I hereby admit to some degree of grinchdom. And I am the parent of a kid full of the wonder and energy of the holiday season. Were it not for that energy, I might go full grinch on y'all.
It's not so much that I don't want to celebrate the season. In fact, that's just it. I'd like to celebrate the season -- the coming of winter, the falling of leaves, the ice on the windshield, the crisp of the air, the changing of the year. I like to see the outside world get all cleaned up for spring. I like to think about what I learned (and didn't) during the year and what I want to do differently (be nicer to myself) or the same (veggies, exercise) in the coming year.
I also love getting holiday cards with obligatory letters. I love the lights. I love how all of those things that stretch my patience make my son's eyes light up.
We took him to Santa Cruz for the holiday lights train on the weekend. We ate kettle corn. We sang Christmas carols (see above admission to some degree of grinchdom). He told Santa he wants a real train to pull freight cars. I told him he should talk to Grampa Doug about full-size toys. He didn't get the joke (nor will most of you...).
@ and I went shopping the other day. He was pointing out things he wanted. He's four, he wants everything; it's a wonder he doesn't strain his arm with all the pointing... We sat down on the store floor to look at things and talk.
(Apparently, based on the looks I get, sitting on a store floor with a small child is really weird. I don't care. I'm going to talk with my kid, not at him from above.)
I talked to him about gifts. We decided that when he saw something he wanted, he'd think about who might like it as a gift. We bought a garden gnome candle for Jason (who happens to have a gnome tattooed on his chest), a dog ornament for Jeff and Katie (parents of Luke's best buddy, Butch), a tiny snow globe with Santa in it for X (clever kid, he gets to see it on his dad's tree), etc. You get the picture.
And then when he actually gave some of the gifts? Giant smiles as they opened them and giant smiles from them as well. Now there's a gift.
This morning he pointed out some of his toys and said that there's probably a baby who would like them because he's a "pretty big worker now."
Now there's another gift right there for me. I have one rad lad for a son.