I know, it is a little early, but I'm in the holiday spirit around here (despite my sinus cavities being clogged up like no one's business). Celebrating any holiday is special in its own right, what with family/friend traditions, cultural ties, regional events, and more, but when you throw in a very young child, well everything takes on a much more magical perspective than you could ever imagine. For those of you who celebrate Christmas, just think back to your own childhoods. Remember the feeling you would get as the days to Christmas Eve dwindled from the double to single digits? How excited you felt on Christmas Eve when you prepared the plate of cookies and milk for Santa (and in our house, put out some carrots and celery for the reindeer too)? Thinking about each bump, creak, and howl of the wind could be, just might be...Santa? Well, when you get to watch your own child go through this, it is one hundred times more amazing, magical, exciting, and wondrous than you could have ever remembered it. Because (now listen carefully all you non-parents, and soon-to-be parents) you are making the magic. Playing Santa totally rocks! Right now in our house, we are waking up each day to find out where our elf has moved to. Our son cannot wait to tell the Elf (Cheerio) when he's been good, so the report makes it back to the North Pole that night. He tells us tales about how Cheerio uses his magic to fly, and how Santa has the same magic. We have written a letter and sent it north (via Cheerio, of course) and our boy can barely contain his excitement at this point. If Christmas doesn't arrive soon, he may explode.
Come Christmas Eve, we have our own traditions around here. I cook up a fancy gourmet meal to be eaten at the dinner table in the most casual of clothes. We then head to the tiny village of New Rochester, OH to see their beautiful luminaria glimmering through the dark night of the countryside. The evening is always capped off with a movie and homemade whipped hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows before bed. It is a nice, quiet respite before we hit the madness of Christmas Day. This year I fully expect an early wake-up call, just as we all gave our own parents. That's okay though, because to see the look on his face will be worth all the sleep in my eyes. I imagine it will be something like out of A Christmas Story, when Randy fell asleep clutching his brand-new zeppelin, cushioned by all of the boxes and wrapping paper. So too will our boy...only this Santa isn't giving away any of her secrets!