were fascinated with all the bling.

I led Lydia, the intended recipient of our surprise, to a small table with a chair, bottles of cleanser, and a display of stud earrings. She looked at the display, clearly not understanding our intentions. I asked, "What do you think about those earrings?" Her face turned red, she stammered a minute, and finally got out, "Is this what we are here for?"

She has been asking for years to get her ears pierced. To be more precise, she's been asking for years for her ears to be piered. It has only been in the last couple of years that she has gotten the term right. In a phone conversation with Grandma recently, she said she wanted earrings for Christmas, but didn't think we would let her get her ears pierced. Never mind all of that. When I asked her if she was ready to get her ears pierced her reply was, "Can I go to the bathroom first?"

I had a moments panic that our great surprise was going to back fire and turn into a bad childhood memory for Lydia. She was so nervous. You could see it in her face. You could hear it in her voice. She said her stomach was doing flip flops. She asked me if it would hurt. But you could tell that she was trying to pull it together because she really did want her ears pierced.

We walked around a bit, and stopped at the bathroom. It was enough for her to gather her resolve. We stopped at one of the booths, and picked out earrings. She chose her birthstone, a garnet. Then it was time. I think she was still a little nervous. What do you think?

She was so proud and excited after it was all done. She just kept saying how she couldn't believe that the surprise was for her. She was certain it was a video game for the boys. She came home and admired her newly decorated ears in the mirror for awhile. Then dutifully cleaned them and got ready for bed. It was a memorable night for her and for us.


  1. This brought back memories from when I was a kid. My mom let me get my ears pierced when I was 6 and I remember being very nervous. I asked if it would hurt, and the lay said, it would sting a little, just for a minute, and then I wouldn't feel it. She pierced them, then asked if it hurt. I replied, "No, it just felt like a bee sting." She thought that sounded terrible, but she didn't realize that I got stung so much as a child (My dad kept bees and I seldom wore shoes.)that it really didn't hurt anymore. LOL!

  2. How sweet! I wasn't allowed to get my ears pierced until I was 12. My father, ever the jokester, starting calling me Florence Floozy the Stapled Hussy.

  3. How sweet! My daughter (2.5 years) has recently started asking to get her ears "speared". It made my laugh that your daugher had her own special word for it too. :) Glad she got an early Christmas present.

  4. Way to go Lydia! This is really cute and what a great memory she'll have of it!

  5. awesome! this post made me a bit teary.