We set up the Christmas tree last Sunday. The girls helped for the first time ever, and the experience was quite amusing.
Thing 1 was so excited to help me get the tree out of the garage attic, she was dancing around underneath me while I carried it down the ladder. We brought it in and put it together and they both were so excited. I plugged it in and Thing 2 said, “I don’t like it.” I asked why not and she said “Because it doesn’t have any color.”
Admittedly the lights are not very big, and they’re all white so she does have a point. Maybe when I take it down I should take off the white lights, and I should go buy some colored lights for it. I saw a home decorating show where they had big colorful bulbs on their tree and I thought it looked great… I just wonder how much I’d have to pay for them.
Then we pulled out the ornaments. Thing 1 and 2 had so much fun helping put them on. Their strategy for ornament placement was… somewhat limited. “Put them right in front of you.” After a while of this, almost every ornament I gave them was on about four branches, of course all about the same height on the tree, right by where I was opening up the boxes. Several branches had five or six ornaments on each twig, with a half a dozen nearby ornaments so close they were bumping into each other. I suggested that Thing 1 move the balls apart, so they weren’t all so clumped up and she said, “But Mommy, they’re Friends!”
Thing 2’s expression was fantastic, each time I pulled out a new ornament her jaw would drop and she would gush over the new ornament. I tried to wait until she’d hung one before I gave her another, but seeing as how she was only putting them on those four branches and was having trouble finding space for new ones, she’d often turn around with the previous ornament still in her hand.
Then Thing 1 found the hook bag, and decided since we have so many empty hooks it was up to her to make new ornaments for them. She came in and raided my sticker drawer and started making paper faces, with a combination of stickers and her own drawings. She cut the faces out and then brought to me to pierce with an ornament hook, and she’d place them on the tree.
They both really enjoyed the whole process. Of course after they went to bed I spent quite a bit of time re-arranging all the ornaments.
The next day I put out all the rest of the Christmas decorations, the nativities and snowmen and stuff. Thing 1 and 2 hung out in the living room, sort of helping and sort of entertaining themselves. Thing 2 found the Robert Sabuda books and started reading them, to my dismay. They’re rather delicate and she seems compelled to touch all the moving parts. As I tried to do what I was doing, yet keep an eye on her, I kept reminding her to not touch the paper. Finally she looked up at me quite annoyed and said, “Do I have to go somewhere else to read it?” Remember she’s THREE and talks with a funny little three year old voice. I had to leave the room so she wouldn’t see me laughing.