At 2 1/2 year old, my twins are really getting into Christmas for the first time this year. They are taking it all in and they’ve already got certain ideas about this merry holiday. Here’s a look at how toddlers (at least these two) view Christmas.
It’s all about the lights
The twins got their first glimpse of Christmas lights on the way home from their aunt on Thanksgiving. They were instantly smitten.
So the following Tuesday, my husband and I took them to the GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. With more than half a million lights sculpted into flowers, butterflies, fish (my son really liked the fish), candy canes and a giant peacock, the twins were enamored. My son couldn’t get enough of the maze of lights and my daughter loved climbing up the tree house in the Children’s Garden where she could see lights in every direction. But their favorite thing was the train that went through the little fairy village in the conservatory. The photos on the Christmas card were taken in front of the gingerbread house in the conservatory.
I spent the entire next day while out running errands trying to explain to the twin why they couldn’t see the lights in the daytime. By nightfall, I was exhausted. I gave up and took the twins back to Lewis Ginter for a second round of GardenFest.
In the two weeks following Thanksgiving, my husband had to travel for work, finish a project for school and study for an exam and a final, leaving little time to hang Christmas lights. But because the twins were so fascinated with the lights and I couldn’t drive around the neighborhood every night looking for lights in response to cries of “Mommy, I want to see lights,” I made a trip to the store and came home with three lighted Christmas yard signs – Mickey Mouse, Tigger and Snoopy on his doghouse – that I could set up easily.
Every day on the way out, the twins stop to check on these displays. If one has fallen over, they demand that “Mommy fix it.” And every evening when they come home, they must stop and look at each display regardless of how cold it is outside.
Now that my husband has finally got the rest of the decorations up, we can hardly get the twins to go into the house.
Snowmen are cooler than Santa
The twins still aren’t to sure of the man in the red suit. Therefore, I still doesn’t have a picture of them with the jolly ol’ elf.
They know who Santa is. They’ll both tell you he says “ho, ho, ho.” But they won’t go anywhere near him. The closest they’ll get is to hold out their hands for candy.
I did get my daughter to sit on the little stool in front of the Santa at the mall. Clinging to me for dear life, she cried out her wish list – “I want a Dora [the Explorer] book.”
Their Christmas icon of choice – Frosty, or rather any snowman. They scream in delight every time they spot a snowman decoration. They had no problem walking up to the snowman character at the arrival of Santa at Short Pump Mall and they love the Frosty cartoons.
They even made their own snowman. It didn’t matter that we didn’t have snow.
Somehow though, I think it might be hard for Frosty to start shimmying down fireplaces.
Giving can be hard
When the Toys R Us catalog arrived, my daughter buried her nose in it first and then my son. Next the toy commercials on TV doubled and then the cries from my daughter of “Mommy I want mine” and “Mommy, brother wants” (my daughter can always be counted on to take care of her brother) started ringing throughout the house. My son limited his pleas to “p-l-e-e-e-a-s-e.”
When I could no longer hear myself think, I knew the twins needed to be taught that it’s better to give than to receive. So I decided the twins should do a stocking in the Salvation Army Stocking Program.
Together we shopped for items to fill these stockings. Then I packed the stockings and off we went to deliver them.
The twins both proudly carried their stocking into the drop off location. But when it came time to put the stockings in the box, they had a little trouble. After a bit of coaxing the stockings were firmly placed in the box and my little man cried all the way back to the car. Life lessons are so hard.
It’ll be interesting to see how it goes when it’s time to distribute gifts on Christmas.
Mickey Mouse Still Rules
The twins have really enjoyed watching Christmas specials from the Rankin and Bass classics like Frosty and Rudolph to holiday episodes of their favorite shows.
But they are their mother’s children; thus huge fans of Mickey Mouse. Given a choice, their holiday favorites are Snowed in at the House of Mouse and Mickey’s Twice upon a Christmas.
However, the new Shrek the Halls came in a close second as my daughter is a big fan of the green ogre.
The Grinch is the only one they really didn’t care for. My daughter kept burying her head in her my shoulder and my son watched with his hand over his eyes, peeking through his fingers.
Christmas Carols are to be Sung Loudly
The twins think that Christmas carols are to be sung loudly wherever they are and can be accompanied by dancing.
The twins were shopping in Target one day with me when my son decides to belt out a chorus of Jingle Bells in the middle of the store.
The twins went to a Christmas Concert by the Community Choir with me and a friend of ours.
The twins enjoyed themselves immensely. However, I’m not sure that the lady in the row ahead of us appreciated my son’s rendition of the songs. Or the amount of dancing both children were doing.
We were out on an adventure with a little friend of the twins and his mother. Suddenly from the back seat a chorus of three different songs being sung at the top of each little ones lungs made its way to the front seat where the two adults could do nothing but laugh at the toddlers’ enthusiasm.
Christmas Cookie Dough is the Best
The twins are becoming quite the bakers. They’ve already made seven batches of Christmas cookies, much to their daddy’s delight.
However, their favorite part of the baking experience is still licking the spoon.
Bells are the Instrument of Choice
The twins went to a Christmas Puppet Show. As part of the show, they got to be in the Christmas Band. My son played the tambourine and my daughter the bells.
Still, the twins instrument of choice for the holiday is bells. They have wrist bells that they took to Williamsburg to play during the caroling. They have bell necklaces and there are even bells hanging from all the door handles in the house.
The twins love their Thomas train set, but nothing compares to the motorized train around the Christmas Tree. It must be turned on when they wake and can’t be turned off before bedtime.
My son will lay on his belly in front of the tree and watch the train for long periods at a time.
Christmas is about Making New Friends
During Christmas caroling in Williamsburg, my son tired to use his skills to impress a new friend. He walked up to this boy of 10 or 12 and just started performing. He sang, danced, played his bells and even did some rolls on the cold ground. And a new friend was made.