This is the first year that Elliott truly understands the meaning of Christmas, at least as much as a three year old can. He fills our house with non-stop caroling. Any given moment you’ll hear a broken and incomplete version of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, or Santa Clause is Coming to Town. Sometimes he puts bits and pieces of his versions together in a medley to create a brand new song. Suddenly, Frosty has a red nose, Rudolph is bouncing through town past a traffic cop like its opening day of deer season, and Santa is battling depression triggered by elves that won’t let him join in any of their elf games. But no matter how twisted the lyrics get, the excitement remains.
Ian has made the transition from crawling to walking in the last week, which has increased his vertical leap by about 3 feet. Leave him alone for ten minutes and he has the bottom half of our Christmas tree completely undressed. Not a single ornament more than the day we got it at Wal-Mart. At some point we will concede defeat and decide it is cool to only decorate the top two feet of our tree. Maybe we’ll accept a tree and a star.
Elliott is warming up to the idea of Santa actually entering our house to deliver the gifts, which will save me traveling several blocks over to pick them up. We went to our local fire station this past Saturday for a pancake breakfast with Santa Clause. I asked Elliott if he was going to sit on Santa’s lap. He said no. I asked Santa if he would mind terribly putting on some sort of a disguise. He looked at me like I was stupid. So I asked Elliott if he would sit on MY lap while I sat in the general vicinity of Santa on the same bench. He was OK with that, so Katie had Ian on her lap, Elliott was on mine, and we all shared the same bench with Santa, which I’m sure will be as close as we get this year.
Elliott has been into his Christmas specials this year. It amazes me how long some of these shows have managed to live on. It has been many years since I’ve seen some of them, and I must admit, as I’ve watched them with Elliott, some of them aren’t at all what I remembered.
Take Frosty the Snowman for example. I was hesitant to watch that one with Elliott because I recalled it having such a sad ending. Frosty melted into a big puddle on the floor of a greenhouse and was never seen again. That’s where my memory froze. But he was seen again. I didn’t remember it, but Santa came and saved the day and Frosty lived and hopped a train to live happily ever after in the land of the cold. And then more recently, Frosty returned. He came back sounding like John Goodman. It seemed a good casting until I considered the possibility of Roseanne as Frosty, which somehow seemed better, especially if Frosty would sing the National Anthem.
And I didn’t remember all the monsters. The winter warlock in Santa Clause is Coming to Town, or the abominable snowman in Rudolph. I remembered Rudolph having to fight off a bunch of bullying friends, but an abominable snowman too, that’s a bit much. So in most cases watching these specials is like watching them for the first time. And Elliott loves watching them, so many of them are now like watching them for the 100th time. There are disadvantages to a DVR.
I’m sure the Christmas stories will continue to grow and I look forward to sharing them.