Here is how our Christmas went:
We went to church on Christmas Eve, just like we've always done. Our service was at 4:30, which is prime playtime for our child. So that is what she did. Laughed and played during the service. Not exactly the peaceful service I had pictured.
Then we went to Chinese for dinner. My family has always gone to a Chinese restaurant on Christmas Eve. It's an odd tradition, but I wanted to carry it on. All she ate was french fries.
All I wanted to do before she went to bed was read the Christmas story from Luke 2. She screamed so loud the entire time that Scott had to start over twice.
Christmas morning she was up bright and early at 6:30...the child who normally sleeps until 8. Scott went to get ready to video her reaction to the Little Tykes play set we built in the living room. She screamed because she wanted to go with Daddy, but I kept her in the bed room. The end of her temper tantrum is caught on video, and she just goes still when she sees the playground. Then promptly scoots back to her room to play with her beloved car.
Although everyone was excited for her to open her gifts she was overwhelmed by the attention, and mostly screamed when ripping open the paper. Then chose to play with the boxes and bags.
I am not saying all of this because we had a bad Christmas. We truly had a wonderful Christmas, and my heart was full just having my daughter here with us. I don't know that I could have endured another year without her stocking on the mantle. The expectations for Christmas were mine, not hers. She had a great time getting to know all her family better. She got lots of attention, was read lots of books, and received lots of love. And that is what mattered to her. Now we're slowly reintroducing some of her gifts, and she loves them. She plays everyday with her play set, and got brave enough to slide by herself today.
I learned that Christmas with an adopted child is best when expectations are set to the side. (Or maybe all children, but this is my first experience). Next year my goal is to just soak in the time with family, buy less toys, and check my expectations at the door.