It’s fun to finally be experiencing Christmas through the eyes of a kid again. M. is old enough this year to figure out what’s going on. Tonight, her preschool has a Christmas pageant. They’ve been practicing songs for it all month, and along with those songs, since she attends a Catholic school, has come a scaled-down version of the religious aspects of the holiday. In between singing the songs she’s learned this month, she talks about the baby Jesus and all the people waiting for him. Anytime we pass a manger scene, she launches into a pretty good description of what’s going on.

Yesterday, the secular portion of the holiday finally clicked into place. It was her final day of class before the holiday break. The teachers gave all the kids bags full of candy and a few small presents (A book and a snowglobe). M. took cards and small gifts in to her teachers (Thank goodness we remembered to get something!). When I picked her up, I asked her what her teachers did when she gave them their cards. “They hugged me, Dad!” I’m sure the teachers gave each student a hug, but from the way her voice sounded, you could tell she thought the hugs she got were extra special and she was very proud that she received them.

When we got home and I was putting her down for her nap, she asked in a very excited voice, “Dad! Is Santa Claus coming?!?!” I told her she had to wait one more week. She paused a moment and then asked, “Dad! Is Santa a boy or a girl?!?!” Obviously an important thing to clarify.

She also brought home a present for us that the teachers helped her to wrap. We put it under the tree at first, but then put it out of reach so C. can’t destroy it before Christmas morning. We keep explaining to M. why we moved it (It’s on a bookshelf now, in sight but out of reach) and although she understands, she says, “I really want to put the present I made for you under the tree.”

She now knows to say “toys!” when someone asks her what she wants from Santa. But the first few times, she gave very cute and very honest answers. The first time I asked her, she said she wanted a candy cane. And she wanted him to bring something for C., too. I have a feeling next year she’ll be busting out the exact toys she wants.

If I get some good video of her at her program tonight, I’ll try to get it shared. Depends on how close I am able to sit and if I’m able to tape her without any classmates in view. Hate to put someone else’s kid online.