The things that will never make it in the baby books and other musings from a stay at home mom

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The holiday spirit

Hanukkah starts at sundown tonight and Julia is about as wound up as I've ever seen her. The sugar consumed at her preschool Hanukkah party today probably didn't help matters much (SUCH a cute party, by the way -- cookie decorating and latke eating and arts and crafts projects and Hanukkah themed puzzles and books and a big holiday sing-along... why don't they invite Mommies to come participate in this kind of stuff more often?). Even without the extra sugar, she'd be pretty wired, though -- she's been singing Hanukkah songs and babbling on about what color candles she wants to put in the menorah and what kinds of presents she hopes she'll receive for days now. Yesterday, we baked treats for her to bring to her teachers and she worked very hard at signing her own name on the cards. We talked then about how giving is as important as getting and how holidays are about sharing and spending time with people we care about and showing them how special they are to us. I figured it was all just lip service, though. I mean come on... everyone knows that this time of year (no matter which holiday you celebrate) is mostly about the presents.

So when I asked Julia before she went down for her nap this afternoon what part of Hanukkah she was most looking forward to, I was caught a little off guard when she answered "lighting the candles." So much so that I actually responded "really? Not the presents?" (Note to self: if you're trying to make your kids materialistic and self centered, you're probably doing a pretty good job.) "Presents are good," she replied, "but I really think lighting that menorah's great."

I'm glad someone has her holiday priorities in order. I've been running around here like a lunatic for the past few weeks buying gifts, making plans and stressing loudly and often about how much I hate this time of year. Turns out the Hanukkah candles (which I actually bought as an afterthought, I was so busy tracking down Lego tables and Peek-a-Blocks) were all I really needed. I've been dreading the holidays because of all the work that goes along with them. But thanks to Julia, now I'm finally getting into the holiday spirit myself. I can't wait to light the candles tonight and see their light reflected in my children's happiness.


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