Thursday, December 15, 2011

We're Having Christmas!

Jared is really excited about Christmas. We got a tree and put it up before Grandpa left, and since then Jared has been bubbling with Christmas excitement. He reminds us several times a day, "We're having Christmas!"
Jared sings Christmas carols all the time.  His favorites are "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." Every time we see Christmas lights or decorations, Jared points them out.  When he saw the holiday section at the grocery store, he said, "The grocery store is having Christmas, too!"  It is really fun to see Jared discovering holiday excitement for the first time.  His enthusiasm is contagious.

We had a family home evening activity braving the cold and ice outside to walk around our neighborhood looking at Christmas lights.  Now, every evening, when Jared realizes that it is getting dark outside, he reminds us to turn on the lights on our Christmas tree.  I've also found him more than once pulling his shoes out of the closet and hanging onto the front door handle, ready to go see Christmas lights.

One thing that Jared has a really hard time getting excited about is Santa Clause.  You might remember our sad little episode trying to get him on Santa's lap last year. This year was no different.  Santa made an appearance at our church Christmas party.  I had Jared persuaded to go tell Santa "Merry Christmas," but the line was really long, and bedtime was very near.  By the time our turn came, I was praying that the jolly old elf would have the sensitivity not to "Ho ho ho!" at this over stimulated, exhausted two year old with a Santa phobia.  Santa was a true professional and took Jared's aversion to him in stride.  Eloise was game for sitting on the bearded fellow's lap, as long as she got a fistful of whiskers.  
Later, when we explained to Jared that Santa comes down the chimney into our house and leaves presents in the Christmas stockings, Jared got agitated and had to be reassured that Santa isn't coming into our house today, and he won't come if Jared doesn't want him to.  When you think about it, Santa's house breaking is fairly unacceptable.  I think this family is about ready to let the Santa tradition peter out.  

One advantage of an aversion to Santa Clause is that Jared has a really good grasp on the true meaning of Christmas.  Yesterday we were driving to look at a house for sale and Jared piped up from the back seat,"It's Christmas time! Jesus was born!"  

Another time, Jared and I were in the kitchen making dinner together while Eloise played on the floor. It got quiet for a minute, so Jared broke the silence with a sweet, "Merry Christmas, Mommy."  Could he possibly be more adorable?  

One day, we got ambitious and did a holiday craft.  This was Jared's first painting project since he stopped eating paint.  He loved it.  
 After his two paintings were dry, we pulled out the Christmas cookie cutters, and Jared told me where to trace them.  I cut them out, then used my eyelet setter for the first time since assembling our wedding invitations to put an eyelet in each shape.  We added ribbon, and now we have ornaments!
 One day last week we went to the mall to play out of the cold.  The mall has been transformed with Christmas decorations.  There is a decorated Christmas tree about every twenty yards on the mall floor, which had Jared in a flurry of excitement.  When we reached the play area, excitement turned to awe as Jared found himself at eye level with nine flying reindeer near the mall ceiling, complete with bobbing heads and a blinking-nosed Rudolph in the lead.  "It's Rudolph! Rudolph!"  There was not a lot of playing after this discovery.
We have been doing a lot of baking to keep our house warm and smelling like Christmas.  Jared is a master baker.  This Monday we made sugar cookies for our playgroup, which came to our house on Tuesday morning for cookie decorating.  Jared looks at home with his rolling pin and apron.  
We had ten children in the house, including three babies, for some delightful, sticky, holiday mayhem.  As the other toddlers dumped sprinkles and candy all over their plates, Jared picked up a sprinkles bottle, angled it downward, and gently tapped the bottom of the bottle so that the sprinkles would come out slowly and only on his cookie.  This little man has his techniques in the kitchen.

As I baked a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies this evening to take visiting teaching tomorrow, Todd pointed out that there has only been one day this week that we haven't baked or decorated cookies.  I bet you all wish you were here.  We're having Christmas!  Merry Christmas everybody!

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