Through my daughter’s eyes

For the first time, I am getting a look at the holidays through my daughter’s eyes.  Her first Thanksgiving and Christmas she was too small to do much besides cry, sleep, eat and make dirty diapers.  Her second Thanksgiving and Christmas, she was much more involved and excited.  She babbled incessantly, but she wasn’t fully communicating like she is now.  And now, it is awesome!

We had a great Thanksgiving.  She was a happy camper visiting with my family.  She sang a little bit; she danced a little bit.  She charmed quite a few folks who were all debating about which of her great-aunts gave her the exact red hair color that she has (all of her great-aunts and my grandma have red hair).

Then she enjoyed being at my in-laws’ house and eating dinner with them.   We were also celebrating her Uncle Shawn’s birthday (which was Friday).  She made sure he had his balloon bouquet with him wherever he was in the house.  And she loved his ice-cream cake.

But, most of all what I will remember about her from this Thanksgiving was watching the parade with her.  Since I was a child, I have loved the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  I remember watching it every year growing up.  Nobody else in my family was quite as excited about it as I was.  My older brother was too cool.  My parents were busy with food prep and such.  They cared that I enjoyed the parade, but they didn’t really enjoy it with me.  My husband has always humored me, but it’s not his thing.

Our parade picnic. Notice her doll and stuffed animal sitting up so that they could watch the parade with us.

However, my daughter this year.  Oh how she loved it!  We recorded it on the DVR so I was able to fast forward through slow parts and way too much lip syncing.  We watched half of it on Thanksgiving Day, in between tasks I had to do for making my first batch of homemade rolls.  Lexiana thought each person and balloon was waving to her.  She was excited to see Spider-man (my girl!), Mickey Mouse, Cookie Monster, Dora, Sonic the Hedgehog and many others — even though some of them she had never seen before.  She loved the sparkly costumes, the dancing, the singing and the music.  She cheered with the crowds at the end of each performance.  It was magnificent!  While I’ve always enjoyed the parade, I don’t remember ever enjoying it at the level she did — until this year.  On Friday, I set up a living room breakfast picnic with cinnamon toast for us to finish watching the parade.  She’s never had cinnamon toast and never gotten to eat on the living room floor before, so it only added to the magic.  She keeps asking to watch the parade again.  She loved it!

And then there’s Christmas.  The season is really just starting, but already my child is so excited.  She loves spying Santa Claus when we are out places.  Pictures of him are all over the place.  And the blow-up version of him she saw with some Christmas lights has been all she can talk about it.  He was waving to her, she insists.  She loved seeing him at the end of the parade, too.  She thought he was with his mommy.  I explained that was his wife.  She said he’d snuggle with her and love her.  Yeah, how’s that for sweet?

She’s also learning the meaning of Christmas.  Last week we were shopping for a couple of birthday cards for family members and winded up picking out our Christmas cards, too.  I explained to her that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ birthday.  Ever since, she’s been talking about getting Him a birthday card and making Him a birthday cake.  We will do that.

Last night we did a family devotion for the start of Advent.  She doesn’t really know what Advent is, but she was excited for it.  She listened quietly.  She sat first with my husband as he read the Bible verses.  Then she came to sit with me as I read what was in our devotion book.  When I finished, she cheered.  She then grabbed her own book to pretend like she was reading about Advent.

I know we are really just getting started.  We don’t yet have our Christmas tree up, but we will soon.  We haven’t gotten to see all that many Christmas light displays just yet, but we have plans made.  We haven’t decorated Christmas cookies yet, but that’s coming.  I have always looked forward to Christmas for its meaning, its tradition and its festivities.  This year, I am looking forward to it more than I ever have.  Lexiana will enjoy it more than she ever has.  She will remind me to cheer for and celebrate even the smallest of things.  And I think that’s what this season really is all about: joy in all circumstances.  I can’t wait!

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