Christmas Lessons Learned from My Three-Year-Old
As this season kicks my butt and I start to feel less Christmas spirit and more like the Grinch, I’m trying to take some lessons from my kids.
We travel every other year to Virginia, so I pick and choose which Christmas decorations I put out and which will stay in boxes. We still do the lights outside and our Christmas tree, but I leave my Spode Christmas Tree dishes packed up. I don’t bother wrapping our banister in garland and hanging our stockings since Santa won’t fill them in NJ. I put a few things on my bookshelves, but leave the wall hangings packed. And I hang my Christmas dish towels, but leave the floor mats and bathroom towels in the attic.
I feel a little Scrooge-ish hoarding the decorations to save myself the trouble later, though. Just when I think the decorations don’t really matter, my own little Christmas sprite is here teaching me the following lessons in perspective.
- A Christmas tablecloth transforms a cheese and cracker lunch into a “fancy party.”
- While I dread lugging more boxes from the attic, my daughter stands behind me, clapping her hands and yelling, “This is SO exciting!!”
- A holly-rimmed, stemmed glass changes, “I don’t want this,” into “This milk is delicious!”
- Our advent calendar can teach kids how to count by threes to figure out which date will be their next turn.
- Unwrapping each tissue-wrapped ornament is a new surprise worthy of “oohs” and “aahs.”
- Our kissing ball is not just a bundle of beads hung from the door frame. It’s a place to stand and yell, “I’m standing under the mistletoe!!” while she tries to entice her brothers to give her a kiss.
- Lighting a Christmas Wreath candle makes our house smell “like a magical forest!”
- Rudolph, Bumble and Clarice stuffed animals make siblings play really nicely.
- Stuffed Grinch, Max and Cindy Lou Who toys encourage sharing because they like to snuggle on display together.
- The snowman painist is not just a decoration. He’s a music teacher who makes my daughter dance and giggle.
While I may be feeling miserly about my time and efforts, my daughter is just bubbling over with joy and excitement. She has the right outlook for this season. She is my ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Future wrapped in one, and I don’t want to miss another second of seeing things through her eyes. I plan to dig out my Christmas apron while my kids wear theirs and start enjoying this season like I’ve been given a second chance.
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