There was a time when I didn’t think that Christmas or any other holiday/celebration mattered to Jay. He seemed totally uninterested in birthdays, Easter egg hunts, Halloween … all of it. It made me a little sad because aren’t those things an important part of what makes for happy childhoods? That was my thinking then.
I could only see things through what I liked, or what most other kids like, not what Jay liked. I mean, every kid loves birthdays and Christmas. It’s like, automatic.
I eventually got to a point where if he didn’t care about presents and was happy to spend all day on Christmas day reciting the alphabet then that was fine with me. Truly. I stopped caring about what SHOULD make my son happy and focused on what DID make him happy. Sounds simple now that I type it, but it’s not so easy when you’ve been conditioned your whole life to think a certain way.
I had to learn to respect my son in a new way.
But alas, just when my thinking was changing, Jay was falling in love with all things festive. And as with just about everything else … when he loves something, he loves it all the way.
We put up our Christmas tree and other decorations last weekend. It was big fun for the kids. They both participated and were happy happy happy little elves. Personally, I would’ve chosen Christmas music as the soundtrack for that activity – but it’s not about what I want. Instead I was treated to my sons serenading me with Michael Jacksons Thriller. They’re still not over it from Halloween. Jay now knows the entire song and it’s so cute hearing him sing it with his totally off-key notes.
Since we put up the tree there have been CONSTANT requests by Jay for candy canes. He asks me all the time if he can sing the Christmas song (Jingle Bells). As soon as he gets home from school, he breaks routine and kicks off his shoes in the living room and then drops his jacket and bag on the floor and runs to go turn on the tree lights. He squeals with delight. Then he turns them off again and insists that I watch him do the countdown. “Three, Two, One” – The lights go on. I’ll be in the kitchen making dinner or washing dishes when I feel a tug. It’s Jay wanting me to do the “Three, Two One”. I will be in the bathroom and on the other side of the door I hear “Mom, Three, Two, One.” Helping Ace with home work. Cleaning the cats litter box. Talking on the phone. Here Jay comes … “Mom, Can I three, two, one?”
Two fuzzy green stockings that are usually hung in front of the TV spend most of their time on Jays feet. The white ball piece at the end of our Santa hat went missing and Jay didn’t like that. It just wasn’t right that Santas hat shouldn’t have a white ball on the end. I eventually spent the $3 to get a new Santa hat. It was worth it to see the smile on his face. Every chance he gets now, he puts on the green stockings and the Santa hat.
“What’s your name?” he says to me.
“I’m Deenie. What’s your name” I say.
“I’m Santa. Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas!” he says every time.
Jay has even been going to school wearing the Santa hat. We saw one of our neighbours on our way out yesterday and Jay said “Hi, I’m Santa.” It made my neighbor smile.
For Jay, my job, is to peel candy cane wrappers and to applaud and say “Yay!” each time he does the 3, 2, 1 lights countdown. My job is also to give him excuses to say “I’m Santa. Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas!” and to tell him he did a good job when he sings Jingle Bells. I am to ooh and ahh when he points out the Christmas lights that other people have strung up.
For Ace, my job is to listen to him talk about Christmas and to tell him things about Christmas and to hand him all the toy catalogs that come in the mail and to promise that I will let him help me to wrap presents. I’m also to buy Christmas themed snacks for his lunch box and read Christmassy bedtime stories.
It’s a little much. All this Christmassing. But when I start to wonder how I’m going to make it through an entire month of this, I remember what the alternative is. Jay could not be sharing in the season with us. Ace could not be spreading his infectious excitement. It is nice that we get to enjoy the season together and I get to enjoy Christmas through BOTH my kids eyes.
So as long as Jay and Ace are enthusiastic about Christmas, I will continue to do my job with a smile.