Watching Christmas through the eyes of a four year old is an amazing experience. I have five children, one son (21), and four daughters, 20, 17, 12 and 4. Having the older kids softened a bit by the enthusiasm and genuine gratitude of our youngest was a gift in and of itself.
Here are a few Christmas highlights as experienced by our four year old:
1) Santa came to visit her pre-school and just before he left she was frantically trying to get his attention, but (fortunately) he was preoccupied with the other children and didn’t see her. After, my wife asked her why she was trying to get his attention and she said, “I wanted to tell him to put Ali (our 17 year old) on his naughty list.” My wife was amused and surprised and asked her “why?” “Ali always is in her room or on the computer and she never plays with me.”
2) When my 17 year old found out how the youngest felt, she made an effort to spend some one-on-one time with her. Later that week when I was kidding about putting my 17 year old on Santa’ s naughty list, our youngest said, “I already got her off the list. She is on Santa’s nice list and I’m not going to let her get on the naughty list again.”
3) After hearing the song, “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas,” I told our youngest that all I wanted for Christmas was a hippo. She said, “Sorry dad, you can’t because we don’t have a pool for the hippo to live.” She went on to tell me, “Sometimes Santa brings presents other than the one you asked for so you’ll probably get something else.”
4) On Christmas morning we make our kids wait on the stairs before they can come see their presents. I always talk about how cool the presents are and this year I said, “I can’t believe it, there is a pool in our backyard now and sitting in that pool is a hippo.” Her face filled with wonder and she said “I can’t wait to see it.” When I told her I was kidding, she laughed with me for a while and thought it was so funny that I had joked with her about that.
5) On Christmas Eve we used a “Naughty List” scanning app on my iPhone to figure out who was naughty and who was nice. When the app revealed that my wife was on the naughty list, my four year old said, “don’t worry mom I’ll share my presents with you.”
Christmas morning was magical. She loved everything she received and kept saying, “this is the best Christmas ever” – thanks to her, it was.