Sunday morning we were watching a Barney episode where Barney and his friends visit the North Pole on Christmas Eve. You know it’s funny, when I was in my 20s, I absolutely despised Barney, for no good reason. I guess because of his annoying voice I seriously thought he was a purple devil and swore I would never let my hypothetical children watch his show. This just goes to show how little I knew about child rearing at the time. Anyway, I’ve relaxed my ways and Belén is allowed to watch any of the shows in the Netflix queue appropriate for a three-year-old and on this particular morning it was Barney, which I should mention is actually one of the better shows for kids. The kids on the show are polite, they have good lessons all throughout the show…anyway, I digress.
So Barney and his friends are at the North Pole hanging out with Santa. Santa has a big book, about the same size as those giant bibles you see in a cathedral. The book is full of names and Santa explains to the kids that all year long he writes the names of a child each time they do something good. He is very busy keeping his book up-to-date and getting ready for his big Christmas Eve delivery route so Barney and friends go over to a different room to hang out with Mrs. Claus.
I am sitting there on my computer, only partially paying attention to the show when Belén turns to me very seriously and says, “So the elves make the toys and Santa delivers the toys, what does Mrs. Claus do?”
Damn good question kid.
I told her she feeds everyone and helps wrap gifts. If I had been prepared for the question, I would have come up with a response that didn’t play on the stereotypical roles of women but she caught me off guard.
Barney is probably the tenth Christmas show we have watched this year. We’ve already seen Polar Express twice. Add that to all of the holiday books, music and then decorating our house on Saturday and we are smack dab in the middle of Christmas cheer in the Hoobing household.
Since even before we had children, I wondered what age kids really start understanding and getting into the holidays. I love holidays, especially Christmas, but it had lost its magic before Belén came along. I looked forward to that magic returning once we had kids, but I knew it would be a few years of guarding the Christmas tree from a terrorizing toddler before we would have someone who truly anticipated Santa Claus and all the holiday had to offer.
To answer my earlier question, three-and-a-half years old is definitely the age where kids get into the Christmas spirit. As we decorated the Christmas tree on Saturday and while Eloise more or less just played with her existing toys, Belén was absolutely high on Christmas. She helped put ornaments on the tree; She lit all of the electric candles we put in our windows; She had definite opinions about where decorations should and should not go and all the while she jumped around with excitement like a Christmas-flavored jumping bean.
How about you? Is your household in the Christmas spirit?