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Trick or Treat, at least in theory, has gone over very well in our household. The idea of dressing up, knocking on doors, and getting candy has become very appealing...which isn't a given with young kids. Now, whether or not the idea works in practice remains to be seen. My kids wouldn't be the first or last to have a freakout at the door of a stranger.

In fact, it was sort of a preview of things to come that Cole has never wanted to pleasantly sit on Santa's lap the last couple years. Leda is a people person and she may be a different story requiring a special trip when she's old enough to request it. Cole, under current conditions, I just can't see ever wanting to head downtown to stand in line to sit on a strange old man's lap to ask for toys. And we're just not the kind of parents to force it. If it's not a happy experience, why push it? It's certainly not a requirement of childhood. We would like to get him comfortable with the train again to ride to the Christmas market. I think we can tempt him with strudel.

But the last few weeks the list of requested items from my oldest has been piling up in his/my head enough that I've started to tell him we need to make a list. I've left it generic on purpose. Just "a list." Whether for grandparents or Santa remains the mystery. So the other night I approached Kelly with the seems like a no-brainer that an American child should get presents from Santa at Christmas. Though I could also hear a tiny voice in my head that somehow introducing the concept of a stranger breaking into our home--even if for happy purposes--might be a little scary...especially to an overly sensitive child. And this Christmas will surely be a big deal as Cole is finally old enough to enjoy all the things that come with it...baking, gifts, trees, music, etc..

It was sort of an "of course" moment where I think the Mama thought I was a little silly for even asking. It just seemed better to ask, however, than march ahead with images of reindeer and elves and naughty lists without consulting my better half. Not a major parenting decision, granted. Just not something I wanted to disagree about either.

The kids have already been in Christmas mode. Thanksgiving is a more vague concept for them. Turkey and pilgrims and whatnot are somehow harder to explain than a winter festival of toys and cookies. Some things sound more ridiculous than others when explained to a small child, I've realized. They've been watching Charlie Brown Christmas since June, so I saw no harm in introducing the movie Elf and some Rudolph in October. If the commercial world insists we push everything forward, I'll play along despite my having a grudge. It's better than watching Annie or Cars for the thousandth time.

And they both seem to have taken to the Santa thing pretty quickly. Cole told me this morning he wants to put something on his list for Santa. So there you go. I think he's convinced it's something of a 2nd birthday within the year for him. We'll let that one ride. I don't think anybody around here is ready to throw some baby Jesus into the mix quite yet. There's just too much to explain on that one.