Early Childhood Homeschooling Made Easy

Taking teaching and your child's future into your own hands.

Whew, it’s Christmas, already?

on December 24, 2012

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The past couple of weeks haven’t gone exactly how I planned. First, Kayla came down with a cold. Then not even a week later, I caught her cold…and was still trying to get rid of my cough from the last colds we had back at the beginning of November. Since we’ve both been sick, we never got around to doing half the stuff I wanted to do before Christmas. I barely got to bake any cookies, we didn’t get to make a gingerbread house, and I have various holiday crafts that never got done. Not to mention, all the holiday movies I never watched, and the holiday music that I never got to play. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve watched some holiday movies and listened to some music, but not as much as I normally would at this time of year. I’ve been a sucker and let Kayla watch some of her holiday shows over and over again to keep her happy. It’s hard to say “no” when your two-year-old has a red, runny nose and is coughing. So instead of watching some of my favorite Hallmark Christmas movies, we’ve watched the Curious George Christmas Special every single day for the last few weeks. I am not kidding. EVERY SINGLE DAY. Thankfully, it’s cute, and I kind of like it.

Even though there’s been a lot we didn’t get to do this year, we still managed to have some fun. We started the Elf on the Shelf tradition this year. Kayla watched the Elf on the Shelf Christmas special last year, and has watched it all year long, so I decided it would be a good tradition to start with her. She loves her elf. She named him Chippey, like in the cartoon. She enjoys finding Chippey every morning when she wakes up. That silly little elf sure gets around our living room and kitchen. Kayla likes to say, “Chippey is watching me.” It’s cute, but the way she says it is slightly creepy.

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Kayla has a countdown to Christmas tree like the one George has in the Curious George Christmas Special. Each day, she marks off a day and I tell her how many days she has left till Christmas. She was extremely happy today when I told her that she only has two days left. She’s not very good with numbers yet, but she seems to understand that two isn’t much. So instead of getting a heavy sigh like all the other days, I actually got a “yay” today.

She also has one of those countdown calendars where you open the door and get a piece of chocolate each day. This kid is a chocoholic, so it took a few days before she got used to the idea that she only gets one piece of chocolate per day. She eventually was okay with that, but she makes sure to remind me every day that she needs her chocolate. “Mommy, I need chocolate! Now!” She hasn’t quite grasped the concept of “want,” not “need.” Everything is “I need” right now. The calendar she has is a Disney calendar with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, etc. My mom bought it for her, and she absolutely loves it. I’m sure my little pack rat will want to keep it after the holiday. I think I used to keep mine for awhile when I was little, and then my mom would throw it away once I forgot about it.

We have baked some cookies this year. Not as many as I planned, but we still got in a few. We’ve done chocolate chip cookies, toffee butterscotch chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter blossoms, strawberry jello cookies, and lime jello cookies. We also did some toffee butterscotch chocolate bars today. And since Kayla and my nephew like them, we’ve done some store bought holiday sugar cookies with Frosty the Snowman on them. It’s been fun having Kayla in the kitchen helping me bake. She likes using the hand mixer and mixing stuff with a spoon. She also helps by adding ingredients to the bowl, but most of it tends to end up on the counter. I remember helping my mom bake cookies at Christmas-time, so this is very special to me to be able to do this with my own daughter now. It’s nice to carry on traditions.

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Kayla and I have watched a lot of Christmas cartoons together, including shows from when I was little. It’s nice to see that she enjoys watching Mickey Mouse’s Christmas Carol, Yogi Bear’s First Christmas and Cabbage Patch Kids Christmas. Those were some of my favorites when I was little. We’ve watched Christmas classics like Charlie Brown’s Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and Frosty the Snowman. She also enjoys a lot of the newer Christmas specials with Scooby Doo, Curious George, Mickey Mouse, etc. I’ve spent the last few weeks watching tons of Christmas cartoons with Kayla and enjoying every minute of it. No, I really didn’t need to watch them repeatedly, but it’s fun to watch her eyes light up when she sees Santa. The look of wonderment on her face is worth every minute to me.

I did most of my Christmas shopping early, and had the majority of the presents wrapped and under the tree by Thanksgiving Day. I did have a few extra things I bought after Thanksgiving that I let Kayla help me wrap. This is the first time I’ve really let her help me wrap anything. I usually just try to keep her away so she won’t mess it up, or unwrap it. She was uber excited to help me, however, her wrapping skills need some work. She randomly puts tape all over the present, not necessarily where I need it. She has a very unique placement of gift tags, and likes to scribble with a pen all over the wrapping paper to sign her name. And her idea of wrapping the gifts is more like rolling them in the wrapping paper. It’s been an interesting experience. Both funny and frustrating at the same time. I’m sure if I asked my mom about how I did when I first started helping her wrap presents, she’d have some stories about me too. We all have to start somewhere.

It will be nice to wake up Christmas morning and finally let Kayla open her presents. She’s been eyeing them like crazy. When I first started putting presents under the tree, with a baby gate around them, she kept reaching over and taking them out. Then she would unwrap them or empty the Christmas bags. Some of the presents were hers, some were not. This is what happens when your kid’s birthday is so close to Christmas. She’s in unwrapping mode and thinks every present is hers for the taking. I was getting very frustrated with re-wrapping presents all the time. Luckily, after a week or so, she stopped doing this. Then she moved onto ripping just a small corner off of a present and giving it to me. She’d say, “I rip it, mommy.” After a few more days, I pretty much got her to stop doing this as well. But then she just started picking stuff up to shake it, or trying to rearrange everything. She’d try to tell us, “It’s Christmas!” and hand us a present she knew was ours. I think in her mind she thought if she gave us a gift and we opened it, she would get to open one too. It didn’t work. Now she likes to stand by the tree and stare at the presents longingly. I’m starting to feel sorry for her. I know it must be hard to be patient when you’re only two. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas can feel like eons. I am very proud of her for being as patient as she possibly can for her age. It will be a delight to see her finally get to open all of her presents, and to see her face Christmas morning when she realizes that Santa finally came.

Looking at the presents

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with family and friends.

* I will be adding recipes for some of the cookies listed above in a separate post.

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