William--We have entered the "festival of lights" in more than one respect. As Chanukah began last week, we also put up our Christmas tree and trimmed it last Saturday. Will is infatuated with the lights. We really enjoyed his joyful reaction. He is getting up on his hands and knees more and plays peek-a-boo. He initiates the games! Watching his little face light up at each new decoration and tradition is a true festival in our book!
Joseph-- So, this year, as we have a real, full-size tree, Joey is into not only the lights but the ornaments asking us about many of them, pointing out shapes like hearts and stars that he knows. To try and distract the kids from the tree (there are globe lights on it that look suspiciously like balls) we placed a hope chest in front of it and I set up the Little People Nativity scene on it complete with the shepherd boy and his sheep, the little drummer boy and the innkeeper and his wife. The wise men are a short distance away with camels. My parents bought the kids the Little People Nativity scene so they would have a touchable way to interact with the figures in the birth of Jesus. We christened our nativity "O Little Town of Bethlehem." Joey enjoys all of the figures although he dislikes the donkey being hooked to a cart. His favorite though, is the "Bee-da Jee-da" or Baby Jesus. He gives the Baby Jesus kisses and asks us to kiss him as well. When Daddy moved "Bee-da Jee-da" someplace out of the manger scene to another part of the town, Joey quickly corrected him. Joey loves the scene so much that Lightening McQueen and the Hudson Hornet visited and parked in the auxiliary stable. We're learning about better places for the "dor-dees" to park.
Shelby--Shelby has no use for O Little Town of Bethlehem. She removes it with one swipe and is up on the hope chest attempting to remove ornaments and unscrew lightbulbs. This tree has something for EVERYONE! We're really working on this. She especially enjoys the stockings which can't be hung by the chimney as we don't have one, but are hanging in our front windows. Unfortunately, with Will being in the hospital that weekend, I didn't get to have the St Nicholas day festivities I had planned but Shelby seems to get the whole stocking thing and looks in hers each day to see if anything came (on Christmas Bucky Badger will hopefully be there for her).
All three kids are enjoying Sirius/XM's Holly station. It plays more updated versions of Christmas classics. We often play it (we get in through DirectTV) during the day and the kids have a favorite Christmas song...Christmas in Hollis by Run-DMC. The kids have also watched A Charlie Brown Christmas many a time. It is wonderfully refreshing to see them enjoying Christmas and not caring about the material aspects.