I never really enjoyed driving around to look at Christmas lights when I was younger, which I remember doing a couple of times as a pre-teen/teenager. It's not like we did it every year, but I distinctly remember doing this a couple of times with my parents and grandparents, who seemed to really like it. What I distinctly don't remember is either of my brothers coming along, so my guess is that this happened in that period of time when I was still forced to come places but when my brothers were old enough that they were off doing their own things. Truth be told, I didn't hate it, but it was frankly pretty boring in my opinion.
Imagine my surprise when I totally enjoyed it tonight with my little family! While driving home at night with my little munchkin the other night, it came to me that she'd really enjoy driving through the park where they have a pretty nice (per Kokomo standards, granted) holiday display set up. Ben was groovy with the idea, so following an early supper, we did the bath routine and jammied up (all of us!), loaded in the car, brought some Christmas cookies, and set off. We jammed to lots of great Christmas music and just generally chatted and looked around with the perspective of a 2-year old. On at least one occasion, this caused me to annoy the car behind me when I realized I was only driving 20-miles an hour. But worth it! We were out for about an hour and ended up going through several neighborhoods as well at a snail's pace. And, one house was even synched to the radio, so we stopped there for an entire song. Fun! Abby even convinced us to let her lick on a candy cane and later determined that her "skin was sticky." That was definitely true.
This has been a fun Christmas for all of us so far with Abby's growing interest in Christmas-y things without the burden of consumerist impulses manipulating her young mind. I think that she's still going to have much fun receiving the socks that we already stashed in her stocking. She wants to get Ben a teddy bear for Christmas. But she also wants to get me a teddy bear for Christmas, and undoubtedly that's on her wish list for herself as well (her little friend must be privy to these Christmas yearnings because that's exactly what he gave her, and it's now always with her). And Ben has decided that secrets will be ignored this year as he is utilizing Abby as his little Christmas elf and having her help with secrets for me...secrets no more! She's pretty good about telling what's in the presents without prompting.
Abby gave us a break and was happy by herself for a while, which allowed Ben and I to cook supper together in the kitchen (a rarity!), followed by our festival of lights excursion, which means that overall, I'm still in the happy little family glow. Times like these sometimes just pop up, and those warm fuzzies are the best!