We are well into the swing of the Christmas season at this point.
We put up our tree and decorations a few weeks ago. I usually wait for December 1 but I bought a new tree this year and wanted to try it out. Every year I end up reading some sort of article about having a "green" Christmas and I always read about how bad the artificial ones are - full of phthalates and lead that will come off on little Henry's hands when he touches it. And I just couldn't get it out of my head, I knew I wouldn't be able to relax every time I saw Henry near the tree. And I have never had any desire for a real tree, seems like a real nuissance and just isn't part of my own Christmas tradition.
So I bought a vintage aluminum tree off ebay and I am quite in love with it. It is also just a bit smaller than our previous tree which I like now that we want Henry to have lots of room to run around. I was a bit upset that you can't put lights on aluminum trees but it catches the light so beautifully I love it even without lights.
And of course we also have our streamers and nativity scene up.
Above is Henry helping to decorate and below is Henry very gently touching the tree. The official rule is no touching but he is always gentle so we often let it slide.
This weekend we added some handmade decorations. This blog post on Michele Made Me inspired Kevin and I to make paper snowflakes for the first time in forever.
And we got Henry in on the decorating action again by getting him to paint this Christmas tree that Kevin made for him.
And then came the most exciting part! We had Henry open his first Christmas present of the year. We wanted to give him the wooden farm animals that Kevin and I made years ago along with a plastic barn I found. And we thought they were a pretty special gift that we didn't want to get lost in the pile of presents he'll likely be receiving on Christmas Day. So we gave them to him on Sunday. It was also perfect timing because he's been into animals for awhile and is just recently into making his toys "eat". So a couple weeks ago I quickly made some accessories for the farm: some hay, a pile of carrots, a bucket, and a trough. So now the animals can eat.
On Sunday morning he opened the present. And it was perfect! He really liked it. He took each thing out of the barn one by one, saying what it was and making the corresponding sound to go with it as he went. And he plays with it. He's been playing with the set a lot. Making the animals eat (sometimes eating each other!), making them kiss each other, and playing out who knows what other scenarios he has in his head. Sometimes some very exciting sounds accompany the play. I just love to see him doing this sort of play and even more so when it is with toys I made myself.
So far Christmas 2011 is pretty great, I am going to make sure to savour every minute of the rest of it.