Contagious christmas awe.

December 9, 2009

I have historically been a bit of a humbug. My childhood christmasses were nothing to be celebrated, and ill afforded presents often ended up at the pawn shop. I have been a stepmother for nine years, but christmas with teenagers is an orgy of consumerism. Which although fun, is not exactly magical. At work we described christmas as the ‘season to beat your kids up’-given the way alcohol and drugs excacerbate financial and emotional stress.

I am admitting it, I never really got it.

I was excited when Rachel had her first christmasses, but she didn’t get it-it was like pretending.

THen this year-I got it. I now, completely understand. Christmas is bloody magical.

If you could spend christmas, with a three year old, who is just learning what christmas is, who santa is. That there are films with santa in them. Whose worries about whether Santa would be able to come down our chimney, are sufficient that she would wake up to ask me to show her the chimney. A girl who absolutely believes that this magical man, knows whether she has been naughty or nice, and has reddrafted her letter at least 4 times.

Someone who is counting down her advent calendar, with barely the ability to count, but who knows that the more doors that are open, the more chocolates eaten, the less sleeps there are before this amazing day.

Who watches Santa Claus the Movie, and is so scared that Santa might be defeated by John Lithgowes corporate toy manufacturer, that she clings on to my arm, almost shaking, unable to bear the tension.

Preparing for christmas with a 3 year old, is magical. I don’t care who knows it. So today, I am sorting my house, so that when she returns from her dads tomorrow afternoon, there is a tree for her to hang the decorations we have made this week. Knowing that upstairs I have presents, the presents she asked Santa for, and the presents she believes are a direct consequence of her good behaviour, and sudden willingness to have her hair brushed.

THis is the first christmas that she understands, and thanks to her, the first that I truly understand.

This is brilliant. Contagious christmas awe.



  1. Aawwwww. Made me well up. So lovely. Good for you to finally experience the magic of Christmas and great that you – in spite of what went before – are still capable of relishing it.

  2. Thank you so much for this. It’s so easy to take things that we are used to for granted. Small children give the gift of letting us see everything new. Merry Christmas season to you both. x

  3. I’m really so happy that you ‘got it’. I was exactly the same until my girl had her 3rd Christmas, the year that the magic started. She’s almost 6 now but ‘Santa’s watching’ still has the desired effect. You wait until you see her face on Christmas morning, stock up on tissues hun x

  4. As you know, my little girl’s 3yo too, and I’ve been getting extremely emotional about all this stuff: conflicted, too, and anxious. My husband’s always tended to approach this time of year with glee, but my own love of it has been eroded by my own parents’ increasing stress and disinterest (great combination, eh) towards the Christmas period. Yesterday, I took M to a party, where she met “Santa”. Desperately wanting it all to be magical for her, I still couldn’t shake the feeling that we were somehow telling this very earnest little girl a strange and elaborate lie, and horribly abusing her trust. I was creeped out by the unconvincing Santa, who was quite young and sweaty and whose beard that actually covered his mouth (creepy!!) and it seemed nonsensical and wrong that such a figure should be interrogating my daughter as to whether she had been “good this year” – she is 3, for heaven’s sake. She was so good about talking to him, and was clearly taking the whole thing seriously, determined to say something to Santa even though she was a bit apprehensive, and that just broke my heart even more. In any case, she was dancing and laughing when we left the party, clutching a balloon and her chocolates from Santa, and I had managed to make her understand that she would need to wait till Christmas Day for him to return with her much-asked-for dolly, and what the purpose of meeting him now was. She told me later in a comedy voice, “I liked his big fluffy beard!” – so hey-ho, all’s well, and don’t I seem like a huge twerp for making such a fuss about the whole thing? I never had a clue before I became a mother that I would even be going through this kind of overanalysis! All the same, I do wish it could be made illegal to dress up as Santa. If he stayed in the realm of stories and pictures but was never encountered in the flesh, it would’ve saved me a lot of agonising. I think I’ve just about relaxed enough now to start looking forward to Christmas itself …

    • I felt the similar after I took her to Leeds to see Santa last years. A thin scratter with a thick accent wearing a beard. Had always thought Santa was a bit of weird thing to invent, and was a concept that I really wasnt that fussed or keen on. But this year, she is so excited, I don’t have chance to think about it-and its lovely, its just exciting and magical.
      I hope you have a wicked christmas.

  5. It’s great isn’t it! I’ve rediscovered the magic and can’t wait for the nativity play next week (when my little treasure is a donkey – cute!). The other day we were listening to Christmas songs while decorating the tree and during “I wish it could be Christmas every day” he piped up “I wish it could be Christmas every day too…” Oh to be 5 again….

  6. Loved your post – thank you. Our 3yo is getting excited, he loves the Christmas tree and getting cards. It kind of bypassed him last year. I can’t wait for Christmas Day now!

  7. I have nothing to say but 😀
    Made me smile and tingle a little with excitement for her.

  8. Yep, same here! My parents split up at Christmas and I could never really enjoy it after that. Until I had Ana. This is really only the second Christmas that she has really ‘got’ it and it is really very wonderful and cool to see her enter into the whole imagination of the thing. Last year We left the mince pie and a carrot out for Santa and Rudolph. During the night our mental cat attacked the bag of carrots and left them all over the floor so the next morning it looked like Rudolph had gone bonkers and trashed the joint. Really funny.

    And I love all the Christmas dvds too!

  9. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lisa: Contagious christmas awe. https://deeplyflawedbuttrying.wordpress.com/2009/12/09/contagious-christmas-awe/ Blog post….

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