This year as Manny is about to be 4 years old, we are in full-on Christmas mode. It’s Santa, it’s Frosty, it’s Rudolph, it’s presents, it’s the tree, it’s ALL THE TIME! It’s a little too much. It’s probably also a lot my fault. I’m the first to admit that I love all things Christmas. I always have. I also adore the story of Jesus’ birth. The story has always touched my heart. It took on a whole new meaning the year I gave birth to my son. It was Christmas Eve in Santa Fe, NM and I could not help but think of Mary as I waddled along Santa Fe’s beautiful Farolito Walk only 1 day from my own due date. This year I’ve tried to de-emphasize the secular stuff and emphasize the true spirit of Christmas, the birth of Christ, the giving rather than receiving, the togetherness of family and friends. So far it’s been met with mixed success. Manny is frequently resistant to the notion that we shouldn’t be talking about Santa every hour of the day. He was truly appalled on the way to get our Christmas tree this weekend when my husband and I suggested that he might spend some of his own money on someone else this year. Sigh. But he’s just 3, 4 on December 31st. It’s in a child’s nature to think of themselves, right? I mean, it’s something we as adults struggle with. That night at dinner we talked about giving of ourselves, our time, our talents, our saved up dollars from helping mommy and daddy with chores. Something must be sinking in. While decorating the tree, he found an ornament featuring Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and said “Look Momma! The true meaning of Christmas!” Rejoice! Success. I’ll take it.