Another Christmas is past, and this was a good one. Having Dante at an age where he can get excited about holiday magic makes the whole thing so much fun now. A couple of cute stories:
He was hanging ornaments at my parents’ Christmas tree; they have a ceramic Snoopy as well as a ceramic Woodstock. He hung the Snoopy, saying excitedly, “This is Snoopy!” Then he hung Woodstock, saying, “This is yellow Snoopy!” When I thought about it, I realized that his only exposure to Peanuts was through A Charlie Brown Christmas, in which Woodstock does not appear.
One of his gifts from our friends Sian & Kelly was a little plastic thingy shaped like a camera, but operating more like a view-master, with a button and a viewport, through which you can see small pictures, especially if you hold the toy up to the light. This toy had a Thomas theme — pushing the button advances to another train picture. He’s looking in it, and says to me, “Is there a round photographic plate in here?” (We had just the previous night read a Paddington story where he uses an old-timey camera with a photographic plate, and he’d had me explain just what a photographic plate was.) I said, “Yes, sort of,” and he said, “I think there’s a wheel in there.” That kid amazes me!
Christmas morning was quite sweet, in that when Dante woke up, he didn’t immediately remember that it was Christmas. Instead, the 3 of us hung out in our bed together for a little while, as he gradually re-entered consciousness and his mood got brighter and brighter. He was pretending to climb me like a tree, and then he said, “I am going downstairs and then I will climb the stairs like a tree!” So we said, yeah, let’s all go downstairs together… at the feet of the stairs were our stockings. He exclaimed, “There’s a big juicy orange on top!” This is from one of his Christmas books, called The Sweet Smell Of Christmas. He has really keyed into this story — at several points while we were decorating my folks’ tree, he would say, “This is a lovely glass ball!” — a direct quote from the book.
So then we opened gifts with him, and I think did a good job of keeping him from getting too overstimulated. He was quite happy with many of his presents, and I was very pleased with myself for a particular Thomas wooden track set I got him, with a water tower and a bridge. I always like there to be at least one gift that I’m really excited about giving, and for Dante that was it. For Laura, it was actually these things I found at Costco, little magnifying glasses with LEDs attached to light up whatever you’re trying to read. Her “big” gift was money for snowshoes, which I tried to make a bit more fun by splitting into 5 puzzle pieces, each with $20 attached.
Then we went down to my parents’ place and opened more gifts there, as well as hung out with my folks, my sister, and her fiance. We had Christmas dinner there, and then went home by ourselves for a blissful 48 hours of childfree time, while he stayed down there to be doted on by mom and sis. This is the greatest gift of all for me, since I already have a bunch of books, CDs, and DVDs, but I have difficulty finding the time to enjoy them! I do love being with Dante, but life sure is easier when somebody else is taking care of him. Laura and I spent both introvert time by ourselves and relationship time together. A lovely day indeed.