Sunday, January 4, 2015

Under the Mistletoe

This year, Genevieve was crazy excited about Christmas. I don't know how it started, but a week before thanksgiving, she started asking about Christmas- specifically, the tree.

"Our" tiny tree- borrowed from Mom's house

"First we go to Thanksgiving at Auntie Laura's house, THEN we set up the tree," I explained (over and over again, like one does with kids her age), "Christmas doesn't start until AFTER Thanksgiving."

SuperAndrew manfully set up the half-tree (phenomenal if you have dogs, small children, or both in our case) the weekend following Thanksgiving, and per German tradition, it was decorated on Christmas Eve. (Certainly not because we waited until the last minute. German tradition is the story and we are sticking to it.)

[In case you're looking to buy one, Mom says that she bought it at Michael's ONE MILLION years ago. This one is the closest one I've seen online.]

Genevieve directed the application of the decorations, which consisted of sheep, Star Trek ships, and of course, Frozen Ornaments (courtesy of Auntie Laura, who loves Genevieve all the way to the moon and back).

Anna, Genevieve's favorite

Elsa, normally played by Andrew
Olaf, who loves warm hugs

Of course, we have a few fake Mistletoe Balls (because real mistletoe is VERY TOXIC), which are normally placed strategically around the house for maximum surprise kiss-age, which SuperAndrew keeps with the ornaments.

Genevieve, being a toddler, insisted on hanging ALL THREE of them on the Christmas tree. In hopes of moving the mistletoe to a more... high traffic area (rather than under the tree), I explained that when someone is standing under the mistletoe, you have to give them a kiss.

[OBLIGATORY PARENTING BIT: Yes, we are teaching her about consent. Yes, we are teaching her that she doesn't have to hug or kiss anyone she doesn't want to.]

Every ten or fifteen minutes following that conversation, a little voice would call out, "I'm under the mistletoooooooe!", and it was a RACE to get to be the one who kissed Genevieve first.

(The best part of this is that- since the tree is still up, we will still periodically hear the call of "I'm under the mistletoooooooe!" It is So. Great.)

It was one of those evenings where having a toddler in the house made the holiday MUCH more fun.
And definitely more kissy.

... And then, it was Christmas morning. Genevieve got eight million small gifts (we don't do Santa here**, just presents from people who love her).

"Cover me in the snow!"

Gopher grin!

The cold never bothered her anyway
When all the holiday dust had settled, and we were all snuggly in our fuzzy pajamas, I asked Genevieve what her favorite part of Christmas was.

Instead of listing off a favorite new toy, or that we let her eat a sugar-loaded breakfast (normally, COMPLETELY verboten in our house), she floored me in that way that only a toddler can.

"Spending time with people I love," she said.

My heart grew three sizes. File this one under "things we are doing right".

** Speaking of consent and parenting things, we approached the Santa Situation by reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas! first, and getting across the message of Christmas that way. I'm not comfortable telling Genevieve that it's okay for a stranger to come into our house. KidBrotherSam and I weren't raised with Santa; we celebrated family and presents. Also, chocolate advent calendars. Your holiday mileage may vary.


  1. So cute! We're in Canada (but no snow at the moment) so my 3 year old daughter told me "it's not Christmas yet, there's no snow." She also loves Anna the most - I love that.
    And we aren't doing Santa either,I don't think he's necessary to enjoy Christmas and we want our kids to be grateful to the people who actually bought them gifts.

  2. I absolutely adore the "Cover me in snow" photo! The love and trust shining from Genevieve's face is just priceless.

  3. We didn't want to do the whole Father Christmas thing but they kept singing and talking about him at daycare, to the point that one day she declared that he would be coming home and bringing her a gift! Eventually I compromised by explaining to her that Father Christmas was just a Christmas mailman, but that we were the ones choosing and giving the gifts.
    The last picture is wonderful.
    Oh, and I loved listening to the two of you read How the Grinch Stole Christmas in your Christmas episode.
    Happy New Year to you all! I hope Genevieve had a super birthday.

  4. Skipping the Santa part makes so much sense in so many ways. I never thought about the stranger in house part but always thought it weird that Santa seems to give much more to those who have more stuff already. If he were real, he'd do the reverse and skip the affluent to give to the poor.


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