Happy Christmas everyone!
This Christmas belonged to Nadia, her hands were busy to decorate, to be in charge of switching the fairy lights on and off, to wrap and unwrap accordingly. She laughed the loudest and played the hardest, there was no regular pattern in how to spend the days around her and her untamed energy. It was quite a task to find the right time of opening that one present a day especially on school days. Still in her pajamas with no end in yawning, she rushed to reach the right number of the day. And she was pretty good at that task too.
December the first, the moment I was waiting for since picking up an owl keyring sometime in June, Nadia was getting propped up on the couch with a doubt on her face and a little smile covering her uneasiness or excitement or both as I reached over to pick up the package she pointed at. Gifts were still put up on the shelf as we didn't have a Christmas tree that early in the month so she needed help with getting to them. With our encouraging head nods she began tearing the parchment paper - at first slowly and delicately but soon her thrill took over and it required using different methods to get closer to her gift. Once it was out of layers of paper I overdosed on, she looked up on us and frowned. Looked back at what she had in hand and checked it from all sides. Her message was clear: 'It's not Lego', she said disappointingly putting her Peppa Pig soaps on the cotton jersey bunny faces printed on her knees. It was a moment we will not once experience - how to recreate the excitement and maybe teach her a lesson or two? Make the experience count? I sat next to her and began whispering. I knew this could be exciting yet challenging build up to more awaited gifts but that's the fun of it all. The surprise, the unexpected, the game of guessing of what's inside from examining either the scale or the texture or a shape. Quite magical. Tall and lanky as a flute? It may be anything!
I guess she knew that for every awaited gift there would be a couple Santa was a little relaxed about but the guessing game and the excitement coming from it took over. Each day her fingers brought a thing alive - I loved her body impressions each time she unwrapped the box as she would be as surprised as having an 'of course' moment especially if the shape or sound it made was in fact a totally different object. A game of guessing, our new favourite Christmas tradition.
To tell you more about the work behind the idea, I have to look back as far as early spring because the concept consisted of gifts that had meaning, were useful and would make a perfect functional addition to our lives instead of being bought just because it's the season and rummaging through shelves days before Christmas seems appropriate. I liked the idea of finding something I knew Nadia and Damian would like way before the festive fever began, without pressure and expectations, with more time for deciding and feeling inspired. It's also a lesson in patience and being considerate about our tiny space but if it brings a silly grin to my face just by holding something in July that will make hearts swell in December, well I will shamelessly bask in that genius thought. The idea of spreading the joys of gifting across the whole year was the unbeatable factor to go for it. I don't want to experiment with Christmas traditions and modify them each year as the aim is to settle on some and recreate them with excitement for whatever years we have left. I do however want to perfect it, then leave as is - not to feel a little too overwhelmed with the abundance of things, restrict the quantity and substitute with fun-packed experiences. So just in a couple of days the hunt begins again and I can't wait to keep my eyes open and heart racing!
P.S. Yes, there was some Lego involved in creating memories this year.