So, Christmas morning. Mila really got Christmas this year. Did I say that last year? I was wrong. This year she got it (although you would never know it by her reaction to mall Santa, did you catch that snub?!). Excited, tearing into the presents, not looking confused or bewildered by everything but instead thrilled and full of joy. It was pretty much the kind of Christmas morning every parent dreams about when they see that happy plus sign on the pee stick. She loved all of it. She loved all the Christmas carols (my favorite is how she called it Angels Hark for Hark the Herald Angels Sing), was crazy about and over-analyzed each Christmas card we got that went up on our card "tree" (pretty lighted and felt ball branches), and could recite snippets of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by the time it really was the night before Christmas. And the nativity...oh my gosh. Admittedly we had a few. A toy wooden Melissa & Doug one, another beautiful, more heirloom-y wooden one that I've been collecting over the years, and Marm let us borrow her nativity this year with all the villagers, grotto for the manger, etc. Let me tell you, Mila was in her element. Every night before bed she'd lay everyone down, even the trees would go to sleep, and she would spend hours out of her day just playing in front of it all, talking for everyone, acting out scenes. My Wugs. Her imagination was in full tilt and it was enthralling to see, reminded me of myself and how enchanted I was with our nativity and all the magic it held.
We didn't do elf on the shelf this year, it was a conscious decision for now as I don't really want Mila's good behavior to solely be motivated by the promise of toys. I want her to be kind because she has empathy, period and end of story. I'm probably overthinking it and I do plan on incorporating kindness elves for next year as that concept really resonated with me. As well as a service advent calendar. But Marmee also heard of the idea to reward good behavior with a straw under baby Jesus each time something kind is done...and conversely a straw is taken out if an unkindness happens. Wugs makes good choices and her wonderful baby Jesus has a soft bed of hay beneath him. For the most part she got that. And she was motivated by love (her love of babies? Okay. I'll still take it.).
For Santa's wish list we kept it to the old something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. Mila's requests were as follows (obvi I found ALL of this super adorable)...Want: a baby. Need: a new placemat. Wear: pom-pom clothes. Read: the books Good Night Brown Bear and Wake Up Little Bear. Let me tell you, Santa done good! Even when it came to the books, he came pretty close to finding some with nearly the exact same titles as Wugs' made-up ones. Mila also made up one more category, Something to Ride On: a bicycle. Ha! That rounded things out nicely.
Dani, sweet little Dani Lu,was wide-eyed and interested in all of it. She was content being in the middle of it all on this different-than-usual morning--where I wasn't holding her on my hip while trying to make coffee, but rather kept nudging her towards another present to rip open. She was taking it all in too, of course in different ways than Mila but I think she absolutely knew today was special.
Oh and about those toys...I mentioned before that I kept things simpler this year, more intentional. I didn't go overboard at the last minute and start buying crap just to have the illusion of more under the tree. Pretty sure that's not what it's all about. Right? Well, I have to say I was and still am THRILLED about that decision...Mila was the opposite of disappointed and she was happy for all the right reasons. She was just as much gaga over the candy in her stocking as she was about her balance bike with the shiny red bow 'neath the tree. Maybe even more! Doesn't that innocence and simplicity just speak volumes? And the first thing she mentioned in recounting to my mom wasn't how many presents Santa had brought but rather...how he had put all the baby Jesuses (plural???) in the mangers. Because He had been born.
|early early morning or way too late at night, depending on which way you look at it.|
|wouldn't it be grand if this linoleum were gone by next Christmas? Here's to hoping.|
Best Christmas ever.
Best Christmas ever.