I really don’t. I can’t think of anything that could beat what I’ve already experienced this holiday season.
My son gets that it’s Christmastime.
He got that it was Thanksgiving.
He understood that it was Halloween.
He may not have the slightest clue what any of those things actually mean.
He wouldn’t eat his Halloween candy (that makes two years in a row his sister has really lucked out).
He ate a grilled cheese sandwich while we stuffed ourselves with Thanksgiving dinner.
He doesn’t know to look forward to Christmas gifts.
Yet, this year he’s plugged in enough to the world around him to understand that things are going on.
He’s plugged in enough to recognize that the decorations and excitement are associated with events happening in the world around him and he is so excited.
It wasn’t like this last year or the year before.
Last year, as Halloween and Thanksgiving passed, he was oblivious.
He didn’t recognize that there was anything different from the day-to-day.
He didn’t care that he was dressed as Captain Kirk for Halloween or that the family was gathered and stuffing themselves for Thanksgiving.
He didn’t care about the presents under the tree at Christmas.
This year, though… this year is different.
He still doesn’t care about candy or turkey.
He still doesn’t excitedly anticipate presents under the tree.
But he gets that something is different.
He gets that something is happening.
He acknowledges — excitedly — the decorations and costumes and lights and sounds and everything else that goes along with the fun of the holiday season.
He squeals and smiles and says “Halloween!”
or “Happy Thanksgiving!”
or “Merry Christmas!”
As we trimmed the tree, he ran in his favorite circuitous route around our downstairs saying, “It’s Christmas Eve!” — a phrase I highly suspect he poached, in his scripted way, from one of his Mickey Christmas movies that have been in heavy rotation on Netflix lately.
And in a way, that’s better than “getting it.”
He gets the excitement, the love, the joy, the pure jubilation of the season.
Not once will he ask me if his sister got more presents than him this year.
He didn’t complain about being forced to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV to make me happy.
He couldn’t care less that I dressed him as Spock for Halloween and taught him the Vulcan salute.
He’s just joyous.
Joyous and excited about the ever-expanding world around him.
That is the best — and only — gift I need this Christmas.
This post originally appeared on Sunny Days With My Loves.
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