Thursday, December 9, 2010
Enchanted In Her Eyes
Christmas is not my favorite holiday. There's just too much to do in such a short time. Even the admonishments to "simplify and have your best Christmas ever" come wrapped in ecologically-friendly handmade paper ("So much fun to make with your kids!" ) adorned with the bounty of nature collected on walks with your little ones.
I can start to feel a bit bah humbug pretty quickly in the face of a monstrous to-do list. Thankfully, I have Amelia.
Amelia is four and a half, and she is enchanted with Christmas. She loves Santa. She loves Baby Jesus. She loves Christmas songs and picking out presents and telling Santa what she wants him to bring her. She loves the decorations, the cookies and the tree. She even loves the snow and cold because it means "Christmas is coming!"
Every time she talks about Christmas exclamation points punctuate every sentence. "And Santa has reindeer, Mom!" "Baby Jesus is going to be born!" "We get to make cookies!"
You might think that her delight over Christmas would add to the pressure and the to-do list, but it has been just the opposite.
Amelia is thrilled with every little thing. "You got the stockings out!" Why, yes I did. Never mind that they aren't out of the box. The mere fact that I brought the box up from the basement is enough to make Amelia dance around the room.
That's a standard I can meet.
Since Amelia is so enchanted with all things Christmas, I've found myself focusing on the things that will bring her the most joy. I dug out a little tree and we spent an afternoon making ornaments and decorating "Amelia's tree" with snowflakes, bits of colored paper and ribbons. I gave her some small ornaments to put on them and she could barely contain her glee at getting to put them on her tree by herself.
When it snowed we shelved the efforts to get a Christmas card list in order and went outside to play in it for hours.
We got out the nativity sets and played with the kids' soft set for hours before we ever set the big one up. All the people and animals talked to each other and went on adventures. Turns out that shepherd is a pretty funny guy. Who knew?
I baked Christmas cookies with Amelia instead of cleaning the house. We made spritz, "the most fun cookies ever!" Not only did Amelia get to use the cookie press, she also got to sprinkle colored sugar on each and every one. And, after careful testing, she determined that all of the cookies tasted the same, even though they were different shapes.
So here we are, just a little over two weeks away from Christmas. We don't have our tree yet. We've only baked one kind of cookie. There's shopping and wrapping to be done. I have no plans for Christmas dinner. Oh, and I'm wishing my Christmas cards said "Happy Valentine's Day" instead of "Merry Christmas."
But none of that matters, because I am seeing this Christmas through the eyes of a four-year-old.
Amelia doesn't need the Martha Stewart decorations or the Paula Deen cookie platter. She just needs Christmas to get here, and quick! Well, that and a few presents under the tree, preferably a Barbie horse.
Amelia is enchanted with every little piece of Christmas this year.
And I am completely enchanted with her.
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