The Christmas season is so much fun. Decorations, carols, presents, lights!
I say this every year, but this was the most fun so far. B is old enough to enthusiastically participate in the decorating, singing, story telling, and general anticipation of Santa’s arrival.
B and I are partners in decorating crime – he gives me license to return to an earlier, craftier, incarnation of myself. The two of us conspire on the proper placement of each ornament, stocking, and string of lights. It’s kind of awesome.
On Black Friday, we un-boxed our tree and hung our stockings. (Seriously, how cheesy is that silver tree? I hated it when we first bought it, but it has since grown on me.)
B’s (Catholic) school puts on a great Christmas show featuring the Pre-K and Kindergarten classes. In the week leading up to the show, he wandered around the house singing the entire first verse of Adeste Fideles – the Latin version. Catholic school is amazing.
Not surprisingly, B took his role as one of the Three Wise Men very seriously. He brought the gold which, he informed us with great dignity, wasn’t real. (His tone suggested that parents are just so dumb. Geez.)
For the third year in a row we built a gingerbread house. This was by far the smoothest operation:
- Year one (2009), I bought the make-it-from scratch kit from Whole Foods. After a baking disaster, we ended up gluing graham crackers to a house-shaped box in lieu of assembling gingerbread pieces.
- Year two (2010), I found a kit with all the pieces pre-baked; all we had to do was glue them together with icing. Since icing takes 24 hours to dry, (and really, who has that kind of time?) Sweet Rickey and I used wood glue instead. It worked pretty well.
- Year three (this year), having learned my lessons, I the house fully assembled – all we had to do was add decorations.
B is a decisive designer, and had specific ideas for how the house should look. I was allowed to make the chimney, fence and snowman. We keenly felt the absence of Aunt Rickey, who is a far more enthusiastic participant than Mr. He glued on one candy cane and then happily surrendered the project to the more crafty majority of this family.
Christmas Eve brought the traditional open house party hosted by Mr’s family – originally by MomMom, and now by lovely cousins-in-law. As always, we had a great time, although B continues to prefer playing by himself in the corner. At one point he confided that he didn’t really want to play with all the cousins, he just wanted to follow them around and watch them play with each other. I thought – but did not say – “that’s a little creepy, kid.”
By the end of the night, though, B loosened up to play with the younger cousin he’s talked about playing with for the last two years. They raced around and around (and around) with their Tonka trucks. Very manly.
The highlight of the party, of course, was the ‘surprise’ visit from Santa. The kids watched the sky excitedly, looking for his sleigh. Although we had just visited Santa not a week before, B was more than happy to give an updated report on his Christmas list.
Christmas morning, B was out of bed at 8 AM, excitedly announcing that Santa had been there (but forgot to put anything in his stocking. Oops.)
We let him open his Santa gifts right away, so he could appreciate them before Nonnie and Granddad arrived with the next wave. (We usually wait for everyone to wake up, and then open everything at once.) “Santa” wrapped B’s presents in specially, separately purchased wrapping paper, so as to avoid any questions about why the jolly old elf used our wrapping paper. (This is a lesson from my childhood – my parents underwent the third degree after foolishly wrapping one of my gifts in a box that had been sitting in our living room prior to Christmas day.)
After the first round of presents, we were surprised by a timely package from Aunt Rickey, containing … new mittens! And a matching scarf!!
Thus arrayed, we prepared to head out to the ‘Field for more Christmas goodness.