We haven’t baked cookies, wrapped presents, seen many Christmas lights, or decorated anything built out of gingerbread. And we have yet to visit Santa. But not because Colt hasn’t asked about at least one of those things at least twelve times a day since Thanksgiving.
What can I say, the kid has the spirit. The antsy, impatient spirit.
With Thanksgiving arriving as early as Thanksgiving can be this year, it’s been a long, hard wait in this house. The turkey day leftovers weren’t even gone before he started worrying about having time to get everything ready for Christmas. We put up our tree and stockings the first weekend of December (though it was so warm in the house I had the windows open and Colt wore shorts) and we’ve made plans to fit in all the lights, cookies, gingerbread, and Santa his little heart can take. To our surprise, he’s a HUGE fan of the Grinch and has watched it at least ten times, and – conveniently – there’s at least one Christmas episode available for all his favorite TV shows.
But despite the tree excitement and the Grinch and the cookie-making plans, he still couldn’t wrap his head around just how looooong it would be until Christmas. So I enlisted some help.
Colt’s Aunt Lynn actually sent us this little guy last year, but Colt wasn’t really into it and we didn’t get much mileage out of him. THIS year, however. Colt is all about his elf. In case you’re not familiar with The Elf on the Shelf, it’s a storybook/toy combo intended to build anticipation for Santa while enticing children to behave. As the story goes, Santa sends an elf to each child to keep an eye on things before Christmas. The elves all fly home to the North Pole each night and report to Santa on behavior and Christmas wishes, then return to the child’s home each morning where they hide in different places around the house.
And each kiddo gets to name his elf.
Naming things is not this kid’s special talent. He currently has a bear named Barry and a stuffed black dog named Black Puppy. But the weekend of Thanksgiving when the elf came to visit, Colt told me he would be using naptime to think long and hard about a name for his elf.
First choice? Santa Claus.
“Wellllll, Buddy. There’s already a Santa Claus. That might get confusing at the North Pole.”
He immediately fired back with his backup option.
Yes, THAT Tyler Wilson.
For the non-Razorbacks in the crowd, Tyler Wilson was the starting quarterback at Arkansas the last few seasons and has, evidently, made quite an impression on my kiddo. You may remember Colt’s first football game a few months ago.
So Tyler Wilson, it is.
And I get to giggle at myself each morning as Colt wakes up asking, “where’s Tyler Wilson? Did you hear Tyler Wilson in the kitchen? I can’t find Tyler Wilson.” Or during dinner when we remind him that “Tyler Wilson is watching you and will tell Santa if you don’t use your manners!”
Tyler Wilson has been quite the addition to our Christmas season, certainly. But what I really needed was a bit of a pace car. Something to help me ease us through the next couple weeks on the calendar. Colt asks me every day, “how many days ’til Christmas?” And whether it’s 20 or 15, frankly it’s too many. He looks at me like I’m holding Christmas hostage.
And since Tyler Wilson has a direct line to Santa, and much more Christmas authority than I do, I decided to let him deliver the news from now on.