Merry And Bright

The first Sunday of Advent is THIS WEEKEND! Well, that was fast.

I love everything about the Christmas season – I love singing carols and wrapping presents and drinking eggnog (sometimes. Sometimes eggnog is like a big cup of snot.) and I love watching the same old Christmas shows every year. I love tradition and ritual and the busted up old ornaments from our childhood Christmas trees.

Not everyone loves tradition, though. My Girl is 10 and is VERY much into personality quizzes. If you were a cookie, what kind of cookie would you be? What sort of friend are you? And what is your Christmas personality? So the other night, I was flopped out on her bed and she was quizzing me and I was – here’s a surprise – a Christmas traditionalist – and she, in her cupcake pajamas, was NOT.

“I hate doing the same old thing every year!” she said, as world-weary as a happy kid of 10 can be.

I don’t know about you, but I kind of expected my kids to be more like me than they show any signs of being, thought that they’d all be my snarky cookie-loving doubles.

Last year, a classmate’s cousin’s house burned down RIGHT before Christmas. The Girl and her classmates had met this girl at birthday parties, but didn’t know her – but when they learned that her Webkinz had all burned up in the fire, they decided that they should chip in together and buy her a new one as a Christmas present. The Girl came up with the idea of hosting a carolling party and we (and another girl’s obliging grandfather) drove the kids around town on a bitterly cold night and they belted out the kinds of songs that kids like – Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph (IN HIS UNDERWEAR! they belted out. At our minister’s house.) – and she found, to her shock, that they’d made substantially more than needed for a Webkinz, so she donated the rest to the local food bank.

Hey! Let’s do this quiz, she said to me this morning when she was supposed to be getting ready for school. What Is Your Christmas Character?

I make lists of cookies I’m going to make. I was Mrs. Claus, of course.

She plans carolling parties and tells her friends on the phone that they’ll make even MORE money if they sing “old people” carols (Silent Night, What Child Is This) and pours over the Heifer International catalog, telling me that half of the money she’s raising is going there this year (and in case you’re wondering, she says that rabbits are the best deal – fertile, cute AND you can eat them.) , and the other half to our constantly underfunded food bank. And she was, of course, an elf – petite and compassionate, hilarious and pragmatic, and full of her own glittering Christmas spirit. 

“IF YOU MAKE COOKIES TODAY, SAVE ME SOME!” she called out as she left, part me and mostly herself, dashing away from me and out into the big wide world that is just waiting for her.

16 Responses to Merry And Bright
  1. mimi
    November 26, 2009 | 12:14 pm

    Oh! What a kid.

  2. christine
    November 26, 2009 | 12:48 pm

    your girl is so kind! i just love her giving spirit, that sweet, sweet child.

  3. hisgirlamber
    November 26, 2009 | 1:04 pm

    I love that you love your children for all exactly who they were created to be.

  4. Sue
    November 26, 2009 | 2:03 pm

    What a great girl!


    PS. I think her mom’s pretty great, too.

  5. Nicole
    November 26, 2009 | 5:04 pm

    I wish I was more like your daughter.

  6. Allie
    November 26, 2009 | 6:04 pm

    I also wish I was more like your daughter.

  7. suburbancorrespondent
    November 26, 2009 | 9:11 pm

    Can I have her? My kids insist on doing the same thing every Christmas, and really – after 18 years – it’s getting a bit old.

  8. edj
    November 27, 2009 | 6:37 am

    My daughter is so like me in some ways (reading obsessively, liking to bake, sarcasm like an armour for jr hi) that it’s hard for me when she is actually so very different in other ways. It’s a bit of an adventure really. I think she’ll react one way to something, but I’m wrong! I sort of love it, except when I’m hating it.

  9. Omaha Mama
    November 27, 2009 | 11:13 am

    I love this post. And it made me cry a little and I don’t even know why. I LOVED those quizzes when I was young. As a tween with her Teen Magazine, I took every quiz they ever had.

  10. erin
    November 28, 2009 | 2:41 pm

    what a perfectly darling and thoughtful little girl you have! you should be so proud!

  11. Angela Nazworth
    November 29, 2009 | 7:35 pm

    Oh She is a fabulous little girl!

  12. Christina
    November 30, 2009 | 11:04 am

    You have one awesome daughter, I know you must be so proud.

  13. Rosebud & Papoosie Girl
    November 30, 2009 | 10:30 pm

    Ok I confess I loved those quizzes as a girl too, but now they drive me mad! Papoosie Girl loves them and at almost 9 I guess it is the age. This was a lovely post and peek into The Girl. I could belong to you because I am one snarky cookie lover!

  14. Painted Maypole
    December 3, 2009 | 1:09 am

    what a great “Self” she is. MQ has decided that she doesn’t want to save her $$ for an ipod (which my parents are getting her… or at least a rip off version of, for XMas anyways, not that she knows that) but that she wanted to go out and buy presents for family and friends instead. And although she SO doesn’t need to spend her own money on that, there is NO WAY I’m discouraging her from generosity. Although I’m trying to steer her towards the kind of gifts we give to our parents… donating to something in their honor. ok… i think i might have post in this story myself… hmmm…

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