It's what I do. It served me well in the scholastic setting. Its benefits are questionable in real life. If it gets on your nerves, you're not alone. Most of the time it gets on my nerves too. But I'm stuck with me, so I decided to exercise some of it here.
"O, Christmas Tree"
Thanks to Barney, Spencer loves the song "O, Christmas Tree." Thanks to my aberrant personality, Barney doesn't conjure up images of nails running down a chalk board. WE are the kind of people who decide on purpose to care for other people's children forty hours a week. We're special.
Two Christmases ago, I deemed it an impossible year to have a tree in the house. It was the right decision. Last year, it still seemed like an impossible dream; but it was equally impossible to imagine not having a Christmas tree in our home for our then two year old sweetie pie. That was the year I stalked the dollar section of Michael's and bought cute, non-glass, non-sentimental, and seemingly non-breakeable ornaments. And it worked as planned--fun, kid-friendly tree--fun, non-crazy mom. It won't be making the cover of any design magazines, but I wouldn't trade one day of our toddler-crazed Christmases for all the perfect, Pottery Barn-esque Christmas trees on Pinterest. ["Phoebe doesn't like Pottery Barn???"]
This year, I added some new kid-friendly ornaments from the Target dollar section. I know, gettin' a little crazy! Anyway, it ended up a little too busy for my minimalist dislike of extraneous decor, but Spencer loved putting each and every ornament on the tree. He did not rest until the entire box of ornaments was empty (thank goodness I'd had the sense to store all the breakable ones separately, or it would have gotten ugly). He could not wait to put the (Target dollar section) star on top of the tree. So, we did that first. And it still looks gimpy and ghetto, even though I had intentions of fixing it at nap time. And, yes, I do have the overwhelming Monica-ish desire to "fix" the tree every time I look at it; but sleep deprivation and two little lovies will do a world of good to a somewhat OCD would-be-perfectionistic mommy. I'm growing, people. Cheer me on.
Decorating the tree with Spencer this year was like all the Christmas movies and commercials want it to be. His little eyes danced and sparkled. He was enthralled, impressed, and so proud of his work. We listened to Christmas carols, we talked about each ornament, he amazed me with his attention to details and his fine motor competency. (Kids do so well when they want to do something).
He asked to eat his dinner sitting next to the tree. He asked to read our Christmas books sitting next to the tree. And he invited his alligator and sea turtle to join us. He still talks about the tree, sings about it, walks around it, and eats candy canes off of it daily.
It can't be good when your regular pictures look like "instagram," right?
Almost three is still very much a tactile learning stage for him. I want him to get to touch the tree, and manipulate and play with the ornaments. I want him to learn about Christmas in the ways in which he is comfortable learning. We stretch and work and insist on speech and language and manners and self-controld and all the other ways in which he has to grow up all year long.
I want Christmas to be sweet, easy, and full of grace. 'Cause that's what Christmas is.