I’ve always been a holiday person. Any holiday. Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July, whatever. I love the build-up, the excitement, the specialness of celebrating a holiday.
I figured that having a child would make holidays even more memorable. When I was pregnant, I dreamed of kids squealing with delight on Christmas morning when they discovered piles of loot under the tree (and maybe breathed a little sigh of relief that they’d been good enough for Santa to make a stop).
But wait, that’s a holiday with a kid. Before they’re kids, they start as babies. And while babies are fun to dress up for the holidays, that’s sort of it. Once they’re dressed, you just drag them along on “traditions” that you think you are doing for them but you’re really doing to them because they are BABIES and would much rather be lying on a blanket and sucking on a toy.
On Ryan’s first Christmas, I bought him some “good” formula (i.e., liquid – the expensive stuff) as a special holiday treat. It was the one thing I thought he might sort of appreciate. It gave him terrible gas and he screamed nonstop for 4 hours — all through the lovely dinner we made for all of our friends. He stopped screaming right around the time that everyone gave up on us and left.
Well. Things have changed. Ryan kind of, a little bit, gets it this year. Ok, he’s two, so he doesn’t grasp the full picture (Jesus’ birthday, Santa’s trek around the world, giving to those less fortunate, etc). But he is enamored with
Christmas lights kiki yights. He stares at the Christmas tree and points out the ornaments, one-by-one, over and over. And the little Christmas village I have displayed on the table near the front door? It might just be the most magical thing he has ever seen.
This year, he will want to eat every single cookie I bake. This year, he knows what presents are and his face will light up when he sees them stacked under the tree. This year, I get to see all of my usual holiday excitement reflected and magnified in his eyes with each new discovery.
This Christmas might be my favorite so far.