We've dived head first into Christmas around here. The boys and I put the tree up on Friday, on Saturday all four of us took advantage of nice weather to put up outside lights and Thomas was my helper to the end on Sunday, stringing garland and lights along the staircase. [Sidenote 1: Mark and I worked together on outdoor lighting for the first time ever and were still smiling when the project was complete. It was quite possibly a Christmas miracle.] [Sidenote 2: We only broke three ornaments in the tree decorating process which, given all the help, was also probably a miracle of some sort.]
All this Christmas spirit has generated a lot of conversation about the holidays and, in particular, the big guy in the red suit. Questions I have fielded in the last four days include...
Andrew: How come Santa never gets older and how come he never dies?
Susan: Well, blah, blah, blah, Santa's spirit is in our hearts and he's timeless and blah, blah, blah where's your dad?
Thomas: Do the reindeers come inside the house?
Susan: No, Santa leaves them outside.
Thomas: Well, I hope he knows not to leave them in the street because there are a bunch of them and they would block the cars.
Andrew: How much do you think Santa's sack weighs?
Susan: (Not making eye contact.) I'm not sure. It depends on what toys are inside.
Andrew: (Staring me down.) Well, I don't think it really matters. He has a lot of toys inside if he has toys for the whole world. It seems like it would be really heavy...
Andrew: Do you think Santa eats all the cookies at every house?
Susan: I suppose so.
Andrew: If he eats all those millions of cookies how come he doesn't throw up?
Thomas: Because, Andrew! Santa is magical and Magical People never ever throw up!
With our Santa question quota firmly met for the week, we're looking forward to beginning the Advent Box tomorrow. In years past we've made a game of my filling the little compartments with great secrecy so the boys never see it happen and they love to check a dozen times each day to see if there's a treat.
Tonight after dinner they disappeared into the dining room and grew suspiciously quiet after a few minutes, which obviously should have been our first sign. That makes them coming downstairs in hysterics the second sign, technically. It was then that I went to check on their work. They had been filling the advent box on their own. Each door was full of...wait for it...pepperonis. Turkey pepperonis to be exact.
We've taught them well. Nothing celebrates the reason for the season better than processed meats.