I love that Oliver is old enough to understand Christmas this year! Ok, he doesn't understand completely, but really, the whole idea that some fat guy with a white beard watches him sleep and brings him presents because some it's some other dude's birthday is pretty confusing, isn't it? Try explaining it to a toddler. He's got the basics down anyway: he can identify Santa and knows he's supposed to be good, and he thinks the coolest thing about Jesus being born was all the animals that were there with him. He loves to see Christmas trees, and knowing that my mother-in-law will have at least two up in their house eases some of my pain about having no decorations in our apartment, aside from the beautiful pictures Oliver made in school. We haven't gone to see Santa yet, but the last time we were in the mall he hid behind me when we got near him. I hope to try again, because really, it isn't Christmas without a photo of a screaming child on some strange man's lap, right?
But Oliver's favorite part about Christmas is The List. I think I mentioned this before, but it all started last month, when he became interested in the ToysRUs ad in the Sunday paper. He kept trying to "pick" the trains off the page with his fingers, imploring, "This one!" So Marty got out his Blackberry and told Oliver we could put anything he wanted on The List, and if he was a good boy, Santa might bring him some things from it for Christmas.
A few weeks later, in an attempt to create an actual list for Santa and our families, we took him to Target to look at toys. Brave, aren't we? We explained to him that he could hold one toy at a time, and that anything he liked would be added to The List in Marty's Blackberry, but we weren't buying anything. Tantrum city, right? Nope. Amazingly, he did great. We went up and down the toy aisles, and he would point things out or we would show him something, and if he liked it he held onto it until he saw something else, then we'd put the first item back, and so on. We bought nothing, but it was ok, because he was excited about The List.
The best part has been the catalogs. I remember pouring over the Sears Christmas Wish Book as a child. I have no idea if I started doing it at two and a half though! Well, it's the same thing but for the new millennium. I must have gotten on some mailing list, because I've been getting all kinds of toy catalogs, and I must say, they have some really cool stuff out there! Oliver loves these catalogs. He studies them, finds his favorite pages, and shows me "this one!" all the time. A lot of the stuff is too old for him, or too expensive for us, but some of it are things we have gotten him for Christmas, and some things we've told Santa to get as well.
I took these photos one day recently, after returning from the grocery store. We got the mail, which Oliver now helps with by putting the key in the slot, opening it, and pulling out anything that might be for him. A catalog had arrived! We went inside, where he proceeded to plop down in the middle of the kitchen floor while I unloaded groceries, and peruse the latest offerings. Note that he is still wearing his coat--he couldn't be bothered to take it off! And the last shot, where he's looking at me annoyed that I have interrupted his studies!