Are we ever in the Christmas spirit at our house! The tree is up and decorated, presents are wrapped, and the manger scenes are up. Lucien helped to set up the nativity set I had from when I was a child. Just as I remember doing, he will arrange and rearrange all the figurines and tell stories with them. (Can you tell that he is doing sound effects in this picture?) He has asked to hear the Christmas story so many times! He is upset that my nativity does not come with an angel, because how can he act out the parts where the angel speaks to Mary and then the shepherds? Grandma sent him a fabulous early Christmas present, though – a magnetic manger scene that he can arrange on the front of our fridge. And this manger scene does have an angel. And a star. So all is well! We tell, retell, reenact, arrange, and rearrange. What a lovely way to learn the Christmas story!
We also have an advent calendar. I have seen all these adorable DIY ideas on Pinterest, but I was not quite on-the-ball enough to put one together myself. I ordered a Playmobil calendar, though, and it is a huge hit! This was Lucien’s excited face when I told him that he had a special present he could open on December 1.
We set up the cardboard backdrop together; I explained the concept of counting down the days until Christmas, I told him he was going to open a special little toy that he could add to the house every day, then I asked him to find the number 1 on his box. To date, we have a rocking horse, a Christmas elf, and a toy shelf filled with dolls, balls, and books in the house.
In addition to our nightly ritual of the advent calendar, we are doing nightly Christmas stories from a couple of very special books, Grandma and Grandpa read to me from these books when I was a child, and they passed them on to Lucien. Some of the stories are funny, some are Biblical, some are traditional fairy tales, some are just heartwarming holiday tales. And they all bring back memories for me!
Speaking of bibliophilia, we attended a Christmas-themed story time at the public library with special guest the Fairy Godmother. Lucien remembered and enjoyed her Halloween presentation, so he was enthusiastic about the Christmas show. She read stories, did magic tricks, played music (and Lucien got up and danced!). She needed a special volunteer for one of her magic tricks, and Lucien was thrilled because she chose Grandpa! He helped the Fairy Godmother make snow, right in the library!
Even though we live in Hawaii, we still love having snow during the Christmas season! So we also made some snow right in our own kitchen. Four parts baking soda to one part hair conditioner makes soft, moldable, scented snow. (And as an added bonus, playing with it makes your hands soft!) Lucien and I measured and mixed and made a mess on the kitchen floor, and we had a great time. He was trying his hardest not to smile in this picture, can you tell?
Then Lucien told me that if we had snow, then we had to make snowballs, and then a snowman, just like Henry and Mudge. And he had to have a carrot nose and sticks for arms. We found a carrot in the fridge and some twigs outside, and then my little artist set to work. He was very pleased with the finished product.
After Lucien had concluded his play we went out back to wash off our equipment. I think Lucien enjoyed the clean-up as much as the creating! Spraying the hose and creating mountains of sweet-smelling bubbles was just as fantastic a sensory experience as making the snow.
Unfortunately, Grandpa had to go back home to Wisconsin, and we already miss him! I so enjoyed having him here. I leave you with some gratuitous cuteness – pictures from one of our outings together – to Target to buy dried fruit! Lucien was thrilled.
Oh, and one more ridiculously cute picture I can’t help but share – Saint Nicholas came!!