Christmas is here. Kind of.

So, it’s that time of year. The time of year where I shamelessly indulge in the tacky. The glittery. The sweet. When I allow myself to ignore the warnings of the quietly sane part of my brain, and instead give myself over to the pageant of saccharine that makes this time of year so lovely.

December, and the holiday season, are the dessert of the year. January, of course, would be the starter salad.

Now, a few years ago I felt like the hype of Christmas (which we celebrate joyfully, despite our non-religious tendencies) was over played. It had lost that shine. That charming layer of glitter.

Then I had Fiona. And I still didn’t really see the point. She didn’t really get it. It was fun, but not really magical.

Now she’s three. She gets it.

And it is fantastic.

I’m being asked daily if we can open presents under the tree. She’s pretending to be reindeer, and Santa, and “Baby-Santa” (who it should be noted “is the one who brings the little presents for babies and the stuff for stockings. And cats.”)

She’s excited and it makes me excited. Even when parts of my brain are still yelling softly about commercialism and “shopping seasons” and blatant manipulation of emotion.

On Tuesday we received a box with some wrapped presents in it. Since they’re wrapped, I put them under the tree. I told her we couldn’t open them until Christmas morning. She grudgingly agreed.

On Wednesday morning I was privileged to have this conversation:

We had just stumbled downstairs in the still dark house. I plugged in the tree lights, started a pot of coffee, and slouched on the couch. “Ooh, Mommy,” Fiona said, with the awe and wonder that only a three year old viewing Christmas lights can muster. “Mommy, is it Christmas?”

“Yes,” I allow, looking at the tree. “It’s Christmas time.”

She looks up at me, “Is it morning time?”

“Yeah, Baby,” I say tiredly rubbing my yet un-caffeinated eyes, “It’s morning.”

“Let’s open the presents!” She shouts jumping up and down and clapping her hands.

Whoops! There followed a very disappointed conversation in which I had to try to explain the difference between Christmas morning and the Christmas season.  Remind me not to use words when I’m still mostly asleep.

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