28 December 2009

Christmas is All Around

I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes . . .

Well, not so much anymore. After all that build-up, how quickly it all comes to a close. Evidenced, particularly, by the sight of an entire display full of Valentine's Day items spotted on a quick trip to Target--on December 27.

And yes, the above is a reference to Love Actually, which happens to be one of my favorite holiday films. Even if that particular sentiment is disingenuously expressed in it by a seedy, aging rocker.

This year was our son's second Christmas. And while he's not quite old enough yet to watch Love Actually (and won't be for a very long time), there are still plenty of other seasonal traditions which we can begin sharing with him. He doesn't quite understand all of them yet, but he is at least beginning to recognize the sights and sounds of the season. Apologies in advance for the preening parent moment, but the whole thing could not be more delightful.

After just laying around and gurgling during his first Christmas, this year we could see the spirit of the season begin to affect him, begin to take hold over him, as it does over most wee tykes when it comes around. He began to recognize the various signs of the holiday and the words for them joined his ever-expanding vocabulary. Sure, snowman came out as just "man" and he still insists on calling all deer (including that spunky one with the glowing red nose on TV) "dead deer." Perhaps one of our proudest moments as parents, though, was when we taught him to recognize the iconic visage of Santa Claus and to utter his signature catch phrase. Okay, so he only ever got "ho ho" out, even though we repeatedly reminded him that Santa actually says "ho ho ho," but still. We'll take it. At a certain point, he just started saying it of his own accord, without any prompting, whenever we saw an image of Santa anywhere. And we were proud.

Also, for the first time ever, he sat in Santa's lap, though merely for a moment before squirming down to the floor. Apparently, a lot of kids are afraid of Santa and detest sitting in his lap. Not our son. Not at all. After his brief encounter with the jolly bearded one, our son loitered in the vicinity for quite some time, repeatedly pointing from afar and telling us "ho ho." In case we had forgotten who we were looking at.

The lights. The trees. The stockings. 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. He liked it all. And watching him experience it all, learn about it all, was one of the highlights of parenthood so far. It was amazing.

And I can't wait for next year.

Okay, fine, preening parent moment over, back to your regularly scheduled programming . . .

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