I had something strange happen this month with my kid. I decided our three (and a half) year old was ready to watch some of those Christmas classics; 1960’s Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I introduced him to these by reading the stories toward the beginning of December, and talking about Christmas and Santa and why we give gifts. Plus, we’ve given him a good dose of the religious reasons we celebrate and about baby Jesus. I don’t really think he remembers previous Christmases at all so this is relatively new for him. He’s been entranced by the lights when we’ve been out at night and loves to see Santa everywhere we go. The magic seemed to be happening and it made this mama’s heart happy.
And then, after about the second viewing of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, he started to get Grinchy.
We had the whole day of Christmas Eve together and I took him to the mall to chat with Santa. He thought that was fantastic. We also picked out some gifts for our cat and my brother’s dog. The pet store was a blast. But on the car ride home he told me he “hated Christmas” and “didn’t care if Santa came” and “didn’t want any presents” – or anything else to do with Christmas. I figured he was just tried and it was time for a nap. So home we went for a very contested nap. But, even later that night, after dinner with grandma, when we were out perusing Christmas light displays – he started his rant again. He wasn’t being cute and he wasn’t kidding. It was like arguing with a grumpy teenager! It made me sad that on Christmas Eve, my little was angry about the holiday upon us and not searching the skies for reindeer. What the heck was going on??!
That night, my husband and I made the Grinch book and movie disappear.
After a good night’s sleep, things seem to be better. Maybe he was just tired. Maybe he’s just too young to grasp the bigger concepts in this movie. But trying to emulate the Grinch? Not something I want to encourage at all – so maybe we’ll try this again in a few year. Maybe not. This was shocking and sad. Hopefully now that he’s had a Christmas he can remember, he won’t be so grinchy in the future. He was thrilled to see that Santa had come overnight on Christmas morning and was back to his cheerful self all day on Christmas. We must have heart “Santa was here!!” eighty seven times that morning!
Curious though, has anyone else had this happen with their littles or am I the anomaly? Please let me know how you handled it if you did.