On the first day, Marshall awoke to a winter wonderland. I stayed up the night before stringing 120 cotton balls with fishing line and putting them up in his room to create the effect of forever falling snow.
I woke Mads up just a bit earlier than usual so I could catch his reaction. It was pure magic.
He instantly started channeling Elsa from Frozen, jumping up and down on his bed, at some points just staring at me in disbelief, and twirling around under the falling flakes. If he wasn’t smiling profusely from ear to ear then his jaw was fallen to his chest in wonderment.
My little guy was so ecstatic over this surprise that he couldn’t make a sound. Instead he looked right at me, bursting with excitement, and used ASL to sign “I love you”.
That sweet gesture took my breath away. A moment I truly treasure and I’m so grateful I caught it on camera to have forever.
Just as I have done every year since beginning this tradition, I keep an eye out all year long for items for the upcoming Christmas season. So, last summer, I bought the light for a fun North Pole solar light/ nightlight from the dollar store.
The craft itself was super easy to put together and cost only $2.50: $1 for the solar light and $1.50 for the specialty paint. Otherwise we just used things from my craft and scrapbook drawers.
After he got back from school, we sat down at his desk to complete the craft. He loved putting it together and gluing the cotton ‘snow’ onto the foam base. His absolute favorite part had to be sprinkling ‘magic’ (glitter) on the whole display.
We set our new North Pole light to the side as I told Mads that we were going to have a special story time today. I brought out one of his all time favorite ice cream treats: root beer floats! He doesn’t get sweets too often so this was a real treat indeed. I then grabbed one of his nativity books, ‘The Christmas Story’ by Patricia A. Pingry, along with the small nativity scene we bought for Marshall last year from the- you guessed it- dollar store. I explained how Jesus’ birth is what we are celebrating at Christmas time. As the figures on the book were mentioned, we would bring out the matching figurine. It was a great way to keep him interested and actively learning the story.
The true Marshall humor moment happened when I explained the word “savior”. I told him that Jesus came to save us all and Marshall quickly responded “No[t] for two people!” shaking his head. He wouldn’t elaborate further but two people sure aren’t on Marshall’s good side, apparently.
Marshall thought we were done for the day as we walked his new nightlight to his room. After all, what a great day it already turned out to be with a surprise flurry, a craft, and a special snack and story time! But there was one final surprise in store for the kick off of December. Remember how I just said we buy things all year long for our 25 days? Well we picked this up for 70% off last July!
Every Christmas Marshall has had his eye on this treasure. It is usually pretty spendy for a seasonal toy, though we couldn’t pass it up for 70% off plus $5 coupon last July. Especially when it is the same exact set every year- it just cost a bit more in December. So we decided to spoil our special guy and he couldn’t have been more grateful. He really deserves it after all his exceptionally hard work in speech therapy this past year.
As soon as Mads saw it sitting on his bed, his eyes just lit up. He rushed to the gift and just started chirping “Open, open? Thank you, thank you!” over and over. I quickly got it opened and set up and he has been playing with the North Pole play set and thanking me profusely ever since.
The first day we brought a piece of the North Pole to Marshall and just like that the magic of the season was upon us. Marshall received a beautiful gift- but I, selfishly, get the best gift of all. I get to experience Christmas through the bright, innocent eyes of a three year old. What an incredible gift this season is, in more ways than one, but one of the best gifts of all is getting to go on these adventures with this sweet boy. It is our sincere hope that each of you get at least a small piece of that gift here as well. Welcome back.