Another Christmas has come and gone, but this year was the first time I’ve done the holiday with a baby. Given that she’s only a nine-month-old kid from a predominantly Buddhist country, the Ladybug ain’t entirely clued into the whole Christmas concept, and the days before the big exchange-a-thon were no different than any other day to her: good for playing around and exploring the world around her.
Nevertheless, I felt compelled to try and explain the basic principles of the holiday. I explained to her that Christmas was the day in which we, as Christians, celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ some two millennia ago in Bethlehem by wearing floppy red conical hats and opening brightly wrapped boxes of gifts delivered the night before by a happy fat man who pilots a supersonic flying sleigh filled with toys manufactured by elves who live in the freezing ice fields of the Arctic. I think she took that explanation pretty well:
The Queen B, on the other hand, felt compelled to participate in that most sacred of Christmas traditions: bringing the Ladybug to see Santa Claus. I myself do not understand the parental appeal of terrifying your children by plunking them in the lap of an obese man reeking of eggnog and baby spit, but I nevertheless dressed her up in her finest Chinese gown and hauled the Queen B and her over to the Mall to meet the Fat Man himself. For her part the Ladybug did a good job dealing with it for a full three minutes before the inevitable panic set in. And we got some pictures for the Christmas letter. Hi! My kid is terrified of this guy! Merry Christmas!
As for the big day itself, we bought remarkably little for the Ladybug. This was partly due to the fact that her grandparents, aunts, and uncles FedExed her box after box of presents, so she wasn’t really at a loss for stuff, but mostly due to the fact that the Ladybug is more interested in tearing up kleenex and opening up boxes than with playing with any of her toys. For my part, all I got her was a box of tissue paper wrapped in a box of tissue paper wrapped in a box of tissue paper and let her go at it. It worked!
I jest. The Ladybug made out pretty good, actually. She got an edutainment center, a number of block books, a full wardrobe of clothes, and several of toy animals of both the stuffed mammalian and the plastic entomological species. It was, however, a long process, since the Ladybug was always less interested in the toy she just unwrapped than either the box it came in or the paper it was wrapped in. In fact, it was only by the incessant prompting of the Queen B (in the form of snatching up all the discarded wrapping paper and plunking another box in front of the kid) that we were able to get through it in the twenty-four hours allotted for the 25th, and by the end of it, the Ladybug was beat.
As for me and the B? We did all right. I got a super-skinny, super-high-tech DVD player to replace my ancient, stone-aged, outdated, one-year-old model, while she got a bitching nail gun and a Chinese iPod.
Of course, the Queen B and I cheated this Christmas, since we already opened the best present ever had a full month early…
Sappy, yeah, but it’s Christmas. Hope you had a good one too!