Since we were fortunate to have my mother in town the week before Christmas (a spontaneous, last-minute visit on her part before she heads off for Africa) we decided to stage a sort of pre-Christmas on a randomly-chosen day.
 Q was absolutely delighted to have a chance to open presents before the actual holiday...I think it broke the wait up for her a bit! Also, I have to say that at this age, opening all the presents on one day is a bit overwhelming for her. Her brain tends to sort of short out, as if fuses were blowing all over her nerve endings. The end result is that she doesn't seem to really "see" any of the gifts individually, which sort of defeats the purpose of all the thought and time that goes into choosing them. So really I think that opening some of the gifts previously was a stroke of genius. This way she is not overwhelmed, and has a chance to appreciate the gifts on a more individual basis ;)
 LaoLao trying on her new down puffer.
 One of LaoLao's gifts, brought from the fabulous (and much-missed) Tinker Toys in Woodstock, was a packet of dragon tattoos. Q needed for daddy to help her apply six or seven of them at once.
 But the real prize, the highlight of the 2011 season, were the Tin Men that LaoLao brought (see picture later this post). Q's greatest hero.
 The girl with the dragon tattoos.
 TinMen, one store-bought, one handmade by LaoLao.
 It was such a treat for all of us having LaoLao here for a surprise visit. Q was beside herself with joy the entire time, and we all had such a lovely visit. It's good to spend time as three generations of mothers and daughters who treasure each other so deeply.
I never dared hope that I would have as joyful a relationship with my daughter as I did with my mother, but this impossible dream seems to have come true. Lucky all of us!
Q took this portrait of LaoLao's ear over lunch at Parisi. She was very into taking artistic closeups of us. So sweet.


Alicia Stucky said...

My parents like to come a day or so early to drop off gifts to my kids, and I think it's a nice way to break it down, too. And wow, trip to Africa for Christmas, how cool!

The littlest said...

how very wonderful. nothing like all of the women in the family coming together! totally agree about all of the gifts, we have slowly been opening birthday presents over the last week and will also try and space out any christmas presents.

and how rad is the tin man that LaoLao made?! so cool.

Yoli said...

The tin man, the most disarming one in Oz. How sweet your Mom is and how wonderful the relationship you all three share. Love the dragon tats! And Africa, wow, the place where part of my heart resides. Can't wait to see your Mom's pictures.