With the kids home from school and “sick” – in the sense that they are too snotty to be seen in public, yet completely undiminished in energy and bounce – I panicked and went to Target.
Home again, armed with $40 of art supplies, I decided we would make Christmas ornaments by cutting shapes out of cardboard and decorating them with glitter, stickers, paint and the occasional ancient cheerio. When I asked my four-year old what kind of Christmas shapes he would like to decorate (thinking bells, trees, stars and perhaps a dreidel for balance) he enthusiastically answered “bats!” “Huh,” I said, “that’s an awfully creative idea, but wouldn’t you like to maybe decorate some candy canes, or stockings, or even a sleigh, so people know it’s a Christmas ornament?” “No,” he said. “Santa flies his sleigh at night, bats fly at night, so Santa must see lots of bats. I want to decorate bats.” His two year-old brother of course joined in with a supportive of chorus of “bats, Bats, BATS, BAAAAAAAAAAAAATS!” Hence, Christmas bats. This is how Christmas traditions are born.