On New Year's Eve, when I walked into my bedroom, I saw a big pile of presents underneath my New Year tree! I'm Russian, so my family celebrates the New Year instead of Christmas. We still have a tree, but it's a New Year Tree instead of a Christmas tree. We also have Ded Moroz (Father Frost) who is a lot like Santa. I get to open my presents on New Year's Eve, so when I saw the pile under the tree, I got ready to open them all!
My first present was from my Grandma in Wisconsin. She always sends really nice presents, so I was excited that hers was the first present. What do you think is in the big box?
It was the Calico Critters Giant Panda family! They're so cute. You can't see all of them, but there's a Mama, Daddy, boy, girl, and twin babies. They're going to be friends with my red panda Calico Critters family. Thank you Grandma!
I like to stick the bows from my presents on my head. It makes things feel more festive!
The next present was from my moms. I tore off the paper and it was...
The Playmobil Stone Age family!! Awesome! Playmobil's newest theme is the Stone Age, but the family isn't coming out until June. My parents got them for me in a special sale. Thank you Mama and Mom!
Next came a package with snowflake paper. I shook it, but I couldn't hear any sounds. What could it be?
A Squishable!! So cool! I love Squishables. I got the best one too- the narwhal! Thanks Mama and Mom!!
My parents also gave me an autographed copy of Good Luck Ivy, by Lisa Yee. She wrote an inscription just for me! So cool.
My biggest present was an Ivy doll from Ded Moroz. I just read her book a few weeks ago and loved it. Now I have the doll and a signed book! Sweet!
My good friend Sophie Moreau sent me two lovely gifts- a giant panda journal and a set of porcelain red pandas. Spasibo, Sophie!
I pulled one last present out from under the tree. It was in Ded Moroz's special paper, but it was addressed to Piper, not to me. Piper? What? why would she be getting a present from Ded Moroz at my family's apartment?
The answer? Because my biggest New Year surprise was a visit from my good friend Piper! Her parents' big present was a trip to visit me in New York City. We hadn't seen each other since last spring, when I visited her in Utah!
It looks like 2012 is off to a great start! What should I do with Piper to show her New York?
P.S. If you want to see the rest of the story, including Piper's present, it's at this link.