For as long as I can remember, I have loved Christmas. My husband is a little, "meh", about it. His refusal to wear the Christmas t-shirt I bought him ("Christmas Rocks" with a rock 'n' roll reindeer head on it. I know. Awesome) does little to rein on my Christmas parade (you can ring the pun bell twice). But I know he secretly loves it, too: living off Christmas pudding with brandy custard, devouring bags and bags of
pfefernetters pfefiernetars pfefefeferr German ginger bread biscuits, the thrill of cramming his Christmas shopping into one frantic dash to the shops on Christmas eve... Yeah. He loves it.
This is the first Christmas O will really be able to participate in. Last year, his tiny arms couldn't reach up and pull off the Santa hat, and "nononononononono" was only something he could cry in his head as I dressed him in his finest tuxedo onesie. I'm certain this year will be the Golden Year: old enough to enjoy the wonder, young enough not to eat sugar and lose his mind; old enough to open presents, young enough that I could give him a box of plastic lids and he would be thrilled (disclaimer: I'm not giving son a box of plastic lids. That would be mean. I'm giving him the containers as well).
Here are 6 things I think have been enhanced by sharing Christmas with our toddler:
- Christmas hats: Finally, someone to share in the delight of a flashing Santa hat! Without kids, I just seemed a little... enthusiastic, but now that O's here I seem festive, and that there's no end to the things I will do to bring my son joy, even if it means embarrassing myself. Ditto elf shoes.
- Toy shopping: This is one that is far reaching. My sister rang me the other day to ask if she could buy a talking Mother Goose for her favourite (only) nephew. She was giggling, and telling me how great it was. I think she may want one for herself. Dad had such fun in the toy section of Kmart whilst choosing O's Christmas present that a man felt compelled to suggest that he desist. Pfft. Grinch.
- Christmas movies: Watching Elf more than once before Christmas is acceptable once you have kids. Sure, O doesn't actually watch TV yet, but I feel okay about having this movie playing while he goes about his business. Probably a better choice than Die Hard.
- Decorations: I could claim that all of the lights, garlands, tinsel and glitter (just kidding. Glitter is banned from this house) are just for O... Okay. Yeah, let's do that. Geeze, I'm such a dedicated mum!
- Presents: Bonus gifts for mummy and daddy, since Santa now leaves us something (*cough* he always has). Plus, O gives each of us a gift. Yessssssss!
- Santa's snacks: We've agreed to go with the Santa Myth, mainly so we get an extra present each, but also because I like the idea of scoffing cookies and drinking milk before bed on Christmas Eve. Nath can have the carrots.
I'm sure I will discover new wonders in the coming days. If you find yourself a little stressed, or feeling Grinchy, remember these two things: there's nothing wrong with an adult wearing a Santa hat; and the Grinch saved Christmas in the end. Or just give the toddler closest to you a box of lids and watch him go nuts.