Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas magic

Christmas presents are strewn about my house.  Tiny slips of wrapping paper inevitably end up in HT's mouth and the giant platter of cookies seems to miraculously lose a few cookies every few minutes or so.  Christmas is over.  We are in the lazy post-Christmas haze where we stay in pajamas for far too long, sip our coffee near the tree and slowly cycle through playing with all the toys that Santa  left behind.  In between playing with toys, we torture HT by putting a block or a spinning top just out of her reach so she has to crawl to it.  We marvel out her methodical ability to scoot, crawl, and roll to get what she wants.  Basically, I'm in trouble!

This was our first Christmas where Bean fully understood the great myth of Santa.  With her father's help, she wrote a very specific Christmas list.  For herself, she wanted a Pocahontas doll, a John Smith doll, an Aurora doll, a Mulan doll, a Snow White Doll, a Rapunzel doll, a Flynn Rider doll...do you see a trend?  For HT, she wanted Santa to give tummy time toys.  For her mom, Santa was to bring breast pumping stuff.  For her dad, Santa was to get him another IPad.  For Gram, Santa was to bring magnets and for Pop Pop, Santa should bring a big bowl of shrimp.  We took her for the obligatory trip to see Santa.  She was awestruck, but not scared.  Bean does this funny little wave when she gets too excited.  She holds her hand up to her cheek and waves her hand like a little royal but with her fingers spread into an almost Vulcan greeting.  Well, Santa got the super-excited wave and a quick little hug and then the Christmas list was whispered quietly to the big man himself.

I wrestled with the idea of getting everything on her list.  On one hand, I wanted Christmas to be special and memorable but I also feared getting everything for her might make her an entitled brat.  As a kid, I remember going to F. A. O. Shwarz with my family.  My parents made it abundantly clear that the store was too expensive for us and that I was to look at the toys only.  I was mesmerized by everything: the giant stuffed animals that towered over my dad, the Barbie section was practically a whole floor and the toys all seemed extraordinary.  I remember thinking that the North Pole probably looked a lot like that toy store only with elves.  Well, that Christmas I got a drawing set from Santa and it cemented for me the whole Santa thing.  I knew when I opened it up that Santa had seen me in the store, yearning for the box of colored pencils.  I knew that Santa was real.  And I believed in magic for a little bit longer.

Rationally, I know that Bean has many years ahead of her for believing in Christmas magic, and as much as my gut said to not buy every single thing on her list, I caved in because I wanted her to feel that sense of glee, that bit of shock that Santa really did pay attention to her every whim.  Each unwrapped doll elicited a  "Oh my Goodness!  How did Santa know?"  Bean was so happy.  HT was happy just watching her sister and we were happy because those two girls were our very own magic.

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