They’re not funny questions or observations to them of course. They’re almost three so they question everything. As they should, as we all should. Their wonder is coupled only by their questions and so it balances out. In fact, you get so used to the non-stop barrage of questions with 2 three-year-olds, that when they aren’t barreling questions at you, you almost miss it. You feel like you need to address everyone on the street with explanations for how things work. You exclaim your GREAT JOY about everyday little things in the midst of a workday rush hour and most have their heads down and have no time for your joy. SHARE IT ANYWAY. People tend to give me funny looks when I do that though so I use the little self control I have. Sometimes.
Our religion is love and gratitude, so the traditional Christmas story is not one we engage in at this time of year, but we appreciate it for all those who do and whatever brings you joy and comfort in these terrible awful times, I say grab it. GRAB IT. And leave others to grab what comforts them in peace. No criticism or making fun. Help each other. Love each other. Be kind. It’s simple. It’s love. Happy Holidays to you.
Now, onto some funny business!
Christmastime has a lot of weird shit going on, if you hadn’t noticed. I had forgotten how weird it all can be as I lived as an adult for decades with no little ones questioning some of this stuff. When you actually have to explain this stuff to kids who have no idea what’s going on, and don’t get sarcasm, it’s really a good test of your skills and quick thinking. THEY BELIEVE US. It’s exhausting, frankly, but also HILARIOUS.
THE SONGS. We listen to a lot of Christmas music in the car. In the house. We sing a lot of Christmas music. My girl can be heard belting Jingle Bells from her bed at any time of day or night. They put on a delightful Christmas show for us recently. However, some of these songs are very baby Jesus orientated, as they should be, right? We aren’t believers, but we appreciate the Christmas story this time of year. Hell, I watch 84 Hallmark Christmas movies (Mariah Carey WHAT) and as terrible as most of them are, it’s the feeling of the thing. Just the calming, sappy, formulaic 90 minutes I need during the kids nap time. The music is beautiful and the questions are bountiful.
WHAT DAT SONG ABOUT? WHO DAT BABY? WHAT DO THEY HEAR, MAMA? WHAT PA RUM PA PUM PUM?
That’s the Christmas baby, kids. People just love babies, and especially at Christmastime, so there are a lot of songs about the Christmas baby.
HEY WHY DEY DON’T WET RUDOLPH PWAY DERE REINDEER GAMES?
Because he has a red nose and all the other reindeer have black noses. But we know that red nose is really special and even if somebody is a little different, we still love them and let them play with us.
YEAH DATS NOT NICE.
SANTA. This guy. This dude in the red suit. We believe. We choose to believe.
WHERE DOES SANTA LIVE?
The North Pole.
Because that’s where Mrs. Claus and all his elves and reindeer live. And he has all his best pajamas there.
WHAT PAJAMAS DOES HE WEAR? (Sometimes I gotta know when to zip it)
He wears monkey pajamas like mama does.
MONKEYS DON’T DRIVE BEEBOOPS.
You’re right. Most monkeys don’t drive cars. But it’s fun to pretend they do, right?
IS HE BUSY GETTING ALL THE TOYS FOR GOOD GIRLS AND BOYS?
Yes. He’s very busy right now. You two have been good kids though, right? What is the present you want from Santa again?
A DIGGER TRUCK
A PINK BUNNY
Well if you keep behaving, Santa will bring you a present.
BEBE IF YOU ARE A GOOD GIRL SANTA WILL BRING YOU A PINK BUNNY.
GAH YOU HAVE TO BE A GOOD BOY AND STOP CRYING SO MUCH OR SANTA WON’T BRING YOU ANY PRESENTS.
Sometimes they just do all the work for me.
THE SHOWS. The Caillou special movie we’ve watched 47 times with the terrible songs that I secretly heart. The Curious George (I understand my monkey!) special that I really really love and they do too this year. Old school Rudolph and Charlie Brown Christmas (DERE’S SOMETHING SAD ABOUT HIM WHY IS HE SO SAD? It’s okay to be sad sometimes. Everybody gets sad and that’s okay. We can’t be happy all the time.). Christmas Dora, Paw Patrol, Sophia the First and Jake and the Neverland Pirates. There’s something incredibly charming and sweet about these shows and their special take on the holidays. I am thankful they take on some of the questions and explain them in ways that I am not quite clever enough to come up with.
MISTLETOE. This goes with #1 up there. My kids kept asking, “WHAT MISTLETOE?” because it’s mentioned in a surprising amount of holiday songs. So, I said, it’s a plant and the tradition is you hang it up someplace and then whenever you are underneath the mistletoe, you give a kiss to somebody you love.* I was in no mood to go searching for mistletoe so I made some and hung it up. Hard and fast smooches occur every time they happen to be underneath. With each other and with us. I like this tradition!
*NO kissing anybody if you don’t want to. That’s our hard and fast rule at all times.
GOOD KIDS DESERVE PRESENTS. BAD KIDS DESERVE HOT DOGS. – Bubby (doesn’t enjoy hot dogs)
What do you think Nikki would like for Christmas?
A WAMBY. SHE DOESN’T HAVE A WAMBY AND I FINK SHE WOULD REALLY WIKE IT. – Bebe
These sweatpants don’t fit you anymore buddy.
I KNOW! WE COULD GIVE DEM TO ANOTHER BOY WHO WOULD WIKE DEM. AS A PRESENT!
That’s really kind of you. Do you think we could give some presents to kids who don’t get presents at Christmas?
YES. WHY DON’T DEY GET PRESENTS?
Well they definitely should because they are good boys and girls, just like you. But sometimes Santa needs some help, so we are going to help by giving a present to them, does that sound like a good idea?
*FLAP FLAP FLAP* DAH MAMA! WETS GIVE PRESENTS!
oh the tears I cry on a non-stop basis, why I need to keep hydrating.
WHY DAT CHRISTMAS BABY WIF SANTA? WHY DAT GREEN DINOSAUR WIF THE ELVES? See what I mean? Some weird shit happens at Christmastime.
Well the Christmas baby really loves Santa and Santa loves babies and green dinosaurs like Christmas too. They work with the elves to make sure all the presents are ready to go. You can pretend anything you want about these decorations and make up your own stories, isn’t that fun?
OH WOOK AT DA CHRISTMAS BABY CAN I HOLD HIM HE’S SO CUTE.
No sweetie, put him down. Let’s just keep moving along. (all missing Nativity baby Jesuses may be traced back to my kids, I’m sorry)
CAN WE OPEN ANOTHER WINDOW NOW PEASE?
We have to wait for Daddy to get home. OK, find the 2 and the 1. That’s it! Open the window, what is the chocolate? Ok, how many windows do we have left until Christmas? Math and chocolate and Christmas tradition all rolled into one. And I even controlled myself enough to not rip them open and eat the chocolate one day when they were napping and I NEEDED that chocolate man. It’s a Christmas Miracle!
As they get older, I know the questions will get more difficult. I know their wonder will fade. But for now, this moment where they are just wide eyed and believe everything in front of them, it’s perfect. It’s bringing much needed relief and joy to this holiday that is hard for so many reasons. We miss people and we grieve. We wonder what will happen next. But not for this moment. For right now we take our celebrations where we can and we will not rush the challenges that are sure to come. I don’t want to miss what is right in front of me. It’s too good. Peace and love and understanding to all.
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