This December was simple, and really sweet.
We enjoyed the usuals of Christmas tree decorating, reading the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, watching Elf, and Jonathan even helped me with some holiday baking...
But we really tried to keep this Christmas season focused on Christ--in a way that Jonathan could begin to understand. It wasn't easy to figure out, but one night when I heard Fabio tell Jonathan that "We have a tree in our house to help us think about Jesus at Christmastime," I realized I'd been making it much harder than it needed to be.
A few days later, I took Jonathan to Sears with me to run some errands. As we walked past the huge selection of Christmas trees for sale, I heard my little buddy pointing at each one saying, "Think about Jesus. Think about Jesus. Think about Jesus."
So I committed to keep it simple.
We played with Jonathan's little nativity scene and talked about each character. Jonathan loved to make sure that all the animals had a turn to kiss Baby Jesus goodnight. We sang Christmas songs every night before bed. We told Jonathan that we put presents under the tree to help us remember Jesus's gift to us of salvation. We made cookies for our neighbors and talked about how we try extra hard to make other people happy while the Christmas tree is up to remember what Jesus would do.
And one day, while I cleaned up lunch I heard a little voice in the family room say, "Baby Jesus, are you hungry? Let's get you something to eat." And when I came back to the table, I found this:
It was a simple Christmas Season, but it was perfect for us. Jonathan loved the decorations, telling me again and again, "They're beautiful, Mommy! Good job!" It's amazing what a sincere compliment from a two-year-old can do for you!
Jonathan didn't really get the "presents" thing until Christmas Eve when I took him to the dollar store to buy his presents for everyone. He got so excited by the spirit of giving, that by the time picked out his dad's present he knew exactly what he wanted to get for him without any guidance. When we got home, J helped me "wrap" them and put them under the tree and then he was ready for present-opening to start! But he was pretty good about waiting until the next day.
Christmas morning Jonathan realized the fun of present-opening! He loved his Thomas tracks and trains (I made a haul on E-bay--I couldn't believe my good luck),
His helicopter from Naynay and Dap,
And his Lightning McQueen from Vovo and Noel.
And he was so thrilled to give Daddy his special present, picked out entirely by himself:
When Jonathan was getting ready for bed, Fabio asked him what he got for him for Christmas. Jonathan looked at him and said, "A blue bucket. It's under the tree." Fabio was so confused until he opened it!
And of course, we finished the morning with our traditional french toast on our Christmas plates I made Fabio risk "life and limb" to get with me last year in the jungles of Malaysia... and I love them! Worth it!
For basically the rest of the afternoon, I sat at the piano with Jonathan making requests of the next Christmas song to sing. His favorites: "Silent Night" and "Angels" (Angels We Have Heard On High).
It was perfect.
(So perfect that when, a week later, Jonathan came around the corner to see I had taken down the Christmas tree and put the decorations in boxes he yelled, "Grinch! Why are you taking our Christmas Tree? Why?" And asked me that for the next four days. Lest I get too pleased with how our holidays went, there's nothing like being called the Grinch to bring you back to your place. Love that little man.)