Friday, December 19, 2008

Embracing Christmas


Having only just put the Halloween decorations and accessories away, we thought we were entitled to a break. It was about mid-November when J Boy started asking about when we were going to put up our lights, trees and decorations. He approached the task with his usual single-minded fervor.

Thanfully, Husband was already finalizing (in his mind) the outdoor lighting plan so he and J were able to have some planning sessions. But one day after school J insisted that the lights go up. NOW. Not only was Husband at work but he had an after work dinner so would not be home until after bedtime.

And so we began protracted negotiations. I had my limits. I refused to get up on a ladder and hang lights and I refused to commit Husband to putting up all the lights when he got home that night. J Boy also had his limits and his starting position was that all the lights be hung up right now. I began to wonder if any middle east peace brokers might be available for a quick session to get us past our impasse.

One thing I have learned from more than one such negotiating session with J, patience is a virtue. He will eventually yield to a reasonable compromise. Eventually can be hours though. In the end I committed Husband to putting up one string of lights the next day after dinner. J boy agreed he would cease pestering me. Win win win. Husband obliged J (and me) and put up the obligatory string the next night and seized on mild weather the following weekend and executed his entire lighting plan.
Next, J wanted the trees up. We put up two trees. The kids' tree and Mommy's tree. The kids tree is about 4 feet high and they cover it with as much of whatever they would like. They have a large accumulated decoration collection to choose from as well as an ample supply of stale candy canes. Mommy's tree is all matchy matchy. Silver disco balls and red matte and red shiny balls adorn our prelit tree. It's the most Martha Stewart I can be.

The problem was when the pleading-for-tree started, neither J's birthday (November 23) nor his party (November 28) has occurred. I have a firm rule that I want J's party done before we start hauling out the Christmas rubbermaids.

We had another tense negotiating session that had J threatening NOT to go to bed unless we put up the tree (another night Husband was not home). He finally relented when I said we could put up the Christmas stockings if he would talk in a civil voice.

On December 6th we decorated the whole house. Well, we haven't got the Rubbermaids back to the basement yet which kind of takes away from the look I was going for, but we're getting there.

J is now working on getting presents under the tree. He has been surprisingly mellow about wanting gifts. He did write Santa at school and asked for a few things including a Wii (which I very much doubt Santa will bring) but overall not alot of wanting stuff. He is however, wrapping up everything that is not nailed down and putting it under the tree. I think S will be regifted most of the gifts that he got for his birthday. I don't know what I'm getting from him but I have it on good authority that Husband is getting {Husband, if you are reading STOP now} chocolate pudding.

It warms our hearts to see J embrace the giving rather than the receiving this holiday season. Even if we'll need to sell a kidney to pay for all the paper and tape.

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