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December 26, 2010

"Being" in the Moment

In the couple of weeks before Christmas, I enjoyed reading about some of my friends’ Elf on a Shelf antics and hearing about their kiddos’ visits to Santa. The best I could gauge, kids around the age of 2 ½ really began to “get” Christmas.

At 23 months old, I felt like we were probably missing out on some of the fun by a few months…

...the girls were excited about turning on the lights on the tree every morning, and they can “sing” “Jingle Bells” [at a 23-month old level, which means Mommy has to carry most of the tune]…but they didn’t “get” the anticipation of the holiday.

What I wasn’t taking into account was how much the girls would enjoy just “being” in the moment.

On Christmas Eve, we loaded them into the car to see the holiday lights. With Daddy as their chauffeur and Mommy as their tour guide, pretzel-ed between their car seats, they delighted in the luminary displays. When we’d pull away from a particularly decorated house, they would often whine, “More reindeer / Santa Claus / snowman, please!

Their favorite part of the tour was seeing our downtown square decked out in a gazillion lights, but more importantly driving right by two beautiful white horses giving carriage rides. “White horses…downtown!” they’ve been quoting.

On Christmas morning, we brought the girls into the den. Their kitchen was waiting for them, brimming with plastic food goodness, lots of pots and pans, and bells and whistles galore. They were mesmerized.

They have only taken breaks from “cooking” to eat a quick bite. And at that, every few minutes they say, “More kitchen please!” I have probably 100 pictures that look like this…

...I have barely seen anything but the backs of their heads in two days!

I did capture this cute one of them sampling each other’s culinary creations, giggling all the while.

As much as I wanted to take pictures of the girls sitting in front of the tree and opening their presents, I didn’t want to tear them away from having so much fun in the den.

On Christmas afternoon, we did interrupt their cooking frenzy to open their stockings. They each enjoyed pulling out a Weeble, a new Curious George book, and a box of crayons, but then they were ready to return to the den.

As of this afternoon, the day after Christmas, the girls have yet to open their gifts. I know they’ll get to it eventually, and when they do…when the time is right…I know they’ll enjoy it.

I know there will be plenty of years ahead when the girls will wake us up at an obscene hour to rip open some wrapping paper. But my experience this year has been a good reminder to me to just enjoy “being”…being in the moment, appreciating each and every stage, for the beauty it contains.

(I also enjoyed not having to hide their Christmas gifts…I know I’ll probably never have that luxury again!)


Sadia said...

Being in the moment is such a gift!

I've actually encouraged Melody and Jessica to keep their wonder. They still play with each new toy as they open them. If a gift is a particular hit, we may go hours before opening the next one.

They're now old enough that WHO gave them a particular gift is more important than its actual contents. Today, Jessica broke the snowglobe Grammy Great gave her. A couple of hours later, Melody told me she'd given Jessie hers, "Because that's the Christmas spirit." It definitely looks like your pair already has that part down.

Helene said...

Awwww, I love seeing how much they're enjoying their new kitchen!! That was the same age we got Cole and Bella a play kitchen too and they played with every day for hours!

This year was the very first time Bella actually took her time opening her gifts and really relished each of them as she went along. The boys were rushing her and she kept saying, "I want to open all my presents slowly and take it all in"....LOL!!

Unknown said...

I really love that age. It is so sweet when they don't know what the big deal about presents is : ) So much fun.
I LOVE their little kitchen and the back of their heads as they are cooking up a storm. I can just imagine how much fun they have together. Too sweet for words!

Marcia (123 blog) said...

those pictures are adorable! I can just feel the glee :)

I have personally been working on being in the moment more so my babies also teach me this daily.

If I were you, I'd put those other gifts away as is for next Christmas :)

Andrea said...

This is awesome! I love seeing that sister bond playing together. Way too sweet! Santa brought a kitchen to Molly too....but I think Luke is enjoying it a much as Molly. I figured he would. Is it bad that every time Molly makes me something to eat she uses the microwave?!?! I like that you are savoring every moment...ENJOY it Mommy. Take care, Andrea

Mandy said...

This will also be the last year the wrapped presents are just lying around... lol.
I'm so glad they loved their gifts. They are too precious playing with each other. I can't wait for the girls to reach that stage!

Unknown said...

I love this and know exactly what you mean. I decided that next year we will do 12 days of Christmas, opening 1 gift a day from the 14th through the 25th. That way they will be able to enjoy each gift before moving on to the next. I'll start with the boring stuff (like socks and outfits) and end with the big, awesome toys!

Sara said...

I love it! It was great of you not force them to open more presents that were most likely going to be thrown on the floor so they could get back to the kitchen anyway. :)

Quadmama said...

How fun! What a great memory to share with them as they get older.

Jen said...

I remember when my son was 2 (and maybe even 3) that it took him 2 days to open everything and it's not like there were a zillion gifts, lol. My daughter, on the other hand, has been all about presents since she her first Christmas when she was 9 months old. She loved pulling all the paper off (with a bit of help). She was a hoot a few months later at her first birthday party, diving in to gift bags. LOL! And last Christmas and this Christmas she diligently opened every gift :o). She's been so fun!

Kate Pantier @ Mommy Monologues said...

I like seeing how much fun they are having with their kitchen, but what's really cool is seeing how much fun they have with each other! I bet having a twin is exhausting for the parents, but great for the kiddos!

Julia said...

Love those kitchen pictures! They look like they are having a blast--what a perfect gift!

reanbean said...

Good for you for not rushing them through the presents! When we go to my in-laws, there's always such a rush to get the presents out an opened. It stresses my guys out, and often their older cousins end up opening most of their gifts just to get it over and done with. This REALLY bothered me the first two years, but this year, knowing it was coming, I just took some deep breaths and tried to go with the flow. I was so glad that we'd already had our much more low-key celebration at home that I could remember fondly.

Anonymous said...

how cute!! we just did christmas yesterday as well. the gifts just kind of sat there. we were all overwhelmed and needed a bit of a break, i think.

great reminder to be in the moment.