A Child’s First Conscious Christmas (reprise)


(Christmas Day, 2013)

The car stopped in front of Ganma and Ganpa’s house. It was dark. Dada lifted me out of the car chair and set me on the snow. I walked to the house which had many lights on.

Ganpa opened the door to let us in. Inside there was noise and people. He and Mama took off my boots, coat and hat. From the door, I could see a big tree with many lights on it. There were strings of candy canes and a star up, up on top. There were presents under the tree and many colors. Ganpa held my hand and walked me around the tree. He showed me another little tree that kept changing colors and a snowman who did the same. It was dark in the room, but then we walked into the light where I saw Ganma and other people standing.

We went to a big table which had food and bottles on it and there was a choo-choo going. It kept going round and round on the table. Ganpa put me on his lap and I could see a small town of houses and people smiling who did not move. He let me turn a dial which made the choo-choo stop, slow down, go faster or go backwards! It was a cool train! He and me put cases and small people on and off on one car, then made the choo-choo go again. When it stopped, I said “Again”.

Then he was carrying me down some steps toward some lights in another room. He showed me a big window and two deer with lights moving in the snow outside. I said “Brrr, cold” because I know it’s not warm outside. We looked at a fire on tv, and I said “Hot, no touch” like my Mama told me. There were boats on pictures, snowmen, a big star, and Santas too. On the floor were some puzzles which I started to play with, pushing out the pieces through holes. Then, I started to put them back where they belonged.

Later Gandpa showed me the fridge and there was a big picture there which looked like crayons. He said I did it. I saw a picture of Ganma and went to the chair where Ganma sat to say “Ganma” and point to her in the picture. When I wanted to play with her and pulled on her leg when she was standing in the kitchen, she said she was busy and didn’t come with me.

There were lots of snacks on the table and I helped myself to some, taking them back to Mama in the big tree room. I didn’t have too much supper, but drank from a bottle of water. (No cup.) It was fun. After, Ganpa showed me white dogs and yellow birds that moved and played music. I liked the dog who played piano and Ganpa and I danced on the floor to the song. He also showed me how to pick up icicles from the rug to put back on the tree.

I had a lot of fun and opened up a few presents. There was a truck I put balls into which flew out another hole in the truck as it went. It was a good day. I said “Bye” to everybody and waved when Dada and Mama put my clothes on to go out into the Brr, cold again and the car.

(Boxing Day)

It was light outside this time when we got to Ganma and Ganpa’s. Ganpa had a camera as I walked with giraffe in my arms to him. Mama carried the dog in her Santa dress. Inside the big tree was still there with lights on, but there were no other people, just Ganma and Ganpa.

We went to the other room again and I saw puzzles on the floor and started to play with them. The deer were still moving outside but didn’t look as cold. The dog lay on the floor by herself and was eating a rope. We started to taking things out of some big stockings. I got a remote like the tv one at home except it looked like a train and made sounds like a phone. I was pretty busy some of the time throwing the rubber puzzle pieces into the hall like I do at home.

Then we moved into the room with the big tree and opened some more presents. There were some books about hugs and cars–which made noise. I got a colored phone which had a stick to play the ‘phone. I liked putting bows and tags on my head. I had more fun with a blue box which I put over my head and sat there in the middle of the room as the dog came to see me under the box to kiss me. She got tired though and lay down in her funny dress. I lay on the floor too sometimes, face down on my giraffe.

There was lots to do. I picked up paper and tore it into small bits and then put it in a row on a big box to keep me in the room. Some I dropped over the box. Later Granpa and me went to pick up the paper to put in a garbage which had a moving top. When we moved the top, we could put the garbage in. It was like a swing.

The food was good again. There was ham and sauce I could dip the ham in. I used my fingers for that. I said “Cheers” when Ganpa clinked my cup. He had my dog on his lap. The big people popped something they called crackers, but they didn’t look like crackers to me. I played with the dog and bird piano again. It still worked as did the dog with floppy ears who sang a wild song.

It was a good day again at Ganma and Ganpa’s. When we left, someone put the dog in a big box for a joke. I stood in a boxlid. It felt nice. As Mama and Dada got ready to go, I pushed a big box round and round different rooms with my giraffe on top. Ganpa helped me go over the bumps. I sure liked that.

I waved Bye again by the cold door waiting to go outside to the car. I sure had fun my first Christmas.
Note: “first Christmas” because he would have little or no memory of the first one (aged 1).

A piece about consciousness and its early beginnings relative to a special time of year. My grandson also kept walking into the ‘Tree Room’ and looking up at the tree as different-colored lights blinked on and off or ornaments moved. His favorite effect were ye olde bubble lights with the yellow fluid. “Bubbles” he said pretty clearly. There was definitely awe and wonder in many of his responses to what was going on. He also had his share of quiet moments in which I could sit him on my knee or hold him to point out different things. He is quite mimetic with words at this point, and occasionally launches into his own babble syntax to narrate his take on some things like the snowy candle town on an end table, punctuating his description with familiar words like “house’ and “tree” or “quack-quack” for the sound that penguins make!

This Christmas was unique, vicariously sharing in my grandson’s first real, conscious Christmas.

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