Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas! Ours was pretty fantastic. The whole month of December was in fact. We made a lot of cookies. We went Christmas Caroling in our neighborhood. I made the kids drive around and look at an obscene amount of Christmas lights. And we made it to church on Christmas Eve this year. Which you wouldn’t think would be difficult since that’s the only time a lot of people make it to church. But…with the party hopping we do so that we can spend time with all of our family, it’s been tough make it to mass.
We’ve learned a thing or two at Casa Del Clover this holiday season. Thing number one is that 4th quarter is a little Scroogey for our family business. It took us three years to figure out that little seasonal slump. But now we get it. And we’ll be moving through 2011 with that in mind.
The second, and most important thing that we learned is that thing number one doesn’t have anything to do with Christmas cheer. We cut way back on the amount of gifts we purchased this year, the number of people we purchased for, and the amount we spent overall. And it didn’t even matter. Not one bit. There were still squeals and smiles and lots of ripped paper on Christmas morning. (That’s right. I channeled my grandmother and wrapped boxes of sugar cereal. I worried that it would be ghetto. They LOVED it.)
Phew! I guess it doesn’t matter how many Hallmark movies you watch, sometimes you just have to learn life’s lessons firsthand.
Incidentally, part of the reason that our kids didn’t have to worry about whether or not Santa was coming down the chimney is because they have grandparents who spoil them rotten. So please don’t misunderstand our reigned in spending for a minimalist holiday. We are good people. But we aren’t Saints. I would love to tell you that our little family got through the holidays on love and baked goods. But there was an awful lot of Mattel and electronics up in here. C’est la vie. And thank God for the abundance we are blessed with here at Casa Del Clover. I know that many aren’t so lucky.
Kids being kids and all, mine were pretty caught up in the Santa-ness of the season this year. Sweet Pea wrote approximately 84,000 letters to Santa. She eagerly climbed up on his lap to tell him her hearts desires. And she wrote him a love note to leave with his plate of cookies. Will was more skeptical of his face to face encounter with the big guy. He didn’t mutter a single syllable while he was sitting on his lap. But he did smile. And he didn’t scream, cry, or even flinch. Progress!
I think the big difference is that Sweet Pea thinks of Santa as a jolly old elf with a big sack of toys. Will sees him more as a prosecuting attorney. He kept singing the lyrics to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” in a tone that suggested he was checking his rule book. He must have told me a million times that he did NOT want rocks for Christmas. On Sunday he informed me in a relieved voice that “Santa isn’t watching me anymore.” (My loss. Clearly.)
It’s Ok though. I have no doubts that he’ll be able to afford the therapy he may someday need to help him get over his deep seeded fear of Santa. Besides, that made room in his heart for his number one favorite person this Christmas season - Baby Jesus himself! It seems to be the trend when you’re three at our house. One adorable year of sweet and innocent Baby Jesus love before you get wise to the gift racket. And for the record, I will sing Away in a Manger as many times as they ask.
The dismantling of Christmas is slowly beginning here. I start my new job on Monday, and the thought of my house looking like a corner of the North Pole all next week is making me stabby. But I still have some pictures to share, so Clover might be holly jolly for a while longer. This Christmas was fabulous and I want to remember it through the eyes of my 3 and 6 year old kiddos. I have a sneaking suspicion that next year won’t be quite the same.