I need to take a few moments to reflect on this season, lest it go by way too quickly and I get caught up in the chaos that is day-to-day life. I know that I'll blink and it'll be March.
For starters, I don't recall loving Christmas in recent history as much as I am absolutely adoring this season. Honestly, in order to really love parts of it, I've got to just chuck other parts of the cluster that has become our lives, but I'm pretty proud of my ability to do that in short bursts each day.
Anyway, being 3 at Christmastime must be magical. Being the parent of a 3 and watching the magic is about the greatest thing ever. He loves every minute of it with such a pure and innocent adoration and amazement that it warms my heart each day.
We put up our tree shortly after Thanksgiving and his birthday, which I have completely neglected mentioning on here. Hey, he turned 3! For real! (We had a big tractor party with his little friends, and Baba and Pimpop visited, and it was fun, and he turned 3.) He helped me hang all of the "fragiles" on the tree, and most of the ones that won't break are concentrated on one or two branches at perfect 3-year-old eye level. He put the star on the top and helped Daddy set up the train around the bottom. Then he helped Matt put up the Baby Jesus House. He thinks that Joseph is him ("That's me!"), and realizes that Christmas [Frissmas] is Baby Jesus's Birthday. We've explained that everyone gets presents on Baby Jesus's birthday. He asks to go home the "special way so we can see all the Frissmas lights" almost everyday, and exclaims, "Frissmas lights! Oooh, look at that one! That's awesome!" from his back seat viewing position. And, his visit to Santa nearly brought me to tears.
Matt had one of his holiday concerts last weekend (we could actually go to this one since we'd spent the last one in the emergency room), and Santa showed up at the end. So, Joseph listened carefully and clapped appropriately throughout the whole concert and, when the last song was finished, yelled that "Santa's here, now!" He had it all planned out: he was going to ask Santa for a pick-up truck. So, we go down to the church basement, where Santa and his elves had brought cookies and hot chocolate to share with all of us while we waited for our visit. He insisted on a chocolate chip cookie, which he refused to eat. Upon questioning, he said that it was for Santa. Everyone else in the basement was chomping on the cookies for themselves. Not this boy. He brought a cookie to Santa. He was quite wary; he's a pretty serious little kid sometimes. But, he mustered up all of his courage, and Santa was so patient and kind (a right jolly old elf) that he eventually climbed up there and explained to Santa that he wanted a red pick-up truck. When Santa sent him on his way after the requisite pictures, he got about 15 feet away and nearly burst into tears because "Santa did not give me my pick-up truck." Apparently he was expecting it immediately. We explained that Santa had to find the right truck for him and would deliver it on Christmas Eve. Choking back the sobs, he decided that would have to do. I've since learned that Santa is bringing him a red pick-up truck because red is Santa's favorite color. If I could find the stupid cord for the camera, I'd load a picture or two. So precious.
The whole gifting situation is hysterical, too. My mom took him shopping for us a couple of weeks ago. Not wanting to go to the mall or a big box store, she took him to a local little gifty shop that has all kinds of cute little things. He would have nothing of any of it because he insisted on getting us tractors. She tried to distract him with the giant cage of flying birds (yeah, real ones), but he told her after a couple minutes that, "We need to go to a different store so I can get tractors for Mommy and Daddy." No changing this kid's mind; he has the strength of his convictions. When we picked him up later that evening, he came running up to us exclaiming that, "I bought you tractors for Frissmas!"
I'm creating a Pavlovian response to the Salvation Army bell-ringers, too. We put money in the red can every time we walk past them. Every time I ask him why we're doing that, and he says that it's, "So that other boys and girls can have a good Frissmas." He does pretty well picking out gifts for other people, too. We're giving some trucks and airplanes, but they're personally chosen trucks and airplanes.
He's been such a good helper with lights and baking and shopping and cards and all that regular holiday stuff. He loves the music and the movies. I think that "Dominic the Donkey" is his favorite song, and he loves the "Polar Express Train" movie. So sweet. And (I don't even feel a little bit guilty saying this) I'm so glad that I don't have another child this Frissmas so that I can capture as many of these little moments as possible.
My short term memory is mostly goo due to the hideous amounts of sleep that I'm not getting and the fact that I've been sick since the beginning of November (I really wish I was exaggerating about that), so hopefully this brief documentation of this season will help me recall it all someday.
What are you loving this season?