Santa Hats and Post-Holiday Blues

We have made it through the holidays! It was a good time, but a tougher one than usual, owing to the fact that I had to go to Tennessee over much of Thanksgiving weekend, and then Devin was in Zurich for 10 days before Christmas. On top of that we had multiple illnesses, leading to an ear infection (me), pneumonia (Devin), and the flu (all three of us).

A few days before Christmas, Laurel began announcing that she wanted a Santa costume for Christmas Eve/Day. Which was nice in theory, if a bit last-minute, and I quickly discovered that Santa costumes for 4-year-olds are not cheap. I tried to get her a hat (above), which, due to UPS snafus, didn’t arrive until after Christmas. She was a bit bereft at the the holiday itself, but happy when the hat finally arrived.

Speaking of bereft, due to the flu, Laurel had to miss her classroom holiday cookie exchange, so we took some time that weekend to make cookies on our own, including some chocolate icebox cookies with dried cherries and nuts (drizzled with white chocolate, a process she loved) and some gingerbread men, stars, and Christmas trees. Laurel was in charge of putting the M&M details on. Most of them even managed to wind up on the cookies!

Also a few days before Christmas, Laurel said she wanted to go shopping to buy gifts for people. I took her to Cliff’s Variety, a combination hardware store and housewares/gifts shop in the Castro, where we found fun things for everyone. The Mexican wrestler beer openers she picked out were especially well received.

We spent Christmas Eve and morning at my Dad’s, where Laurel got to hang out with her cousin Zoey and play “camping” in grandpa’s closet with a fluorescent lantern (I may or may not have gone “camping” with them). Laurel is reading well enough now that she was largely in charge of reading gift tags and distributing presents to be opened, both at my dad’s house and at Grandma’s, where we spent Christmas afternoon and evening. Laurel loved all her gifts.

Owing to travel and illness, we didn’t get our Christmas tree until Dec. 21, so we had it for a shorter time than usual. Laurel was bummed by the delay, and even more bummed when we took the tree down last weekend. Aside from crying a bit and saying she missed Christmastime and wanted it to be that time again, she also made a little blanket fort on the couch while we undecorated and was generally sad and mopey about the whole affair. It’s hard to say which is her favorite holiday, Halloween or Christmas, but either way she’s in love with them and has a tough time when they’re over.

Laurel’s heightened frustration/emotions haven’t toned down much, but she has been sweeter and snugglier recently, wanting me to stay with her longer at bedtime and generally wanting lots of hugs and kisses from both of us. She doesn’t want to walk anywhere without holding hands. Although sometimes she mixes up the love with other feelings. I don’t have a ton of quotes from her set aside this time, but here’s one from late November: “Mommy, I want to hug and kiss you forever.” And then, “If you don’t going to give me $121 million dollars, I’m going to throw you in the trash.”

So there you go.