My little tike turned two just before the holidays. He is at a glorious age. An age where Christmas has absolutely nothing to do with toys and everything to do with activities. We pile into the car on blustery nights to look at Christmas lights in the neighborhood. We spend half an hour decorating a gingerbread house and another hour dumping colored sugar onto cookies. We drive to various gardens and other locations to see lighted displays, we watch Santa fly in to the airport and visit museums to see miniature train displays.
It seems I had forgotten about the magic of Christmas. My mind was clouded with finding the perfect gift, spending hours online and in the mall, fighting big crowds and getting annoyed with drivers who can’t get in and out of parking spaces too slowly.
As I look at Christmas through the eyes of my son I see the excitement of walking around the Christmas tree farm, finding the perfect branch to hang ornaments, (typically in a clump at the bottom of the tree), peeking out of the windows at night to see the lights we hung on the bushes and counting the number of Santa Claus figurines sitting on top of the mantle.
He doesn’t have a Christmas wish list and could care less about the wrapped presents that are under the tree. I know I won’t be able to keep him this naive forever. Eventually he will circle toys in the catalog and tell me everything he wants Santa to bring, but for now I will treasure the moments we spend together. There is nothing I love more than seeing his red, runny nose and pink cheeks when we play outside in the cold together.
It has been an utter joy to experience all of the events and activities that make the holiday special. I have not wasted a single minute online or in stores. This winter we are enjoying every minute together.