Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Memories

P is at the age where the magic of Christmas is now making sense.  We got to decorate the tree entirely this year.  Last year we had to start the ornaments 2' up from the bottom branch because she kept taking them off.  She is being patient with her gifts and knows she has to wait to open them.  However, because her birthday was not too long ago she calls all presents "happy birthdays".  

We all have our own memories of Christmas.  Mine involve mid-night Mass, few gifts and always playing one of the biggest junior tennis tournaments in the world, the Orange Bowl.  Tennis took over making gingerbread houses or decorating with the lights or anything else about the holiday.

It recently dawned on me that P's Christmas memories are in our hands.  We are about to start sculpting how she will feel about the holidays for the rest of her life.  Lets face it, it's our childhood memories that set the tone for this time of the year.  With this in mind I'm making a list of what I want Christmas to mean to P and our future children. 

I want Christmas to have a feel of warmth and family. I want us to have special, traditional meals and to bake cookies and gingerbread houses.  I want them to remember a home decorated with lights and great cheer.  I want them to know the reason for our season as Christians but I want them to know it's only one of a few interpretations for why we all celebrate.  I want them to know its a time to give and share. I want them to get gifts but  I do not want to make it about the gifts. I vow to not have a tree with tons of gifts under it, regardless of how well we are doing financially.  With the toys and other "physical" gifts they get I also want them to get the gifts of responsibility, freedom, courage, strength.  Gifts that are more gifts of life and growing up.  I mostly want them to feel special and loved beyond anything ever known.

I'm really not sure how I'm going to make all this happen. Maybe starting with a few goals and adding on every year will get the job done.  

Sunday, December 13, 2009


We've done some fun things in the weeks since I've last blogged. Best adventure was going to the Getty. I've taken P to the Getty Villa several times but this was her first time to the Getty off the 405.

Their kid's section is amazing. Absolutely amazing!  It's divided into five separate rooms or cubicles, each inspired by art throughout the center.  One room had a giant, backlit, manuscript wall where the kids could draw on it like a dry erase board.  P LOVED it!   She's moved on from a paining phase to a drawing phase so this was her cup of tea. 

The next room was inspired by the King Louis bed located in the museum. This version was small but took up the entire space.  It was done just like the real thing with ornate, blue silk with tassels and rolled pillows on each end. It also had a cubby with books all devoted to beds and sleeping.  P loved bouncing on this bed and grabbing books. 

The third room was inspired by a sculpture I saw when we entered the museum.   The room had foam tubing all connected at various places on the walls.  P could take the tubings out and reconnect them as she pleased.  

The fourth room was inspired by a Hockney painting and it was filled with mirrors to "mirror" the effect Hockney did in his painting. I know P didn't quite get it but she did find it interesting. 

Last was a spot where the kids could draw their own masks. The inspirational painting was one with lots of faces looking at you. I forgot to look up the artist bc I was too crazy following P with crayons and the three masks she was attempting to create all at one time.  

After spending about an hour in the kid's center we went outside to the garden. P saw where we were going and took off running.  She ran and ran and ran. The garden is a maze that leads to a lowered center.  As you're coming in it feels like a giant drain. P was a little drop of water making her way down. 

This was the perfect adventure: she got culture, creativity and exercise!  I couldn't have been happier and  neither was P.  As we drove out of the parking garage she said "ahmazeeeing time Mamma, ahmazeeeing time" and then fell asleep before we hit the first light.