Sunday, November 30, 2008

Deck the Halls

Barely have we digested Thanksgiving dinner when the boxes in the basement are opened. I live for this. Except for the lights. I hate the lights. This year every strand blew out and every tree and garland that was pre-wired had to be undone and redone. But once we're past that nonsense I live for this, really. Fire up the holiday music and let's get to it. Julie's in her element. "We got a lot of work to do today, Mom!"

Big year for AJ. 5 is such a great age. It started with Halloween when the concept of trick-or-treating really clicked in and you could see the lightbulb going off in his head. Candy? At every house? Just ring the doorbell? They're giving it away? Cool!!

And now this year he and Julie decorated the playroom tree all by themselves and AJ was all, "I can do it! I can hang it! Need more hooks, Mom! No, let me, don't help, I want it right here..." In the end it was just the classic picture of a tree decorated from the middle down and the whole top is bare where they can't reach.

Each of them has a little tree in their room and AJ was very particular about his. I mean picky! The boat goes here. No here. Try it over there. No point it the other way. It's not straight. At one point he looked at me and said, "It has to look good, Mom! I want it to look nice!" Gee, wonder where he got that from....

The living room tree has all the Gladys Boalt ornaments. My mother-in-law has been giving them to me every year for 15 years now, and started a collection for each grandchild. AJ is collecting the Peter Pan series; I have the Nutcracker series; Julie was doing Alice in Wonderland for a while but then wanted Nutcracker ones too.

Tomorrow starts the Advent calendar. The kids take turns opening the day's door and there's a small gift or treat all through December, and then Santa brings just one big gift. The calendar boxes don't hold anything bigger than a jellybean so I put in notes with a clue to where something is hidden - Julie loves that part and she's at an age where you can be more cryptic with the clues or write the note in code that she has to figure out. Some nights it's a toy, others it's candy, sometimes the note will just read "fall asleep in Mommy's bed" or "let's go to Coldstone Creamery" or "bowling night". We've been collecting money all fall for charity so one of the nights we'll decide how we're going to spend it and do that together.

It just makes it all last longer. The days go by so fast. I mean, what the hell happened to November? It was like a three-week month. And watching the weekends rapidly fill up in December, it's crazy. So I like giving a little treat every night rather than one gigantic rave on the 25th.

I'm going now to load Christmas music on my iPod. To all a good night.

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