Last night Cora wanted to watch a Santa movie, and we settled on Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, a movie which does not technically feature Santa, but certainly has quite a bit to do with the jolly old elf. I remember watching this with her last year a couple times, too. But things were different this year.
We watched the movie (I'm sorry) during dinner and when we do that, I am usually actually sitting with my back to the TV, unless I twist around. But there was no twisting for me last night, because the real show was playing across her face. This time around, she laughed hysterically at Cookie Monster trying and trying to get a message to Santa, but eating each implement of communication he attempts. (Granted, she wasn't sure what kind of computer he was using, but luckily I was there to explain what a typewriter is. Or was.) And she worried when Ernie and Bert sold their favorite things to buy each other gifts. And watching the relief and smile that bloomed on her face when Mr Hooper shows up to return their favorite things...well, I admit that the full effect may have been lost on me because that part makes me cry EVERY FREAKING TIME. I still miss Mr Hooper!
And, thanks to dear Mr Hooper, I had an introduction to talking to her about other winter celebrations and Hannukah in particular. Then at the library today I found a nice picture book that talks about celebrating the nights of Hannukah and has really great artwork. We read that tonight and afterwards she said, "Mama, I'm not sure that I know how to say Hannukah!" Then realized she had said it, and grinned at her own accomplishment.
I really like the winter holiday season. I wish I could believe I will have time for all the things I love and want to do this year, but I know I won't. I don't think there will be much baking. Alas. Our decorating will be both rather piecemeal and late, given our split household. But, still. Evergreens! Candles! Music! Dickens! Burrowing in for a long weekend!
Forget sleep. I am counting on holiday spirit to be the balm my soul needs.