I have a bunch of little anecdotes from our holiday this year.
I’ve mentioned before that we celebrate both Solstice and Christmas at our house. Solstice is more Laura’s holiday, and Christmas is mine, though it’s a very secular version since I’m not a Christian. Of course, Solstice is kind of the underdog in this scenario, since Christmas has an unbelievable level of cultural saturation (yes, whiny right-wingers, it does.) Laura wants Solstice to be the quieter holiday anyway — we give a few gifts with the theme of light, trees, and nature, but it’s not a big whoop-de-do. We mostly just focus on spending time together. Still, it’s important to us to honor both holidays. So this year, Dante has been taking pains to let Laura know that his favorite December holiday is Christmas. He’s been learning in school about various cultural holidays this time of year, so that may be a contributor. A few weeks ago:
DANTE: Do you want to know what my second favorite December holiday is?
LAURA: (with hope) Yes!
DANTE: Kwanzaa, of course!
Speaking of this, my parents have old-fashioned electric holiday candles in their windows. They look kind of like this. As we’re pulling away from the house, Dante says, “Hey, that menorah is missing three candles!” I explained to him that it actually wasn’t a menorah, and what the differences were. Then he explained to me that if it had two more candles, it would be a kinara. He stumped me on that one.
My approach about Santa Claus is mostly to let Dante come to his own conclusions about how the whole thing works. At some point on Christmas Eve:
DANTE: I don’t think Santa delivers the presents on Christmas Eve.
ME: Oh? What do you think happens?
DANTE: I think people go out shopping after I go to bed.
Well, of course I had to explain to him that after he goes to bed on Christmas Eve, the stores are closed! “Oh,” he said. And that was all. He’s thinking it over.
Then again, after we set cookies out for Santa:
DANTE: I don’t think cookies are a big enough reward for all that hard work delivering things!
ME: Okay, what do you think a better reward would be?
DANTE: A present?
ME: That’s very thoughtful of you. What do you think we should give Santa as a present?
DANTE: Well, I think you pick the present. But certainly not anything of mine.
We had gone on the Celestial Seasonings factory tour a few days prior while my sister was in town, and picked up some holiday teas from the gift shop. I suggested one of those, and he liked the idea, so we put a ribbon on it and put it next to the cookies.
It’s been fun to have Christmas in our new house. We have a beautiful spot for the tree, and an honest-to-goodness mantel over a gas fireplace. I felt quite cheery and Victorian hanging our stockings over an actual fire, albeit a glassed-in one.