I really wish that stores wouldn’t put up their Christmas trees in October. It makes two little girls anxious. It makes them think Christmas is coming really soon. It’s makes them ask a bazillion questions. And it makes me just a little bit crazy. Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. I love having little girls who are excited about ornaments, candy canes, and new toys. I’m just not good at playing the “how-many-questions-can-you-answer-about-Christmas-without-losing-your-mind-and-it’s-only-the-first-week-of-November” game. When November rolls around I like to think about Thanksgiving. I like to read The Plump and Perky Turkey to the girls at bedtime. And I like to think about all that I’m thankful for. I don’t want to think about Christmas quite yet. I’m a one thing at a time kinda gal. It’s just who I am.
So there I was at the beginning of November with two little sweethearts asking me “It’s almost Christmas?” I told them the truth. It was going to be a long time until Christmas. They didn’t buy it. Or they didn’t want to believe it. So they kept asking “It’s almost Christmas?” I finally found the answer that seemed to calm their anxious hearts. I told them that Christmas is after Thanksgiving. They believed me. The question “It’s almost Christmas?” ceased to be a part of our conversations.
We had our first Thanksgiving dinner with Brett’s family on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. I got the honor of sitting at the kiddie table with my girls. Hope took her last bite of food, pushed her plate away, and declared “Christmas is tomorrow!” And then she started ordering Grandma to put her tree up. I’ve known this little gal for 10 years. I really should’ve seen that coming.
We put our tree up the day after Thanksgiving. Then the girls ordered me to go wrap the presents. And the “It’s almost Christmas?” question came back to haunt us. I decided to try a new approach. It will be Christmas after you sleep 28 more times. That didn’t go over very well. So I told them that I would make a calendar that they could put a sticker on every day. Then they can see with their eyes how close we’re getting to Christmas. A couple of days ago Mikayla asked me once again “It’s almost Christmas?” I told her it will be Christmas after you sleep 26 more times. She looked at me with a blank stare and she said “Make the calendar, Mommy.” This is what life looks like when little girls struggle with auditory processing but are strong visual learners. Hearing just doesn’t mean much. But seeing is believing. A calendar was the magic answer.
This morning was the magical day when November turned into December. They each got to put a sticker on their calendar. Every sticker gets us one day closer to Christmas. When you put a sticker on the number 24 then it means that tomorrow is Christmas. Mikayla just asked me for another sticker. Sorry, sister. Only one sticker a day. That’s the rules.