Last week some folks from Church came over to visit in preparation for The KingofHearts' surgery and we were chatting about Christmas and how we each... do it. One of them is a twenty-something guy in college and one of them is a new dad with a young son. Dadguy asked us, "I'm curious. Especially as my wife and I are trying to figure out how to teach our son about the meaning of Christmas as he grows up, what do you do to focus on the real meaning of Christmas for your kids?"

I was a bit flummoxed for an answer, actually.

It's not like we don't try and focus on the different aspects of Christmas. We do.

indignant whining We watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. /indignant whining

I just wasn't really sure what we do

I gave them some such nonsense about having family traditions... symbols and ornaments and reading books that come down with the Christmas decorations and trying to take advantage of teachable moments and blah blah blah if you're really listening, you should be aware by now that I have no idea what I'm talking about, have you met me? i'm certainly not qualified to be dispensing parenting advice, maybe you should go talk to the Bishop.

Then The Dormouse, who is always ready to enter any adult conversation whether asked or not, interjected that at Christmastime, Santa brings us gifts and we give each other gifts. And in her opinion, that is a very real way to begin exercising faith in something that's sometimes hard to believe in when some people tell us he's not real and to remind ourselves of the Savior and the gifts that He gave to us when came to earth and died for us.

And I was like, "Ummm. Yeah. What she said."

It's always embarrassing when your seven year old can provide a better answer to a question than you are able.

But then to prove to me that she wasn't above the commercialism of the Christmas season (or perhaps to just keep me on my toes), she handed me her Christmas Wish List a couple of days later.

The Dormouse's Wish List [sic] For Christmas
  1. Fur real freinds® Gogo, my walkin' pup
  2. Fushigy
  3. Mind Flex
  4. Old-faisioned milk can
  5. china doll
  6. science kit I science!
  7. very, very, big diamond
  8. Barbie doll'd up nails (only at Toy's r us)
  9. a dress made of blue and pink calico
  10. A big glass snowflake
  11. 3 dozen pink and silver puff balls
  12. tiny 1 foot engien jet that can fly
  13. ballet lessons

This delights me because she has been compiling this list for a couple of weeks now - adding an item when she thinks about it here and there - and I can pretty much trace our activities this month by what she's added to this list.
Allow me to demonstrate:

Items 1-3: at the beginning of the month, I set the DVR to record several Christmas specials and have been letting them watch one an evening if they get out of the bath and get ready for bed in enough time. These items are directly related to the commercials seen on these specials.

Item 4: This year the girls are doing an advent calendar with turn-of-the-century style artwork and behind one of the windows was an old-fashioned milk can. She didn't know what it was and we had to explain it to her. Now she is fascinated with antique milk cans. I guess I'm just glad they didn't include a chamber pot.

Item 5: She watched Santa Claus is Comin' to Town and was particularly affected by the scene where Kris gives Jessica a china doll. Personally, they kinda creep me out.

Item 6: Watching Mythbusters on TV is a family event and a comment was made about how our kids will grow up geeky and into science. The KingofHearts thinks this is awesome because then when they are teenagers, boys will leave them alone. Me? I just think this makes them available to a wider variety of boys.

Item 7: One too many give her jewelry for Christmas commercials.

Item 8: Toys R Us catalog arrived in the mail

Item 9: She's reading On the Banks of Plum Creek

Item 10: Honestly, I can't place this one. I don't know what it means.

Item 11: This is a layover from Princess Pukefest

Item 12: A gift purchased for someone else this season

Item 13: I'm pretty sure this came from an episode of Community

In other news, The Caterpillar told us this morning she wanted "a jet airplane" for Christmas. So it's nice to see that the rampant materialism hasn't gotten to her.