What a wonderful Christmas! Hayden was at the best age for the holiday. He was so excited all month long about everything to do with Christmas – the lights, Santa, presents, Christmas songs, “candy train” (our advent calendar), Christmas cartoons… It was really a blast to go through the Christmas season with a 4 year old – it made it feel magical, the way it did when I was little.
We tried to make the most of Christmas time by taking advantage of all the special events. We went on the “Polar Express,” which was a train ride from the neighboring town of Fishers up to “the north pole” (Noblesville, one town up) to pick up Santa. We did our annual neighborhood Cookies with Santa, and Hayden got to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas (trains, trains, and more trains, because he “really loves trains” – as the month went on we were able to convince him to ask for some other things since he already has a truckload of trains). Meanwhile, Layla got to show that she is at the exact right age to want to have nothing to do with the big, strangely dressed man, even if he does wield candy canes. We went to a big Christmas model train exhibit at the Eiteljorg museum in Indy which was really remarkable, and right up Hayden’s alley since it encompassed his two very favorite things – Christmas and trains. We went to the Children’s Museum “Jolly Days” Christmas experience. One night a couple of days before Christmas we did what I hope is becoming a tradition since we also did it last year – ordered pizza and ate it on the couch while we watched the movie Elf. Yes, a 4 year old eating pizza on the couch, I am a wild woman! I couldn’t bring myself to let Layla loose with pizza sauce and furniture, so she was in her high chair, but I moved it so it was aaaaaalmost in the family room. 🙂
Hayden would have a lot of fun listening to Christmas songs in the car. He would always ask for Christmas music if it wasn’t already on. He liked to sing jingle bells or Rudolph – my mom was babysitting for us and I got a text that she was enjoying listening to his sweet voice singing Rudolph and jingle bells over the monitor while he was supposed to be sleeping. Even Layla started doing her own singing along to jingle bells after a while (her version of singing is mostly singing “eh eh eh” to the tune, and every once in a while throwing in a word that sounds about right).
We spent Christmas Eve with Grandma and Grandpa and Dusty and Andy and their respective families. Christmas morning we spent at our house unwrapping presents and eating cinnamon rolls. Hayden was really quite good with it all considering the amount of waiting for other people to open and not really being able to play with everything right away. I remember last year it really became too much for him after a while. Then in the afternoon after Layla’s nap we went to Grandpaman’s and did some visiting with Grandma G’s family.
The whole Christmas thing was really great. John and I also had nearly 2 weeks off work, and it was such a joy to just spend tons of time together as a family. It was really hard to go back to the routine this week. But, I guess if we could do that all the time it wouldn’t feel as special.