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“Are you excited about Christmas?!”

This is the first question out of everyone’s mouths when they speak to Arlo. This question has been being asked since early December. That’s one looong Christmas build up.

Christmas has been pushed onto him so much when I feel that at the tender age of three, he hasn’t really had a chance to work out his own excitement about Christmas yet. Instead, he is left a little confused – he knows that he should be excited, but he doesn’t quite understand why.

This year, Arlo’s Christmas excitement is very sweet and understated. He’s not counting down the days until Father Christmas’s arrival. Nor is he particularly interested in the growing pile of presents under the tree.

The things Arlo has enjoyed most about Christmas are: “Dada’s Christmas holidays”, singing Christmas songs, writing Christmas cards to his friends, and telling me repeatedly that he is seeing Grandma and Grandad on Christmas Day, and Grandma and Oscar the dog on Boxing Day. That’s what he’s most looking forward to – visiting his family.

Here he is singing some very cute renditions of his favourite Christmas songs:


There’s an encounter with Father Christmas every week – Father Christmas was at the local Christmas party, he was at the farm, he came to visit Arlo’s preschool. Every Cbeebies program is Christmas-related. There’s just SO much Christmas stuff going on for little ones these days. It seems December is one long Christmas party, with preschool drumming the Christmas imagery into his head as soon as the calendar month started.

Was it really like this when I was young, or have things changed? My memories of Christmas as a child don’t seem so full on, and Father Christmas was a distant, mystical figure who certainly wasn’t present at every turn.

It’s with a sense of unease that I watch the commercialism of Christmas pulling at my three year old. Not because I don’t want him to get swept up in the presents and the treats. Or because I think Christmas commercialism ‘spoils’ children.

Come Christmas Day, I’m sure he WILL be excited. The sugar rush will see to that, even if the present-opening doesn’t.

I just want him to be able to work out his own excitement towards Christmas in his own time.

5 comments

  1. That’s lovely – all the reasons Arlo is excited and the proper ones 🙂

    And I agree there are father Christmases EVERYWHERE this year, definitely confusing.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and new year xxx

  2. Izz got asked that question a lot last year and her raised eyebrow said all that needed to be said, haha. I know what you mean about letting them get there in their own time though (for my bank balance if nothing else ;)) This year she is clearly more ‘aware’ and is getting into the hype pushed on her by nursery etc – she has actively been asking how many days til Christmas etc. Still, all she’s asked for is a ‘punzel dress (Rapunzel) so not too badly corrupted by greed yet ;D

  3. It definitely is all a bit much, Santa at every turn. Riley has definitely got into it a bit more this year but still gets confused by it all.

    he got very upset though when the exes girlfriend told him Santa wasn’t coming 🙁

  4. Oh I love his singing – so sweet! I’m not sure whether it’s changed since we were little or just our awareness has expanded; we can see Christmas being pushed everywhere we turn but perhaps when we were that age we were sufficiently self absorbed to only take what we needed? I don’t know, but given that Kitty’s only request to Father Christmas was for a Minnie Mouse Calendar (which Father Christmas has duly acquired!) I suspect the commercialisation of Christmas hasn’t really registered with her!

  5. I think Cherry is a bit confused by it all too and if I’m honest I don’t think her being ill is the real reason she hasn’t shown any signs of excitement. I just don’t think she gets it. I think that having Father Christmas everywhere is too much too, it’s all about making money. We took her to see him and it terrified her but I’m sure as she gets older she will start to understand it all x

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