I was sort of bummed that I some how missed watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special last month (also, I waited to long to send a DVD back to Netflix so I did not get it from there either...)
So last night I was thrilled to see not one but TWO Charlie Brown Christmas specials on. Then I started thinking about this... It is NOVEMBER 28, right? Shouldn't these shows me on closer to Christmas? Why must we rush everything (or drag it out - which ever way you prefer to look at it...) in this world? Why can't the specials wait a few weeks so they are on closer to the holiday? By the way, in case you care, next week on Wednesday is a Shrek Christmas and the old Grinch show. I digress and poorly transition between paragraphs which make no sense...
Yes, I am 34 and I love holiday kiddie shows... shut it! I think part of that love hearkens back to the memories those shows have etched in my childhood memories. I LOVED watching Charlie Brown Christmas and the Grinch on TV weeks before Christmas. You had to watch for the advertisements and check the TV guide carefully or you would miss them. It seems with the advent of VCRs, DVDs, etc that there have been less and less shows like this on TV like I remember as a kid (besides of course on ABC Family) or maybe I just have not paid much attention in years past.
I remember making popcorn on the stove or in the popper (no microwave for us) and getting a big glass of egg nog. I would settle down in front of the TV, crossed legged and ready for these beloved shows. I know the words my heart - 'That Charlie Brown, he is a block head but he did get a nice little tree.' or Lucy saying 'I want real estate' and Sally's letter to Santa requesting $5 or $10s if her gifts were too difficult to obtain. I think these shows bring me back to being a kid. To the sense of wonder and excitement I used to feel (before I figured out that Santa and the Easter bunny were really just two people, of course...)
Matthew was still up when these shows were on struggling as usual with bed time - opening & closing his door, asking for drinks of water, needing to use the bathroom, ONE more song, Mommy, pluuuuuuese... Fighting off sleep between yawns. I did not invite him to watch, not because I am cruel or anything like that. Partly, I am just trying to slow the excitement of Christmas until we get a little closer to the 25th. Also, I remember the Nanny telling some parents on her show that they should not let their young child watch TV right before bed time because it actually hypes them up more than makes them sleepy. Lord knows we do not need Matthew to be more awake! However, I wanted to so badly to invite him to snuggle with me on the couch, break out the popcorn & nog and let him experience this 'event' that I am so fond of!
I love many things about about Matthew's age right now but one of the biggest things I have come to love is the wonder and excitement by which he lives life. Something we adults forget or become oblivious to often times... He turns to me his eyes flashing with excitement in the car at all of the lights on the houses, his mouth a perfect round 'O' when he sees a blow up Santa or polar bear the size of a house, the cheering for our Christmas decorations each morning as if it is the 1st time he is seeing them and not the 15th time.
I love this age because it is unmarred by expectations to some degree. He has asked simply for a train set. Not something bigger or more expensive. I hold this time in the palm of my hand, I put it in my pocket and hope that I will remember to take it out as he grows older... as his requests grow more elaborate and likely more expensive.
I also want him to learn the joy of the season beyond just the hype, the commercialism of it all. I think that is why I still love those old cartoons - the simple ones like Charlie Brown and the Grinch. They are a reminder for me of simpler times past. They bring back for me the wonder and excitement I used to feel, the hope for the season and beyond. That is one thing I hope to "give" to Matthew now so when he is 'an old person' like me, he will remember something special about the season like I remember the cartoons. That he will be able to recapture that naive belief in simple goodness, holiday love and spirit of giving back to our fellow man!