Merry Christmas 2013
Jacob and Anna were completely and utterly sick the week leading up to Christmas. We avoided all things that could have spread the sickness including church, visiting friends, and our ward Christmas party. Instead we laughed at our silly Elf who liked to hide in high places most of all. We watched more television than is healthy. And we abandoned hope of baking for friends and neighbors for fear of becoming Typhoid Marys. I just count our blessings that we weren’t trying to travel and that my pregnant self didn’t catch a fever as well.
Anna and Jacob took lots of naps and cuddled a lot. I tried to encouraged the Christmas fun with crafts and stories when my audience seemed up for it. Anna loved making ornaments for the tree. We rolled out the dough and picked shapes to cut it into. I baked them before she painted them. Then we strung them up with ribbon and hooks. The lower branches on the tree seemed disproportionately weighed down this year, but Anna loved every single ornament she could see. She even loved the random one I picked up at a Relief Society activity. She would wander over to the tree, cradle the ornament in her hands, and sigh, “I just love this one.”
On Christmas eve, everyone was feeling better in general. And I ended up making cookies with Anna. Jacob told me that “Santa” wasn’t going to be happy that there was only one kind of cookie waiting for him and especially that they weren’t chocolate chip cookies. Anna of course jumped at the idea to make cookies, she is my kitchen helper and taste-tester. She always makes sure that the chocolate chips aren’t poison and when we recently made pizza I had to remove the sauce from her reach because she kept testing that too. Crazy girl.
We’d been talking about Christmas for so long that Anna wasn’t quite sure it was Christmas morning when she woke up. I’m glad the routine was normal, and that Jacob and I didn’t wake up to a living room full of ripped wrapping paper instead of wrapped presents. But once we explained that “today is the day” we could not contain Anna and her joy and excitement. She has been very good about not asking to open them and so on. She loved opening presents and helping us get and open ours. She loved watching me open presents she had picked out for me. She also got the doodle pad she had asked for, and on it she drew a doodle pad!
Children really do bring the joy into the season of Christmas. Anna has loved this season. She loves pointing out Christmas lights and talking about Christmas. She understands that all the babies in mangers we see (in cards, videos, nativities, etc) are baby Jesus. And she makes plenty of observations out of the blue. For instance, she was hanging out by the stockings and poked her head around the counter to see me in the kitchen. “Mom, stockings look like shoes. Shoes and socks.” Later, she filled her new rain boots with dominoes. “Santa only gives you candy if you’re asleep, Mom. Go to sleep.” Then she put more dominoes in the boot and hung them on the same hooks as the stockings. Her boots were her pretend stockings for a while. We have even taken a few nighttime walks with the stroller to see the neighborhood lights. It’s been chilly but Anna lets me know where all the candy canes and snowmen are.
For the New Year we went to our stake’s barbecue night. Anna loved the dancing, the connect four, and some socializing with 4 year old girls she had never met before. To leave, we had to bribe her with a promise of glowsticks and music videos at home for more dance party fun.
We crashed early but I woke up around midnight because of all the fireworks in our neighborhood. Anna joined us in bed soon afterwards and we family-cuddled our way into 2014. It should be a great year.
I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!