Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our Christmas Stories.

I was looking forward to spending a whole week at home with Little Miss, enjoying my staycation and prepping for the festive season together. I planned to make cookies (check), shop for gifts (check), create holiday cards (check), listen to Christmas carols (check) and burn some festive candles (check) to get into the holiday spirit with her. Sounded so...1950s housewifeish. All I needed was an apron. Besides, wouldn't it be exciting for a one-year-old to experience the sight, sound, and taste of the holidays? I found out, not so much. This is the same kid who only sings Baa Baa while I complete the rest of the Black Sheep song, why did I think she’d chime in on "Jingle Bells" and partake in cookie-decorating merriment with me?

On Christmas morning, she did open her gifts with just enough fervor to make me think she enjoyed unwrapping them. Most of the time, that's all she cared to do before moving on to the next shiny object, not really affected by what lies beneath the pretty packaging. This is probably the only time that's ever going to happen because after this, she will not only anticipate what comes in the box, she will come to expect or, even worse, demand it. I know I paint the worst picture of my someday daughter, but I’m just trying to prepare myself for it.  I was no angel myself, and as we all know, payback’s a bitch. 

Unsurprisingly, the whole Santa thing was lost on Little Miss too. When we went looking for him and relieved to have found him at Navy Pier (he’s a busy guy after all), much to my chagrin, she refused to sit on his lap. But then it hit me: good for her! I’d rather her leery of strangers than flock to them willingly. Especially strangers whose most famous quote, ho ho ho, borders on harassment. Hiding presents until Christmas Eve night (“when Santa comes to town”) didn’t make a difference to her either. And Rudolph? Let’s not even go there. At this point, the reindeer is either a cat or a dog (“dah”) to her, thanks to her limited lexicon.

In the end, all the holiday prep that I was excited to get into just for her went by unnoticed. She was too busy exploring unlocked cabinets and the magical wonders of the universal remote. But I guess I expected that. Next year, though, the Santa myth will come alive in her imagination as we regurgitate age-old tales of this ruddy old fellow with a pristine white beard on a sleigh with jingling bells (which seems rather counter productive to his need for secrecy, if you ask me). Maybe we’ll even spice things up a little, just to give it new life. Maybe Santa is friends with Captain Jean-Luc Picard. How else can we explain that he can send presents to all the children in one night? Forget the treacherous chimneys, “beam me up, Scottie!” Maybe instead of elves, Santa has Ewoks help him in the toy factory – they seem a little better equipped for the Arctic chill with all that hair anyway. Oh, oh and Buffy (the Vampire Slayer, you lame-o) will accidentally get a Prime Rib for Christmas, instead of her usual request for a brand new “stake” (get it? get it?). By the time we’re done improvising, it’ll be a brand new myth. Perhaps even a better one.

Undoubtedly, she will also stumble upon the nativity scene someday, and when she asks about baby Jesus, her agnostic mama will make her ask her atheistic daddy. I have a feeling Xena, Wolverine and Frodo Baggins will all make an appearance in this one. 

Now that is going to be some story.


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  2. can't WAIT to hear the sequel of that one!!! Promise to write it all down, cuz those three in a winter-wonderland tale... ;-)

  3. Will do. I'm sure you have some crazy stories for and from your boys as well that you can share. Just make sure you translate them for us :)