Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This past weekend we celebrated Christmas with my mom’s family. My mom is one of eight. Until her mother passed away in 1995, we’d always spend Christmas Eve at my grandparents’ house in San Jose. As kids this night was the best night ever. We’d get presents from all our aunts and uncles and my Granny and we’d get to play with our bazillion cousins.

Uncle Tim was always good for a Tower Records gift certificate. I’d spend it on Christmas because “Tower,” as those of us in the know would call it, was always open on Christmas. I bought my first cassette tape with Uncle Tim's gift certificate.

Granny would always give us kids a $25 savings bond and something else. Like an Espirit sweat shirt.

I remember when I was a kid in the early 80s and my Granny got her first microwave one Christmas Eve. I think four of my mom’s 5 brothers had to carry it into the house and put it under the tree.

On the way home my dad would always claim that he saw Santa in the sky. We’d spend the whole ride home trying see Santa for ourselves. I never saw him but I did wear glasses from ’81-85. Maybe I never wore them Christmas Eve?

This past weekend we gathered at my Aunt Jeanie’s house to celebrate Christmas. Her place was perfect since it has lots of space for food and hanging out and opening presents. She and my cousin Erin set the garage up with tables with different crafts for the kids. And, the garage had a doggy door and this turned out to be a favorite with the under 10 set. Might make a good gift if you’re still trying to figure out what to get for that niece or nephew. (Remind me to tell you why I will never have a doggy door.)

Anyway, Ollie met Santa and Mrs. Claus for the first time. Technically it was his second time, but the first time he was two months old and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t remember.

I’m excited for him to be excited about Christmas but I’m sort of relishing this time where his whole understanding of Christmas involves pointing out “cream lights.” (Cream lights= the way Ollie says Christmas lights.)

He didn’t know that the man with the long white beard and silly red suit was Santa and that the broad with him, dressed like she’d just come from the renaissance faire, was his old lady, Mrs. Claus.

(The same went for his birthday in October. All he knew was that his parents and grandparents were hanging out, eating “cup-a-cakes” and giving him presents. Truly this isn’t really any different that a normal visit from the grandparents.

We gave him a tricycle for his birthday and then realized it wasn’t assembled. It stayed in our room, in a box for over two months. He noticed it at one point and said, “bike.” I told him daddy had to put it together. He needs to fix it, I explained. For a month he’d walk by it and say, “Dadda fix it.” Finally Gabe did, a couple of weeks ago.)

I’m sure next year, he’ll be so excited for his birthday and for Santa Claus. And, I’m looking forward to this time. But I also love that now, it’s all about spotting “cream lights" and nothing more than that.

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