I was really excited for this year's Christmas morning to come around. On Christmas Eve, I dutifully wrapped presents and stuffed stockings. We went out to eat a special Christmas Eve dinner with Daryl's family, and got home just in time for Jonah's bedtime. He posed for a few pictures in his spiffy new Christmas PJ's, I read to him How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and tucked him in bed. I know that he's only one, but Jonah is old enough to understand when he is getting new toys, and when there is something special happening. I was really excited to see him open up his gifts in the morning.
Daryl and I decided before we even had children, that our Christmas gifts would be relatively low-key. A stocking, and one or two really nice gifts that the children will appreciate. We're hoping that this will take some of the commercialism out of the gift-getting process, and teach our children to accept gifts graciously and with appreciation. So while Jonah didn't have a ton of things to open (from us- the grandparents are a different story!) I was still excited to see him dig into his stocking and tear into the wrapping paper. This year, Jonah is old enough to understand opening gifts, and one of his favorite things to do is to take stuff out of bags and containers. I made opening his stocking into a little game. Some of the stocking items were wrapped, but the idea was for him to pull everything out and put it back in. We play this game ALL the time with other containers. I thought it would be a big hit.
Well, Christmas morning arrived, and Jonah was up with the sun. Thank goodness for us, Jonah is still young enough that Daddy and Mommy have a chance to make coffee before Christmas begins! In our living room, I had placed both Jonah's stocking and the dog's stocking. Yes, we give the dog a stocking, but it is just a small one with some special doggie treats and a new toy. We set the boys loose in the living room, encouraging them to explore the stockings in the middle of the room. "What's this over here?" We asked Jonah. "This bright red thing! This wasn't here last night! What's in there?" Paddington the dog tore into his. It was a frenzy of squeaks and wrapping paper, and then the little fur ball ran off with his freshly unwrapped new toy. Jonah on the other hand, did not want to look at his stocking. He promptly crawled to his toy box, and chose one of his old shaker bottles to play with.
"Jonah! Mommy has a sack, and there's stuff in here!!!" I demonstrated the game that I had planned out so well- taking items out of the stocking with great emphasis, and putting them back in. "Jonah! Come play 'take it out' with Mommy!" Nope. Jonah did not want to play with Mommy. We took the stocking over to him. He touched the fuzzy top and giggled, then went back to the shaker bottle. Daryl held it up and pulled the top item out halfway. Yogurt melts. The ultimate treat for Jonah! Okay, so that got his attention. He pulled the yogurt melts out of the bag and clung to them. We tried to entice him with the other items. Boats for the tub? Nope! New crayola markers? Nah. Small books? Nada. Nothing but the sugary treats would interest this child.
So Daryl decided to see if he would open up his "big" gift from Mommy and Daddy. We were really excited to see him play with this toy. It is a Fisherprice Colorflash Laptop. The box says that it is for children age 3 and up, but we read the reviews and a lot of people said that their one year old just loved it. There are no small parts for him to choke on, and all he has to do is push the keys to get the screen to light up and play music. We chose this for him because Jonah loves our laptops. He loves to push the keys. He also loves to take the keys off. My keyboard is currently missing a fully functional " and E key because he has taken them of. They work if I hit them hard enough repeatedly, but we wanted to find something that he could play with the keys, and not be able to destroy anything. This little laptop has keys that he can push, and get results from pushing them, but he cannot break it! Perfect!
So Daryl sat with Jonah in his lap, holding the big silver box. He showed Jonah where the paper would tear. Jonah pushed it off his lap, and squirmed away, again to play with his old toys. Eventually, Daryl did convince him that what was in the silver package was more interesting than the yogurt melts.
In the end, Daryl and I ended up opening Jonah's presents that day. He played with a few of the books, and his new shapes puzzle, while we were opening the other gifts. But in general, Jonah was not interested in anything that anyone had to offer him, until our guests left. The day after Christmas was much more enjoyable for him. He sat and explored all of his new books and toys. I am not sure if Jonah was just overwhelmed by the chaos of the morning, especially when we went upstairs to join the rest of Daryl's family, or if he just needed to be given a little time to get used to the idea of these new items. I'm thinking that everyone, including me and Daryl, had too high of expectations for the morning.