Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Christmas with Children

Having children has really changed the Christmas game. Before becoming a mother, I’d turn our home into a scene out of a Norman Rockwell print. At the time of this writing, I still have a Thanksgiving wreath hanging on our backdoor. 

My indoor decorations are minimal this year because I’m still pulling foam winter berries from last year out of Cyrus’ mouth. I cannot figure out where he is finding them. Probably the register now that he’s learned how to remove the grate. Additionally, the bottom three feet of the tree is bare because he has an incredible reach for a 1 ½-year-old. The thing is awfully top-heavy, but when I found a red glitter bulb floating in the toilet, I knew something had to change. 

Caroline has really put a festive spin on her daily questions. Last week she asked the following: 

  • Is there a baby in Santa’s belly?
  • Does Mrs. Claus go to the grocery when he delivers presents?
  • What kind of animal is the Grinch?
  • Should Cyrus get no presents since he pee-peed the bed again?
  • Should I just get Cyrus’ presents?
  • If Jesus was born in a barn did he smell like a cow when he came out?
The list goes on.

I tell the kids every evening before bed that they need to pick up their toys, so Santa doesn’t trip on them if he shows up tonight. Caroline continues to convince me that “we’ve still got time” while she climbs the stairs, toys still scattered across the living room floor. One day she’ll be a mom and will understand the pain of stepping on a pocket tractor in the 2:00 am darkness. 

 Because there are so many toys packed into this old farmhouse, we’re keeping our Christmas buying to a minimum this year. One toy, one book, one outfit and a new plate/bowl set for each. If you see our kids between now and the 25th, please don’t tell them. As these things are purchased, I’ve had a heck of a time hiding them throughout an old house without closets. And I’ve reached the age that I’m afraid I’m never going to find the Christmas presents I’ve hidden. Cody asked last week why there was a new pair of footie pajamas folded and placed in his farm filing cabinet. I told him because that’s the last place Cyrus will ever look. He just shook his head and went back to the barn. 

We went to see Santa last week and that was a real treat. Cyrus went right to the jolly old elf, sat on his lap and proceeded to take Santa’s hat off, with the hair attached. Talk about traumatic childhood experiences. I jumped inside the wintery scene and tried to get it back on the man before any other children saw the situation. Caroline, watching this unfold, instantly clammed up and wouldn’t mutter a word to Santa when she got her turn. She didn’t mention the horse, puppy, or Barbie dream house she’s bent my ear about for the last month. We proceeded to get both kids on his lap for a photo and I think it would have been easier to baptize a cat. While we were trying to get both of them to smile - or even look in the general direction of the camera – Santa’s helper elf reminded us that we couldn’t use cell phones to snap a shot. Professional pictures only with the mall Santa. $29 later, we have a 5x7 and six wallets to commemorate one of the worst experiences of their lives to this point. 

Christmas with children is a thousand times better than without. The magic, anticipation, and spirit of the season only get better with time. Hopefully, mall Santas do, too. 

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