Happy Advent everyone! Or, as my son likes to call it, Christmas. He was fairly certain that Thanksgiving was also Christmas, although I tried to explain to his resistant, four-year-old mind that they were actually two separate holidays. But he was on school vacation! And there was snow! How could it be anything other than Christmas?!
To make matters worse, we brought out the advent calendar last week, so that the elves could fill it with goodies. Getting that boy to not open those doors was, and is, a daily struggle. The calendar does not start until December 1st, so this morning was the first time the kids could legitimately open one of the tiny gateways to joy and, as luck would have it, it is his sister’s year to open the first door. He still has to wait until tomorrow. Or, as he likes to call it, Christmas.
Yesterday was the first Sunday in Advent, so church started to get Christmasy, with carols sung and candles lit. He was sure that it was Christmas. I dashed his hopes once again, and so he asked, “Is tomorrow Christmas?” It’s going to be a long December.
We went out after church and got our tree, cutting it down with expert hands, all family members helping to ensure that Dad did not get crushed by any falling conifers this year. Then we spent the afternoon trimming the tree, putting up all of our decorations, and listening to Christmas carols. At dinner we lit candles. After dinner we watched Rudolph. And when the children were tucked into their beds, we told them to be excited about the beginning of December and the first door of the Advent calendar, which would be opened in the morning. Sleepy excitement was in the air.
This morning, my poor son was very disappointed. “Santa didn’t come!” he said sadly, looking mournfully at the lit-up branches with the bare tree skirt underneath. “No presents!” I explained to him that this was because it was, once again, not Christmas, but I don’t know if he believed me. He was also very concerned about going to school, since it was clearly a holiday and not a school day. But the bus came and picked him up, so hopefully that convinced him. Probably not. He most likely still believes that he is the target of a massive conspiracy designed by me to keep all of his Christmas presents from him.
We will fill the month with fun things. We will bake cookies. We will make gingerbread houses. We will see shows and sing songs. We will play in the snow (I assume we will be getting snow at some point…), and we will watch Ernest Saves Christmas at least a dozen times. It will be full of magic and wonder, and I hope that it will be enough to keep my son from imagining that every single day for the next three weeks is actual Christmas. But, you know, probably not.