If there is anything having small children has taught me it’s keep things simple. Zoey and Nomi get excited by the little things in life and we are embracing that to have a simple Christmas. Twin toddlers are enough work – why add to it?
This is our third Christmas but really the first one they are old enough to enjoy. There are so many things I would love to do with them. A local production of Wind in the Willows, the Christmas tree in the town square, caroling, a bustling holiday market, a trip back to the UK to see family and a panto (“He’s behind you!”), visiting friends in the city and more gawking at lights. But these are mostly things I want to do they are not things the girls care about (let alone Alex!).
They are two. Having a tree with fairy lights in the living room is the height of excitement so why traipse to our local town square or into the city in the dark when the likely outcome will be more tears before bedtime. We tried taking them for a post dinner (5:30pm) walk to look at our neighbors lights but we didn’t get far before the wails for “sleeping time” set in so there’s little point in taking them further afield.
I can’t wait to share a Christmas theater experience with them, be it Wind in the Willows or A Christmas Carol or a panto in the UK but they are still too young to sit still. We can just about get through a meal with bums on seats and that’s with chicken legs and pudding as a hook. Our trip to the grocery store yesterday had them helping with everything. We still had to push two carts even though they won’t sit in them as they want their own cart to push and fill, and they may briefly want to sit in them to get a better look at the fish counter. So as much as I love theater (and loved it as a kid and seeing a production of A Christmas Carol is one of my earliest memories) and want to share it I will wait. (A local Shakespeare company does Shakespeare in the park for families in the summer. You can drift in and out of their plays so we might try that.)
I made a simple advent calendar out of felt squares that I can drop two squares of chocolate in every night. Two year olds are not known for their self control so the thought of buying pre-loaded chocolate advent calendars and then trying to explain that you don’t open all the doors at the same time. Yeah, that wouldn’t lead to a river of tears would it?
So this December we’ll be slowly decorating our tree (why rush an activity that could fill several afternoons), drinking lots of hot chocolate and having friends over to decorate cookies. It will feel like a special time of the year without all the rushing about and minimize over tiring the tiny humans in our life.
I must say that the thing the girls are most excited about is the prospect of snow. I hope it lives up to their expectations when it finally arrives, and they aren’t too disappointed that Pingu doesn’t come with it.
And, if anyone needs help wrapping presents they are really good at cutting tape and sticking. Unstoppable in that way two years are.