Mama's Christmas List

Posted by on Feb 16, 2011 | 1 comment

My kids love Christmas.  Not a surprise, I know, but it’s still exciting for us.  My husband and I have waited eagerly for the time our children would finally “get” the holiday and all of the traditions surrounding it.  Finally, at the ages of 5, 3 1/2 and 2, they collectively figured it out.  Christmas fever ran rampant in our home from American Thanksgiving on (we celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving as well, but since it’s in early October, that’s a bit early to bring out the tree).

We love the whole circus that is Christmas.  We have countdown calendars for each child, we hang lights and decorations, we have a big tree with a star on top, stockings (actually two apiece, one for toys and a smaller one for treats), we spread “reindeer dust” (oatmeal and glitter) so they can find our home, we leave cookies and milk and carrots out on Christmas Eve, and, of course, we go visit Santa.

Until now, the Santa visit has been simply an opportunity for the boys to see the man who brings toys in person, and a photo op for mama.  They love the idea of him, they’re tickled to see him in person, they reluctantly speak to him and have their photo taken.   Last year all three boys asked Santa for a train, and they got trains.  I didn’t push the idea of a list too much, and they didn’t seem too interested.

This year, before we went to see The Man Himself, I asked my children once again if they wanted to make a Christmas list.  They had all decided to ask for a Polar Express train (conveniently suggested by me), and that seemed enough for Lennon and Kieran.  Jack, however, was intrigued.  He wanted to know more about this magical way to get more stuff.   After I explained that Jack could write a list to give to Santa telling him what gifts he’d like for Christmas, he was all about it.

I recall sitting on my bedroom floor as a young child with the huge Sears, JC Penney and Toys-R-Us Christmas editions spread out before me.  I compiled novel-length missives to Santa, including things I had never even heard of but discovered in the depths of the catalogues.  I rarely got a fraction of what I asked for, but it wasn’t about that.  For me, just the thrill of having the whole world of toys available for the asking was good enough.

Jack didn’t need a catalogue.  He was ready to go.  He started telling me what he wanted, slowly at first, then with breathless abandon.  I had to go grab a pen and paper.  Jack wanted a fire truck, a book about “strange things happening,” the aforementioned Polar Express train, a new water bottle, some new clothes, new sheets for his bed, and on and on and on.  Together, we wrote out his list for Santa, and I mailed it to the North Pole.

With regards to Jack, that is rarely that.

About a week before Christmas we were returning from a quick trip to the US for supplies (cheese is a lot cheaper there, and we’re quite the cheesy family).  Sitting in line at customs, Jack was telling his Daddy about his Christmas list.  When he realized that Daddy didn’t have his own list, Jack decided that he needed to rectify the situation.  He then told us what Daddy would be asking Santa for for Christmas:
1) new headphones (Daddy sleeps listening to Old Time Radio and goes through earbuds quickly)
2) a new phone (Daddy goes through mobile phones quickly, too)
3) a new mask (Daddy wears a c-pap to sleep, and the boys like to take it apart)
4) a new light bulb for the house (the light bulbs keep burning out in our new place, so this is just practical)

Not bad.  Some fun stuff, some things he needs, all in all a well-rounded wish list.  On a roll, Jack turned to me.  I was eager to see what I would be asking Santa to bring for me. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been so excited.
1) a tent for camping (we have never camped, not even once)
2) baby gate (we got rid of all of our gates when we moved, and maybe I miss them?)
3) baking soda for throwup (all of us had a wicked stomach virus before and during Christmas)
4) a red flag to wave to stop the van for when daddy forgets me (he learned about the red flags for stopping trains – not exactly sure why Daddy would be driving off without me)

No toys, nothing fun, unless perhaps he thinks I get some joy out of cleaning nasty things up with baking soda.  That’s it.  He was adamant about it, too.

For some reason I didn’t get anything on my list.  I can’t wait to see what I ask for next year.


What I Want for Christmas

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