Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bigger Picture Moments: Christmas Monkey

The morning after we'd dressed in costume and taken to the neighborhood streets for a bit of trick or treating, my oldest woke me up with a loud, joyful song I wasn't quite expecting.
"Christmas monkey, Christmas monkey
No one's sung about Christmas monkey.
Christmas monkey's got no song.
It's been that way for way too long."
It was like an assault on my ears, honestly.

I mean, never mind it was 6:10 a.m. and I can barely peel my eyelids open by 6:30 a.m.; he was singing about Christmas monkeys

as though the kid had never heard of a turkey or pilgrims or gratitude

as though the kid totally went from October 31 straight to December 1, completely bypassing Thanksgiving.

Of course, he's five, so I calmly escorted him and his serenade from my bedroom and downstairs while explaining that he could carol in the basement until the rest of the family was awake and ready for the day considering the other two were awake with a stomach bug the night before.

Each day, more and more Christmas monkey anthems began circulating around the house, especially after the older brother taught the younger brother the lyrics.

And how to sing it.

In surround-sound stereo.

And, because the boys are three and five and I get three and five and I even remember five, I've gently explained a few times that we can definitely be excited about Christmas; I mean the birth of our Savior is exciting {read in his mind: presents and family celebration and cookies with a side of baby Jesus thrown in}


"Christmas monkey! Christmas monkey!"

perhaps we should enjoy November while we're in November

"Christmas monkey! Christmas monkey!"

I mean November is a special month, too, because it's a time we remember all for which we're thankful.

"Christmas monkey! Christmas monkey!"

And it's a time we get thank God for providing for us and for those who came to our country in search of freedoms.

"Christmas monkey! Christmas monkey!"

And, darn it, kids, doesn't the turkey get a special place in our lives instead of just at the table?!


Two little eyes stared at me in wonder, perplexed as to why I as talking so passionately about turkeys {when I usually reserve such passion about poultry for chickens}.

I quickly excused myself from the room, desperately needing to wrangle and harness some sane, less passionate thoughts about the separation of Thanksgiving and Christmas while recalling the magic of seeing life through the eyes {and joyful song lyrics} of two little boys.

In a moment of inspired genius {ha!}, I brainstormed a way to slow down the proverbial sleigh and linger a bit in the thankfulness of November: each night at dinner, we would share what we're thankful for in audible gratitude.

And that worked well for a few nights until two more of us got sick; dinners ceased for a few days and Christmas monkey reigned.

I tried bringing it back into focus this morning; the boys happily and excitedly obliged, citing all for which they were thankful:

"Mommy. Daddy. G. E., all my friends, Chase, my family .... light sabers, syrup, Jesus, ice cream."

I couldn't help but smile at their overflowing, easily voiced gratitude, giggle at their honesty.

Maybe they get it a lot more than I think they do.

"You guys want to know what I'm thankful for?" I asked.

"What?!" G. exclaimed.

"Christmas monkey."

Maybe, sometimes, they get it sometimes more than I do.


We're gathering our harvest of blessings and naming them one by one, sharing the gratitude in our hearts every Thursday through the end of November. Won't you join us? Share a picture, words, creation or list; just come to the table with thanksgiving in your heart. 

Reflect on the blessings that were apparent to you this week.

Harvest them!

This week link up your BPM moment at Jade's. Please be sure to link to your post, not your blog. Your post must link back here or have our button in your post or the link will be deleted.

Try to visit at least the person linked before you and encourage her in this journey we call life.


  1. This leaves me with a smile :) Thank you...

  2. I saw so much to be grateful for through their eyes...always! It was a continuous call to exchange the "shoulds" for the possibilities and for what we had in the moment! This is wonderful...I'm kind of ashamed to ask...what is Christmas monkey?

  3. love the dialogue back and forth....I heard it all in my head as if I was right there hearing "Christmas monkey! Christmas monkey!" right next to you. :-)

  4. I am with you, really I am. Thanksgiving is hugely important to me too, and I do believe it gets short shrift. But I just have this feeling you aren't going to be able to stem the tide of Christmas Monkey this year! So funny.

  5. if you can't beat them . . . join them - lol - love it!


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