January 1, 2012

bells on pop-tails ring...

Hard to believe the Christmas season has already come and gone. Even though with a three-year-old in the house, the celebration started earlier than ever (November), it still managed to flash by in a moment. Last year Lady M got quite in to Christmas, or so I thought. Because it was nothing like the excitement she felt this year as we counted down the days to the arrival of S. Claus. She talked about Christmas constantly, learned several carols verbatim, and told us every day of a new toy she hoped Santa would bring.

We had a friendly little 'elf on the shelf' visit our home this year, fondly named "Bubby" on the first morning he arrived. Lady M loved looking for him every morning when she awoke, and would pop by his daily location to chat with him here and there. On top of that, she received a special video message from Santa Claus' PNP, which she watched no fewer than ten times, quite proud that she was on Santa's 'nice list'. She also went to her first Santa Claus parade this year in our hometown, and got to see Lady A and I in the parade. Of course, she was most excited to see the big guy in his sleigh at the end of the parade!

This was the first year I couldn't really take Lady M Christmas shopping with me, as she's not the greatest at keeping a secret. For instance, we would pick something up for Cal and she would quickly say "Daddy, we got you a new coat!". So much for surprises! But, armed with this knowledge, I became well-acquainted with the glorious world of online shopping. Thanks to Toys R Us, Best Buy and Old Navy's respective online shopping systems, Christmas was easily completed, and delivered right to my door!

Lady A was blissfully oblivious to what was happening throughout the season, but she happily crawled around, climbed on her new presents, and tried to eat lots of colourful wrapping paper and bows. Just about right for a little one who is approaching the 8-month mark! Lady M gladly "helped" her sister open all of her presents, even going the extra mile, testing them all out for Lady A. If that's not sisterly love, I don't know what is!

But my favourite part of this Christmas, by far, was Lady M's love of Christmas carols. Between the ones we sang at home, the CD of kids carols we had in the car, and the songs she learned at preschool, her musical repertoire grew tenfold this year, and she has been singing non-stop for weeks.

Her favourite two songs were Rudolph and Jingle Bells, even if she thought the bells on 'pop-tails' were ringing! She then took her beautiful singing skills to the stage with all of her preschool friends when she took part in her first Christmas recital. A proud moment for any parent, naturally. She was adorable, decked out in her pretty party dress, belting out tunes alongside her adorable little classmates. What's not to love?

As the youngest in my family, I always heard people say that Christmas is better with kids. I didn't really understand it until I became a parent, and after spending four Christmases with Lady M, and one now with Lady A, I have no doubt that Christmas will be a little more fabulous and fun with each passing year.

So, the bells on pop-tails have stopped ringing for this year, but the memories will keep me happy for the next eleven months until we get set to do it all again.

Happy New Year!

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