Norah has some serious Christmas spirit these days. Which is remarkable given the fact that she has a mother who (on December 18) has yet to put any treats in her advent gingerbread house (not pictured). Maybe next year?
We have an Elf on the Shelf, which she is really into. First thing she does upon waking up in the morning is look for him. The other day I heard her get out of bed and yell, "hold on Elf, I am coming, I just have to pee first!"
We baked cookies for the neighbors and Norah was in charge of the decorating. I didn't tell her this, but none of the cookies actually went to the neighbors. There is just something incredibly unappetizing about a holiday cookie decorated by a three-year-old. I think I am going to make a new batch while she is at school tomorrow and then we will deliver them together. She will be none the wiser, I hope. (You can see the aforementioned gingerbread advent house in this picture. It is so cute. All the doors and windows have the numbered days and are perfect little spots for a treat. My bad).
We finally got a Christmas tree last weekend. We went to two independent lots that were cleaned out of trees completely (one had a lady putting discarded branches into the chipper). I was very surprised, given the fact that it was TWO weeks before Christmas. We ended up having to go to Home Depot which I wasn't thrilled about, but whatever.
Apparently Norah was under the impression we were going to actually get to chop down our own tree (I blame the Curious George book for this one).
She was consoled by the fact that she got to put the star on top.
The spirit of giving, not only to friends and family, but to our greater community, is something we've worked hard to instill in Norah. We do Toys for Tots every year and she likes taking the gifts to the firemen. This year we adopted a family in crisis from a local domestic violence shelter. These families (typically moms and their kids) are in transitional housing and most need basic household items to restart their lives. We got matched with a family that consisted of a mom and her two kids: a five-year-old boy and seven-year-old girl. I debated how to explain to Norah what had happened to them-I want her to know how and why people need help sometimes, but I didn't want to scare her. She asked where the dad was and I told her that they couldn't live with him anymore because he was in jail for hurting someone and they had to live in a new place. She was sad for them but had a LOT of questions about jail (more about that sometime later).
We were given their names and a list of their needs. With Norah's help we were able to find a comforter set for each of them, along with several other things on their wish list. Norah was enamored with the idea of finding the perfect thing for each of them, which was super cute. For example, we were at Kohl's and walked by a display of necklaces in which the charm was an initial. She wanted very much to get one for the mom to make her "feel beautiful." (How could I say no to that?)
The little girl had asked for a Tinkerbell comforter and a few other things Tinkerbell related that we had found for her. Norah wanted to buy her everything and anything Tinkerbell related that she saw at Kohl's (there was a lot), and I had to tell her that we had what we needed and we couldn't get everything, even if we wanted to. We were in line to check out and there was a display of nightlights, including a Tinkerbell one. Norah immediately grabbed it and said we had to get it. I told her we had everything we needed. Her eyes filled with tears and her lip started to tremble. I saw a lady giving me the side-eye, like she just knew my kid was going to throw a fit because SHE wanted something. What an asshole. Anyway, Norah said something to the effect of we HAD to get the nightlight for Gabriella because she lives in a new place now and is probably scared at night and this will help her feel so much better. Please, please, please.
Holy shit. How awesome is this kid? She totally gets it. I was so proud of her. Of course, she continued to have her moments all this week when she was worried Louis might, god forbid, be getting more Christmas presents than her, but I will take what I can get. I still think she's pretty great.
We took the gifts to the community resource center for the shelter after school one day and she insisted upon carrying the bags for Gabriella. She was disappointed we didn't actually get to meet her but seemed really happy to help someone else and grateful that her dad isn't in jail (although, really. The kid is obsessed with jail. Again, more on that later).