Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Christmas through a child's eyes

We decided a few years ago that having a big Christmas tree in the house was just too much trouble.  I bought a little free-standing, pre-decorated tree about three feet tall, and that was fine for us.  Actually at this point I could do without any tree.  Time goes so fast at our ages that it seems we hardly get the tree set out before it's time to put it away.

But then Cora came into our lives, so last year we went out and cut a tree at our favorite Christmas tree farm.  She was a year-and-a-half old, and was fascinated by the glitter and lights, especially the string of lights that alternates with Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.  She wasn't talking well then, but she did try to say "Minnie Mouse" every time she examined those lights.

In all the time we've had with Cora I am almost speechless at the wonder and amazement a little kid has for the things in this world that are nothing special to us.  We see, through her eyes, all the objects and events to which we have become jaded due to over-exposure, and the universe resumes some of its former glory.

After Thanksgiving this year, I debated about getting a tree again; Cliff refused to voice an opinion.  "Whatever you want to do," he would say.

Well, I didn't want the mess.  I really don't like crowding up the living room, taking one chair away to make room, needles all over the floor (if I'm going to have a tree, it will be a real one).  The tree farm where we get our Christmas trees is only open on weekends, and I figured last Sunday was the time to decide one way or another.  Remembering how Cora enjoyed last year's tree, I decided to go for it.  When we got there, I was stunned by how much a real tree costs these days.

I was equally stunned when Cora's mother brought her in Monday morning and I saw the look on that little girl's face.  "What's that, Donna?" she asked, walking, wide-eyed, to the tree.

getting a closer look at Mickey Mouse
With little children, it's all about the lights, isn't it?  I expected, since Cora is a year older than when we had our last Christmas tree, that she would be gentler with it, but her curiosity is actually greater, and she has wanted to pull ornaments off the tree to examine them.  Most of them are cheap, unbreakable baubles, but of course if you yank them off, they lose their little hangers and are useless.  So this week I have explained to her, many times, that she has to be "easy" with things on the tree, and that she can touch, but she shouldn't pull them off.  It's her tree, we only got it because of her.  I want her to be able to enjoy it.  But I'd like to have a few ornaments left at the end of the season, too.  

Last year I bought her a plastic nativity set, hoping it would keep her from trying to play with mine, which was my mother's and is breakable.  The child was a little young to enjoy it then, but yesterday she must have spent at least half an hour under the tree setting her manger scene up so it would be arranged more like mine.  

That little Santa dressed in white has become her best friend lately.  She dances with him and carries him around the house, although I finally drew the line when she wanted to take him with her every time she went to potty.  He's almost as big as she is, and I was afraid she might not make it to the bathroom in time, dragging him along.

Merry Christmas to all my friends, and may you have a child around to open your eyes to the magic of the season and the world.  God bless us every one.


  1. How wonderful you have this little one to enjoy. Children do see things differently and remind us what Christmas is all about.

  2. A great post, Donna.
    Some of my best Christmas memories are of when I was a small child. I was always mesmerized by the scent of the pine tree and especially the colored lights and glass balls.

    Now that I'm living alone and old (or KIND OF old...) I'm not into big trees (and the real trees are very expensive). I usually have a small fake tree - - and even that can be a nuisance, especially since I have three cats. Cats are worse than kids. In a matter of minutes they strip the tree of ornaments and are swinging from the branches.

  3. Wonderful post! I only got a tree for my girls, who are 25 and 29. :) Ashley prefers a real tree. You reminded me that they loved to play with my creche also and rearrange all the figurines. Great memories.


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