Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Different Kind of Holiday

This year the holidays look different. Not wrong, just different. Last year it was our first Christmas hosting. It was our first Christmas home; Santa finally came to our house and it was wonderful. For years, we wanted to stay home for Christmas. Even before kids, we wanted Santa to come to our house instead of trekking all over for the holidays. This year, is our second year at home - though our home is much further than it was last year.

At first it was a bit heartbreaking to explain that MyUncleChris was not going to be sleeping over on Christmas - even though she thinks he always does. I guess that's the thing when you are 4, if the only Christmas you really remember is your 3rd - of course everything that you remember is what you always do. Now, she understands we won't have the same house full of people or that we won't have anyone coming over like we did last year. It wasn't like we had our entire extended family over, but with two out of three sets of grandparents and one out of three uncles or aunts - those numbers plus a super small apartment? This meant a full house. This year it's the four of us.

It's a special holiday because it's JJ's first Christmas and L's first as a big sister. Someone to share it all with. Sure, JJ is 4 months old - but the way L walks her through what is about to happen? It's magical. The way her 4 year-old hyped up self can slow down, even if for a moment, to tell her baby sister to expect wonderful. It's Christmas-errific. Santa is coming over with a vengeance (damn you incredibly reasonable deals & adorable child) and for the last few weeks we've been receiving packages from friends & family. We are planning a trip "home" after the holidays (no dates have been decided, family) and I'm sure there will be more holiday merriment to be had. It's not that she won't have a wonderful Christmas. In fact, I believe this will be one of the best - each one is better because she understands it more and can get excited and into it. But it's different, even if she doesn't realize how much.

To make this year special, seeing as she wasn't going to be seeing everyone, she's been involved in the gift giving process. While it would have been 1000% (no typo - I meant to go over - way over- 100%) easier to just do the shopping myself or only shop online and have people wrap their own presents and or spend the wrapping fee (which kills me); since L loves to go shopping we included her in every present. She loved it. If there was a choice - she picked it out. If we were given a store to shop in, she did the selecting. She helped to wrap every present and ch0ose every ribbon (which will promptly get smashed en route). She even decorated some of the boxes we shipped things in and carefully chose which pictures to send. If she could have addressed the boxes, she would have. 
I love this kid. And I can't wait to see what's to come. Wrapping, ribboning & decorating the box made her ridiculously happy. When her wildest imagination of toys, clothes & accessories explodes in her living room? She may combust.  And to help her sister unwrap a few goodies of her own? I just don't know my heart will be able to handle the joy. 

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