Holiday goodies

Christmas has come and gone for another year. This year, Laurel remembered enough from last year — buying a tree and wreath, decorating the tree, visiting family — that she really anticipated the holiday. She had also learned a ton of holiday songs at school, including Christmas carols and Hanukah songs (the dreidel song, plus “Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah”). She sang them constantly — much nicer than being bombarded in the shopping centers, let me tell you.

Our Christmas tradition involves three separate events, more or less. On Christmas eve we went to my stepsister’s, where Laurel gorged on appetizers and then played Barbies with her six-year-old cousin, ignoring dinner. We normally wouldn’t let her play with Barbies, but the whole dollhouse and accoutrements were in the middle of the living room, so there wasn’t much use in trying to stop her. She helped the dolls take naps, use the toilet, and drive around in a car. If she can keep relating to them in only that way, we’ll be fine. :)

We slept over at my dad’s, had breakfast and gifts in the morning, and hung out. Laurel enjoyed her time with Grandpa and Nana, which has become more frequent and more of a source of joy for her in the past year. She has certain traditions there, such as tossing balls up to the loft space with Grandpa, and finding the stuffed yodeling bear and making it yodel.

Later in the day we went to Devin’s mom’s for more gift-exchange and dinner. Laurel helped distribute gifts to people (a burgeoning tradition; she did it last year, too — and by next year, she may be able to read the name tags on the gifts and do it without help). She loves being there, too, goofing around with Grandpa Steve and Poppi and talking with Grandma.

It’s really great to see her warming up to all her grandparents after a long period of quasi-stranger-anxiety that was rough on her and equally rough on many of her grandparents. We’re so lucky to have all of them so close, and they all love her so much. We hope she’s going to have lots of fond times with them.