Odette’s First Christmas Home

With us not having any family nearby, our Christmas Eve was really low-key as just the three of us.  I finished up wrapping the gifts for our extended family with the help of Odette.  The poor kid had been forced to walk past her pile of gifts for over a week.  (I have this issue with having things on my to do list.  I needed to get her stuff wrapped and under the tree so I could cross it off.)  Jeff and I tried to combine our families’ traditions as best we could.  Oosh that was a kinda hard job since we both were sure that our own traditions are the best.  We decided that the majority of the gifts would be from us and Santa would bring one gift and fill the stockings.  It seems that mommy and daddy have different wrapping styles.  : )


Making cookies for Santa was the only other real thing on our agenda for the day.



Once the cookies were made and decorated we donned our finest and headed to church. A little sad that I didn’t get a picture of us or at least Odette by the Christmas tree but since she wore the same dress for her Christmas program I suppose we can count those pictures.  We came home from mass and the first order of business was for Odette to open her special present from Briscoe (our dog) so that she could participate in our fun dinner making.  Odette is a very logical thinker, but was really convinced that her new pjs were from the dog.


Our dog is so magical that he even got new pjs for mom and dad, too!



Once we were changed we got to making our cookie cutter pizzas.


After dinner Little Miss taste tested one of Santa’s cookies and prepared the treats for him and his reindeer.


Once the kid was asleep, Mommy and Daddy toasted to pulling it off!



That night I was like a kid myself.  I tossed and turned all night thinking of the excitement of the day ahead.  We had planned it out that I was set up station downstairs and Jeff would follow Odette.  We actually had to wake her up because we needed to get the show on the road so that we could head up to see our families for brunch.

Look at the size of those eyes.


I think she liked her dollhouse.  Jeff and I let out a huge sigh of relief.  Santa poured many, many hours into making it from scratch for her.



It was obvious that it was her first Christmas.  She would have been content just playing with that for a long time. Unfortunately we had a tight schedule for the day and had to keep her moving along.


One final shot of the dollhouse once all the furniture and people were added.  Our families have heard a lot about the construction that Santa was busily working on.


It took us nearly 2 1/2 hours to open the presents.  We quickly dressed, threw clothes in our bags, loaded the car, and headed to see all the other family.

It was a truly magical day.  Odette was really appreciative of her gifts and thanked us repeatedly.  We had to remind her a few times that the dollhouse was from Santa so then she immediately thanked us for taking her to see Santa.  She is so sweet!  She learned some hard lessons too by picking out, wrapping, and gifting to others toys that she really wanted for herself.

Experiencing Christmas through the eyes of our daughter made it a Christmas like never before.

Here is our precious Odette last year on Christmas while she was waiting for us in Congo.

2011 c

Sarah Signature


2 thoughts on “Odette’s First Christmas Home

  1. What I see is a very loved little girl. May God bless you guys.

    Here is C-Span’s coverage of the congressional investigation of DRC:

    and we need a Christian version of this organisation:
    here is one of their blog’s witch is quite disturbing:

    and what do you think about the call to stop adoption from DRC?

    Wish your family a blessed New Year.

  2. I have to say how every picture I see Odette has joy just beaming from her. This is so apparent when I saw the last picture in this post, from her last Christmas, I am crying because I see she had no joy until she had you. What a wonderful world that you were brought together. God is at work and this is proof. Merry Christmas:)

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