We’re having a fun holiday season so far — which feels strange to say, given that December has just begun. Even at this early date, I am experiencing holiday fatigue (probably left over from last Christmas), along with a general feeling of unease that I am behind the 8-ball in my decorating, shopping, and scheduling fun activities throughout the coming weeks of Holiday-Palooza.
(It’s not just Christmas anymore!!! It’s a Holiday-Palooza extravaganza!!! At least that’s how I feel. Christmas just seems to get bigger, brighter, and more expensive every year. Things seemed so much simpler when I was a kid — it’s like our whole society is obsessed with outdoing itself year after year.)
Anyway, we’ve already begun enjoying our family holiday traditions. Now that N is four, she’s participating more than ever before (even if her main contribution to choosing and cutting our Christmas tree was complaining about how far we had to walk). Nevermind, it’s fun to have her involved. She was totally into decorating the tree, which is evidenced by the fact that 90% of the ornaments are hanging on the bottom 10% of the branches.
I tried helping her write a letter to Santa Clause, but this task proved more difficult than I thought. I was foolishly unprepared with only a pen and paper. When I asked her what she wanted more than anything else in the world, she looked around the room and saw her rainbow-colored slinky. “A pink slinky,” she replied.
“Um, okay,” I said uncertainly. “What else would you like?” I continued.
“Um………..a fairy blanket with sparkles on it.”
Sigh. “All right. Anything else?”
“A Snoopy without a Christmas hat.”
Now there was something I could work with. Snoopy is fine. But since this conversation I have, unfortunately, confirmed through much internet research that there is no such thing as a pink slinky and that fairy blankets with sparkles do not exist.
I gently convinced N that she already has a Tinkerbell blanket, and it would just be overkill to have a fairy blanket with sparkles too. That went okay, but I still have to break it to her that Santa’s elves just don’t make pink slinkys.
Lesson learned — next year I’m opening up the Toys R Us catalogue and having her point to things. (Although on my last trip to Toys R Us, I realized that we have some version of nearly every age-appropriate girl toy ever made.)
N loved watching the old TV classic “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and has been pretending to be Rudolph ever since. My assigned role is usually Santa (except for this morning at 7:00am, when I grinchily refused to ho-ho-ho before my cup of coffee).
N is convinced that Santa has a pair of magic binoculars, through which he watches all the kids in the world to see if they are naughty or nice. Today when I asked “Rudolph” (N) about N’s day at preschool, “Rudolph” responded that he hadn’t seen how N’s day went because he didn’t use Santa’s magic binoculars. He helpfully suggested that I ask other reindeer whether they had used the binoculars to watch N’s day (which I dutifully did. N’s day was fine.)
It’s fun to see N so excited about Santa and Christmas Day, but sometimes I feel like asking — what do you get for the kid who has everything?? And is this a good or bad thing that she is surrounded by all the toys and games a kid could reasonably play with??
Yet I continue searching for the three specific gifts she wants, because one of my biggest fears is disappointing her on Christmas Day. I can handle daily disappointments like not having the snack she wants, which I like to think builds character — but like any parent I only want to see a happy face on Christmas morning.
If last year is any guide, I’ll wind up bawling at midnight on Christmas Eve once I put out all the presents, because I know there are only a few precious years that I’ll get to see that look of sheer happiness and belief when she sees what Santa left her under the tree.
So, if anyone knows where I can find a pink slinky, please let me know!! Ho ho ho.