If Christmas is the day when the children open a whole lot of presents, then today was ours. We collected a number of parcels that were waiting for us at a friend’s, and the girls had a terrific time opening everything up and then playing with them!

Our girls in front of pile of parcels, January 2013
Although they line up behind our pile of parcels for a photo, the girls can't wait to start opening them.

The highlight of the presents were the ones from David. He is able to order items from catalogues and through a social-services worker, and he put together pretty packages for each of the girls.

Aisha with a wooden crocodile, January 2013
Aisha embraces a hand-made wooden crocodile.

Calista looks at her earrings, January 2013
Calista eagerly removes her earrings from their holder.

All the girls received jewellery from David, and very special items they are. Aisha has a little locket containing a picture of her and David, Brioni has a pretty heart pendant with a pink jewel, Calista’s necklace is a little bow and Delaney sports a new set of pink and white pearls.

We also received a generous package from Karina, filled with many treats and surprises. As she’s spent time recently with us, she knows the girls very well and chose trinkets, fruit treats and glow-sticks to pad out a collection of thermos bottles.

Brioni opening presents, January 2013
Brioni discovers a little colouring book, one of those ones that can only be drawn on with a special pen to reveal the colours beneath.

Hand-crocheted towel from a friend, January 2013
I hang up a beautiful hand-crocheted towel that we received from a friend in the U.S.

The rest of the day was spent playing with the new toys — the perfect distraction as I negotiated with a mechanic to diagnose and fix our bus. Something went “GRRRBBBB” as we coasted down a hill, and I lost the ability to change gears. After forcing the bus into second gear, we crawled to park in front of a friend-of-a-friend’s house where we’ll squat until the mechanic can work on the bus next Wednesday.

Brioni and Aisha playing with play-doh, January 2013
The girls' new ponies are treated to a feast of fruits and vegies.

Delaney drawing, January 2013
Wearing the face-paint artwork of her older sister, Delaney tries out the magic drawing book.

Ponies and flowers, January 2013
We're surrounded by a garden full of beautiful flowers, and the girls bring these inside to beautify the ponies' landscape.

Play-doh and flower face, January 2013
Aisha combines the play-doh and flowers to make an interesting face.

Calista looking at lollies and chocolates in a bowl, January 2013
Calista browses the bowls of treats. When I ask her if she'll get down, she replies, "Don't worry, someday I will!"

I’m so thankful to everyone who sent us these beautiful presents. It was fun to open them all together — which I suppose must be what makes Christmas so attractive to so many, and we’re enjoying them all, eating up the sugar treats as fast as we possibly can. Thank you, David, Karina, Gwenda and the Carlsens!