I had decided some time ago, (some time being when I had Zo, or was in the process of building her) that when she was of the gullible age (gullible age being beyond the ‘look, there’s a thing, let me put it in my mouth’ and before the ‘do these old people know anything at all?’), I would make a big deal of Christmas. You might ask why Christmas, why not all the other festivals. To which I will reply saying trust me there isn’t one festival I haven’t made a big deal of since she was of the said gullible age, because experiences and memories and blah, and where I miss, the schools have ensured it.
So my plan for Christmas was simple – we get a tree, we decorate it, we hang a stocking, we write to Santa, and then we wait for the miracle aka the gifts. And I have to say that most of it went as planned. I ordered the tree off Amazon in the first week of December and they promised a delivery within a week. They then sent me an update sms saying I would get it by Jan 1st. Great. A Christmas tree 7 days after Christmas would be just perfect. The optimists might disagree and argue that it was actually 51 weeks before the next Christmas, but they shouldn’t and they wouldn’t if they cared for their lives. Anyway, ‘Amazon thy name is conservatism’ delivered it in 2 days.
Part 2 was decorations. I am a big online shopper so I had bought a couple of packs of decorations online. Unfortunately, these took longer. The poor tree stood bare for a while, and over the weekend visit to Hypercity for groceries, I had to undergo the pain of seeing packs of decorations lying around – decorations I could not buy cos mine were ‘On their way’. When they finally arrived (in installments) Zo and I spent a couple of evenings putting them on the tree and that was time well spent, and worth the wait. We also had a lovely stocking gifted to Zo by a close family friend, and a snowman made by Zo and her teacher at the daycare. The friendly staff at Hard Rock Café handed over a dozen balloons to Zo, and those went up as well. The Dude was in charge of stringing up the Diwali lights around the tree, and Lo and behold – we had a fully loaded tree set up for Christmas morning.
Part 3, was gifts. Now I had been constantly talking to Zo about Christmas, Santa, the nice and naughty list, presents for a long time. I had convinced her to ask Santa for what she wanted too, and she had decided on a Doctor’s kit – which I had ordered online. This is when her school sent a note that they were having Santa handover gifts to the kids in school, and that we had drop by the gifts secretly. Thus started round 2 of what else she wanted to ask Santa for, and this time she said – ‘princess pillow’.
You would think that’s a innocent thing to find and send to school, but turns out, no one sells pillows or pillow covers without a bedsheet. And the problem was, even if I got her a set, I could not picture how thrilled a 4 year old would be when she unpacked her present and there was a sheet and pillow covers in it – useful yes, eventually what she wanted yes, but it just didn’t look right. So I decided to brainwash her into wanting a ‘Princess cushion’ instead.
Turns out, brainwashing a 4 year old is very easy, and she was harping on about a cushion within a half hour. And a princess cushion was procured and dropped off at school in time. On 23rd, Santa handed her the cushion at her school celebrations. She was extremely happy and thoroughly surprised. Apparently, she thought it had to be Spiderman and then she was surprised to see it was her princess cushion. So mission 1 was successful.
Mission 2, was to keep he enthused about the Christmas morning gift. Zo of her own accord, wrote a letter to Santa, stating quite plainly that she loved him, and that’s it. I asked her if she wanted to leave anything for Santa when he visited in the night. Thanks to Max and Ruby, she knew exactly what she wanted to keep – ‘Juice and cookies’. So the stage was set, and the balcony door left slightly open for Santa to wriggle through. And within 10 minutes of her falling asleep the Dude promptly gulped down the juice and well, placed the cookies back in the jar.
Christmas morning dawned bright and early, not unlike our other mornings because this kid doesn’t need sleep. She rushed to her tree and saw 4(!) gifts, and before I could get pissed that she would never know the value of gifts if everyone pampered her, it was revealed that the Dude had ensured everyone at home had a present to open, including himself (talk about the perfect set-up). So the morning was successful, with Zo doing a check up of every person and every toy in the house, performing operations to remove worms (ugh!) out of her mommy’s stomach, and her mommy loving her new, indulgent bathrobe while she chomped away at the dark chocolate bar the Dude had got for himself.
All in all, a very merry Christmas was had. And while I hope we continue the tradition every year till she realizes the boring facts of life, at the moment I’m happy knowing that we had such a good time this time around.