Every year since I can remember, my dad and I have always had a special Christmas shopping trip for my mom. I remember fighting the cold, the snow, parking far away from the mall and walking through the cold and the snow to get inside to the warmth of the mall. I remember years where we would sit in tons of traffic after shopping and it taking forever to just get out of the parking lot.
One year I thought it'd be awesome to get my mom these footie pjs. I'm sure it's because they were pink. But honestly, it probably had something to do with them having a few buttons on the back that when unbuttoned, allowed a flap of fabric to hang down and your bare bottom to show. heehee (and yes, my dad did go along with my idea and bought them!)
Then there was the year where we went to Dress Barn and he literally bought every outfit possible from the store. The sad news is that most of the outfits were taken back. And seeing the pictures from the 90's fashion looks, I'd say it was probably a good idea. Not just because of what my Mom wore, but mainly because the 90's had seriously hideous fashion.
The past two years Riley has come along with us and joined our annual tradition. It has been something that has been so special to share with my dad. And it has been fun to have her along as well. She's a good little shopper with lots of ideas.
This year we picked my dad up at their house and he asked Riley what she thought we should get Grandma. He said that she just needed a few things. Riley disagreed and said "But Grandma said to buy her a lot of things!" Which is true - those were her parting words when we left.
Riley thought that some books for herself would make a terrific gift. So we went to Stonebriar and found a few items that my mom had wanted. Very bummed that a few things were sold out, but we did great anyway. Riley was such a great sport and never complained. She rode in the stroller some of the time and just enjoyed the night.
We went to Barnes and Noble to look at some books. She had just the book in mind that she was looking for. Little Bear. So Grandpa told Riley that she could do one book for our house and one book for their house. Then she found two for our house and two for their house. Finally she found three books for their house and two for our house. Being that they were less than $5 each, Grandpa told her that was plenty and that five books was plenty. She promised not to tell Grandma about her special gifts.
As we looked at more stores, Riley began to read her books. She read through the first one, the next one and repeated it again. It is such a blessing to be able to watch her read. And to see her loving it so much.
We ended our trip and headed out into the 'chilly' Texas weather. Ok, not by MI standards, but it was a little windy. We stopped by to drop of Grandpa and went inside so Riley could show Grandma her new books. She sat on the couch next to my mom and read her the first book. Then Grandma read the second book with some help from Riley.
Riley told her about how they got her five books: two for her house and three for Grandma's house. And how three of the books were in the car. And how at least she doesn't know which ones she is getting. Just that Grandma is getting books for Christmas. Oh, and wait a minute. I remember now!! Little Bear!! hahahaha
So Grandma knows she is getting books and they are about little bear. Maybe. Riley never did tell her if she was kidding about that or not! ;)