Christmas Fun for 2012

Generally, I don’t really approve of the whole commercialisation of special occasions and I try not to get drawn into it. I’m completely unromantic about Valentine’s day (no flowers please! But if you must, a box of chocolates won’t go astray…) and my reaction to Christmas is sort of the same.

When he was quite little, Aristotle asked me about Santa Claus and I admitted that he wasn’t real. Yes, what a way to let down a kid, but I figured a child like Aristotle would want the truth so I gave it to him. When he asked me about the tooth fairy, I told him the same thing: the tooth fairy is not real. Then one day, he told me, “I think I should just keep my tooth under my pillow just in case the tooth fairy is real.” Well, if he wants to believe in the magic, then perhaps I should let him. After all, cynical as I am about the commercialisation of festivals, I am still susceptible to the magic of Christmas. When I bought our fake pine tree to decorate (I cannot justify buying a live tree that won’t make it past the New Year), I couldn’t escape the giddy feeling of childish delight I felt when I walked out of the shop, nor the eagerness I felt to decorate it. I blame the years of brainwashing by TV programs featuring Christmas trees and holly and presents and stockings by the fireplace…

Last year, all we did was decorate a gingerbread house for Christmas. This year, we’ve done the whole shebang…

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We got the tree and decorated it as a family. Okay, okay – I put it up and decorated most of it but Aristotle did help me hang up the ornaments. Hercules helped by pulling off all the ornaments we had already hung up. His look of awe when we got the lights on was worth all the nonsense he got up to before hand, though. Clearly, he takes after my crow-like fascination with bright colours and shiny things. Hubby found it extremely amusing to watch me play with my Christmas lights the day I bought them. Since I promised to wait for the kids to decorate the tree, the best I could do was plug them in, turn them on and watch the lights blinking according to the different settings programmed.

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I made stockings for the boys and we decorated them. Well, I did Hercules’ for him because I figured he’d probably be more interested in dipping his fingers into the glue pot and smearing them all over the table than in actually sticking bits of shinies to his stocking. As it turns out, he finds it more fun to pull the sequins off the stockings – but only his brother’s, much to Aristotle’s annoyance.

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I would have left it at the tree and Christmas stocking but Aristotle insisted that we needed a fireplace to hang our stockings over. So this was my effort at making an artificial fire – bits of orange, red, and yellow felt crumpled and tied together into a “fire” bundle and placed over rolled-up logs of felt in various shades of brown. The kitchen counter made a nice frame for our fire place, so I used that as the backdrop with two sheets of black foam to create the “opening” of my fireplace.

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Yes, I know, it is a fire hazard – our tree is too close to the open flames of our fireplace. I’ve already had Hercules fall into the fire and exclaim, “Ow! Fire hot!” Well, at least he knows it’s supposed to be a fire…

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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