25 December 2012

"Christmas Eve"

First off, a confession: we celebrated Christmas Eve this year on December 25th.

We spent this holiday at home with minimal visitors. Both Corinne and I had late-breaking sinus infections, and Anders wasn't paying close attention to his Christmas chain. We had just started our antibiotic prescriptions a couple days earlier so we decided to celebrate Christmas one day later in the hopes that we would be further on our way to recovery. (I suspect this will be the last year that we will be able to pull that one off undetected.)

Our Christmas tree had been up and lit for about a month, but it was otherwise only lightly decorated. So one of the "Christmas Eve" tasks was to finish putting ornaments on the tree. Anders was an active participant in the decorating but often had to be reminded that ornaments could also be put in DIFFERENT places. Case in point: his placement of the candy canes on the tree.

These are all of the canes that went on the tree

I guess he will know where to go if he wants one

While decorating the tree, Anders would tell us where various animals lived in the tree. According to Anders, the tree was divided into quadrants; Bunny, Owl, Bobcat and Anders - who is actually a Bear named "Crunch" - had their houses in each section respectively, and crow's house was on the very top. As he put ornaments on the tree, he would tell us whose house he was decorating.

Anders also suggested that we should hang some of his matchbox cars on the tree as ornaments. Why not? We loved that he was thinking creatively and making suggestions.

A little string and a hook, and voila!

Perhaps one of the most remarkable events of the day was the puzzle. Anders has always been a big fan of puzzles, and he has done all kinds from the 12-piece wooden Melissa and Doug puzzles, to the old-time Playskool wooden frame, and as big as a 50-piece floor puzzle. But on this day he decided that he was going to do a "real" puzzle, of the 1,000 piece non-kid variety. Grandma Donna stayed with us for the duration of the holidays and is a puzzler herself, so she and Anders sat down at the table with the "real" puzzle.

Anders worked on this puzzle uninterrupted for over an hour. For real.

Overall it was a low key day, which suited us just fine. In the evening we made candy cane cookies and left a note for Santa under the tree. The note included the first mention of a number of new LEGO construction toys. I hope Santa can handle last minute requests!

We also left the obligatory carrots for the reindeer on the stoop outside the front door. Anders counted the total number of reindeer - nine - to ensure that we put out enough carrot pieces for each of them to have their own.

Anders was excited for Christmas, but he still had his full negotiating powers on display. At bedtime, Anders announced that Santa was getting ready to get in his sleigh, so he should go right to bed without brushing or flossing his teeth. Somehow reading stories at bedtime was still okay, though. He eventually relented when Corinne told him that "Santa only puts candy in the stockings of kids with sparkly teeth." Even after all that, he still had no problem getting in bed and falling asleep. He must have inherited Corinne's good sleeping genes.

Sometime later that night, Santa did arrive. Since we were celebrating a day later than just about everyone else, he probably didn't have much else to do that night.

Merry Christmas (Eve)!

- Mike, Corinne and Anders