Kids are adorable. Well, Charlie is adorable. I can’t vouch for your kid.
We promised Charlie a Christmas Tree. I love a real tree. Sure, you can buy the ones that are already lit, perfectly proportioned, and ready to hold a Target’s worth of ornaments. But you’re missing out on the trail of needles, the need to water your soon-to-be-dead-tree, and the aroma of Christmas. To me, Christmastime is the smell of Douglas Fir. I hope to make it Charlie’s lasting hallmark of Christmas.
But he is far too young for me to be wishing him nostalgia. He barely knows what an Advent Calendar is. Well, that’s not entirely true. He knows they’re a box with a lot of doors full of chocolate.
Sarah bought him one to teach him about Christmas, Jesus, Advent, Patience, and Chocolate. We quickly discovered its utility in bribery. If you eat a good dinner, and eat your asparagus and chicken and rice “all gone”, we can open an Advent door and read the verse and eat the delicious chocolate. It worked for the first day. And the second. Charlie caught on. There’s chocolate behind every door.
On December 3, Sarah gave him his chocolate and Charlie wanted another. Sarah took the Advent calendar and propped it on the table so he could look at the Christmas Train scene. Charlie told mommy that he wanted to look at it up close, so mommy let him hold it. He immediately ripped open a door (14th of December), caught the tumbling premature chocolate, and popped it into his mouth. Quick as a flash. I was on the other side of the kitchen and looked over at the commotion and saw Charlie staring defiantly at Mommy, Mommy agape processing the mischievousness of her sweet angel, and then I stared at the coffee maker for fear that Charlie could see me crying my eyes out in laughter at the scene. This was one of those hilarious parenting moments that you certainly did NOT want to let your little one know was funny. I felt sorry that Sarah had to keep it together, then I looked at her and saw that she wasn’t having any problem at all. Her look was genuine, and I pretty much had to leave the room. Mommy was stern that Charlie was NOT getting December 4th’s chocolate. It was my favorite memory of this Christmas, and all for naught, because…
December 4 was the Boar’s Head Ceremony. The Boar’s Head (as I understand, is the rarest dish in all the land) is a ceremony celebrating Oglethorpe’s best and brightest. It rings in the Christmas celebration at Oglethorpe and recognizes all past and newly minted Omicron Delta Kappa’s (Oglethorpe’s campus leaders. Sarah’s one). It starts with a banquet, crescendos with a concert, and finishes with a feast. Chocolate abounds. The concert this year was a test. We brought Charlie and tried to get him to sit through the whole thing. We pulled out every trick that we had. I bounced him on my leg, Sarah fed him Peanut Butter crackers. We got through. We told Charlie about the singers, made him watch the tuba, told him what the conductor Dr. Ray was doing. He was the maestro, leading the pack. Between two incredibly soft and somber Christmas songs, Charlie figured out Dr. Ray, and wanted to be the conductor. Dr. Ray lifted his baton, tapped his music stand, and Charlie belted out “Ready, Set, Go!” Luckily our section was small, otherwise the laughter from Stage Right might have overshadowed the maestro.
Aaand that was my favorite part about this Christmas. Until we got our Christmas tree.
We went to the Brookhaven Christian Church, where we get all of our pumpkins in the fall and our Christmas trees in the Christmas, and picked out a tree. They had a good run this year, but wanted to be done with trees. How much is this tree? $65. What’s this brown here? Uh… $45. Deal. So we brought the tree home, made dinner (Sarah was Hangry. Urban Dictionary it. I learned a new term too.) and then I mounted it in the stand. I had the great idea to put the lights on the tree in the garage, since I was mounting the tree in the stand in the garage anyway, and I could easily walk all around it. Lit it up. Wrapped it, re-wrapped it, took some slack out and re-wrapped it, then I re-wrapped it. After I re-wrapped it, I got Charlie to come back out and countdown to lighting, which when you’re two years old, is exactly like counting up. One. Two. Three! I plugged in the tree, and Charlie was amazed. “Wow!” he said. “Happy Birthday, Mr. Christmas!”
Best Christmas yet. And we’re still 3 weeks away.