Thursday, December 5, 2013

Through the Eyes of a Child

"Oh Mommy!  This is the perfect one!" my oldest said as he through himself into a Christmas tree on the lot.  He sqeezed it so tightly that his shirt had bits of sap all over it.  How could we say no?  This last week has been filled with tree decorating, Elf on the Shelf adventures and gift wrapping.  I have always loved doing each and every one of those things.  But this is the first year that I have another person fully sharing my enthusiasm.  Or maybe even surpassing it.

As we unpacked our ornaments, I looked lovingly at the tiny handprint ornament from my little one and at the pile of train ornaments we have accumulated for my oldest over his last four Christmases.  I was lost in nostalgia when my oldest said, "Mommy!  Do you remember how you got me this Polar Express ornament the year that Santa got me the train?  I really love this one.  Can I hold it for awhile?"  he asked.  It was the first time that I actually felt like all my efforts to create memories for them were beginning to stick.  It was the very first time that one of my children held a Christmas memory in their hearts.  It made me stop for a moment and just feel thankful for this life and for this family.  But my oldest hasn't been satisfied with simple tree decorating and light hanging.  He wants more.

Every morning he wakes up and says, "Let's decorate more for Christmas!"  We currently have almost every inch of our home covered in some festive item and if we add any more it may look like the North Pole relocated to Florida.  Still, we try to find something small and Christmasy to do.  Yesterday we picked out what the boys would make for their loved ones for Christmas.  Randomly, my oldest picked apple pies.  (The shipping could be rough but we'll figure it out.)  The other day we had hot chocolate with marshmallows and watched a Christmas movie.  But last night, the enthusiasm reached a fever pitch.  My husband brought home candy canes to hang on the tree.  

"We get to hang CANDY on the TREE?!" he asked my husband.  "Can we EAT IT TOO!?"  My little one picked up on this idea and went it for the hard sell.  "Daddy, eat candy too?  Pleeeeeeeeaaaase?"  This, of course, was right before dinner so we negotiated the typical, "eat your dinner and get your candy" response.  They both held on to their candy canes and ate quickly (amazing what a little incentive will do).  As my oldest chewed and got closer to the moment he could taste his pepermint treat, his brain went into overdrive.  "I know!  Let's eat ALL the candy we want and stay up really really late!" he suggested.  "OR we could just eat all the candy we want and go to bed on time!"  This kid knows what his pregnant mommy will or will not do.  "Let's have one candy cane tonight but then hang them up so we can have one each night after dinner," I suggested.  "Okay!  And we can turn off ALL the lights and have a dance party while we hang them up!"  he said.  And so we did.

We hear all the time about the magic of Christmas.  I've just never seen it come to life quite so much in my own home.  I've always had lights and cookies and Christmas trees but I've never truly seen it through the eyes of a child.  I will forever hold this feeling in my heart.

How do your children help to bring the spirit of Christmas to life?

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