I would like to preface the following with a disclaimer:
I am crazysauce.
There. I said it.
The Christmas holidays are here, did you know? And, we are in full-on festivity land over here. What I mean by this is:
1. I do not have a Christmas tree in every room. I have heard this is a thing? I don’t understand how people do this? Why? did you spend the month of November putting them up? Are you the White House? Are your trees all red and kinda overly assertive?
2. I am not making my boys decorate Christmas cookies. By that, I mean, I will be decorating them myself. But I won’t make it a thing. I won’t get all, “Hey boys! Let’s decorate cookies together! And then I can relive my childhood with my sister and how we used to decorate twenty million cookies within an inch of our LIVES because we really loved that kind of thing! And I know you don’t really love it at all and there will be fighting over sparkly sugar, and those little silver balls will start spilling all over and breaking our teeth, and we can’t afford any more dentist bills right now! But let’s DO THIS!” Nope. Not gonna make ’em. But I will decorate twelve cookies, and I kinda think that if I do this all nonchalant-like and totally under the radar, both boys will approach, like shy wilderness animals, and I will offer them an undecorated cookie and say, “Here you go, little guy. Go ahead. Decorate it! Don’t be scared!” and we’ll call it good.
3. Wow. #2 was such a humdinger I don’t know what else to say. Oh! I know! I have Christmas music on CONSTANTLY now. Also, three pre-decorated tiny trees have been pulled outta their box and plugged in and BAMMO! Instant fa la la!
4. Blonde and Red have been practicing their Christmas songs over. And over. And over. I tell you, it’s just wonderful. Really. So wonderful. I’ll never feel the same way about God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen again. No, really. Sure, practice it again, little virtuoso. I’ll just be over here, rocking back and forth.
5. Also, in all seriousness, Blonde is singing a St. Lucia song this weekend IN SWEDISH. He just sang it for me this morning over breakfast and I thought the top of my head was gonna fly off with the cuteness. We are so musical and multi-cultural over here. We’re basically the Von Trapp family.
5. And finally, I don’t write a Christmas letter. Or do Christmas cards. Think of this blog post as a handwritten card straight from me, to you only it’s on the internet and everyone else can read it. Merry Christmas.
You know what? All of this really does makes my heart sing. As I’ve gotten older, and also have stopped pickling myself with wine, my viewpoint of Christmas is a lot simpler. Less expectations. More love. If you look at the above picture again, that pretty much sums it up.
But, every once in a while? All this merry-making also kinda makes me want Santa back. Alas, the jolly white dude has left the building, banished two years ago by Mr. Pragmatist, Blonde. “Santa isn’t REAL,” he told Red one afternoon. “IT’S ALL THE PARENTS. THEY BUY THE STUFF. THEY DO THE COOKIE THING. THEY DO THE CARROT THING TOO. I’M HERE TO RUIN YOUR DREAMS.”
Red took it better than some. I was proud of him. His brother, with all the look of a grizzled war veteran, came up to me and said, “Well, I told him. It had to be done.” I looked at him and offered him a cookie and then said, “You know. The magic of Christmas lies in your heart.”
“Really Mom,” he said, managing to roll his eyes just with the tone of his voice. He has skills in that department. Sweet Blonde. We don’t call him The Lawyer for nothing.
Sometimes I miss Santa. I miss the Santa cookie thing, and the reindeer carrot thing, and the endless letters to him, and all anticipation and glee.
I miss the magic.
This backfires occasionally.
Tucking both boys in last night, I found Red’s favorite stuffed animal, Batty. (Note: Too old for Santa; not too old for stuffed animals. I know, right?) ‘Batty’ is named not because he is nutso, but because he is, in fact, a plush, black bat toy purchased at the zoo. Also my son has a total lack of creativity when naming things.
Anyhow, I am tucking Batty in with Red and humming God Rest Ye because it’s been scraped into my brain, and Red asks,
“Mom? Mother? Mom? Mommy? If I’m really good, could I get an (insert some sort of technical gadget here I don’t remember what it is) for Christmas?”
And I answered, “No darling. This year you’re only getting wooden toys, like the elves made in that Rudolph television special. And Batty is a special elf too – and on Christmas Eve he will fly up HIGH in the air, and then SWOOPING down and squeaking, delivering special wooden and totally boring toys to sweet little boys like you and Blonde. But until then, he’s gonna stay right here and watch you. Not creepy at all, right?”
And Red’s eyebrow twitched. He was having that moment when he was trying to keep up with his mother’s level of weird but also was just a teensy bit afraid that some part of this might be the truth. This is a constant in our family.
We just buy them therapy for Christmas, tbh.
Red: “But Mom… that makes Batty kinda like Elf on da Shelf and we don’t do that anymore.”
Me: “I know Kid. Elf on the Shelf was fired after refusing to move three nights in a row. He’s union, I think. And besides, who needs Elf on the Shelf when you’ve got Batty on the…”
Red sloooooowly pulled Batty out from under the covers and placed him on my head. And then he said:
Well played, Red. Well played.
The snark is strong with this family. Santa wouldn’t even know what to do with us.