Christmastime 2011

Last Christmas C.J. was beyond ready for Santa.  He had memorized the name of the specific doll that he wanted and was eager to let the big man know just what was expected of him on Christmas morning.  C.J. was nearly four and there was very little stage fright.

Look at those lashes and pretty pink lips!

This year on a trip to the mall, as we approached Santa in the center court, C.J. started to, simultaneously, pull away from me and hide behind me.  He ran in a circle around me as I ran in a circle around him, each of us trying to grab the other.

“I don’t want to see Santa!  I want to see Mrs. Claus and the reindeer,” he pleaded.

“Okay, okay, we aren’t going to see Santa today.”

“I want to see Mrs. Claus and sit on HER lap and tell HER what I want,” C.J. insisted.

Great.  Where was I going to find a place where C.J. could sit on Mrs. Claus’s lap? 

“There’s Mrs. Claus,” I said pointing to Santa’s photographer who just might have been too big for the customary elf costume and was, therefore, relegated to the role of Mrs. Claus;  which is the role I would have wanted anyway because, one would assume, that it comes with a little more respect and right to authority.  But, really, what do I know about the inner workings of the Mall Claus-to-elf employment org chart.

“She doesn’t look like Mrs. Claus.  She’s not old enough.  Where are the reindeer?,” C.J. asked.

“They must be parked out by Nordstrom Rack,” I mumbled, as we cut through J.C. Penny’s to get to our car. 

A few days later, our family of four was at Knott’s Berry Farm.  Bless their berry souls for letting police and fire families in free between Thanksgiving and Jan. 31.  My intention was to get the boys’ picture taken with Santa at Knott’s.  When my oldest son was younger — before C.J. made his grand entrance with a flourish into our lives — I considered myself a connoisseur of Santas and, so, I know that Santa at Knott’s is as close to the real deal as you’re going to get. 

We walked into his workshop, which was filled with toy souvenirs to buy, and C.J. quickly realized what was going on.  He began to wring his hands, which is what he always does when he is getting nervous and unsure.  But, he also knew that if he was going to tell Mr. Claus what he wanted for Christmas, now was the time.  The countdown to the 25th was in full swing, he knew this because most of the chocolates were gone from his advent calendar. 

C.J.'s souvenir from Knott's. He's got a thing for Lucy lately,

C.J.’s Brother hopped right into Santa’s sleigh to shoot the shit for a while.  His legs were outstretched and crossed at the ankles; he had one arm up on the side of the sleigh and was chatting up Santa about Bey Blades, video games and Percy Jackson.  C.J. would not enter the sleigh.  So he sat on the steps to the sleigh.  He wouldn’t look at Santa.  Santa leaned across the sleigh, across C.J.’s Brother and tapped C.J.’s shoulder. 

“What do you want for Christmas little boy?,” he said jollily.

“Mama, what do I want for Christmas?,” C.J. looked at me helplessly.  He froze.  Like I would if I came face to face Tina Fey or a grizzly bear.

“How about anything Disney Princess?,” I offered.  Funny, at that point I was more concerned with helping my son capitalize on his big moment than what Santa would think about my boy wanting a girl toy.  Things have really changed in a year.

“Yeah, ANYTHING Disney Princess,” C.J. said with a big smile.

“Alright!,” Santa said assuredly as he gave C.J. a high five.  The flash snapped and we walked away.

C.J. wasn’t specific with Santa, but he sure was with me.  In the form of a list that is two pages long.  Single spaced.  His brother’s list took up a mere half a page. 

The Top Seven Things C.J. Wants for Christmas:

  • Barbie Princess Charm School Princess Doll (her outfit magically transforms into three different fashionable looks!)
  • All the Monster High Dolls
  • Everything and anything Disney Princess
  • Fisher Price Doodle Bear
  • Pink or purple razor scooter (because he’s so rad that now he scoots on two wheels, not three)
  • A jean skirt for his dress up bin
  • Hot Wheel’s wall tracks (which really threw us for a loop)

The Top Seven Things C.J.’s Brother Wants for Christmas:

  • Xbox Kinect
  • TV
  • Cell phone
  • Bike
  • Backpack with only one cross-body strap (because “the new kid in his class who just moved here from Chicago has one and it looks really cool”)
  • Dictionary
  • Rock tumbler
  • Microscope

My sweet angel...

On his last day of school before Winter Break, C.J. took part in his pre-K class’s Holiday Recital.  He was so excited because all of the kids – boy and girls — got to be angels and wear white dresses/gowns that they made themselves from white pillowcases.

I talked to Ms. Sensible after the performance and let her know how happy C.J. was because all of the kids dressed the same and got to wear dresses. 

“You don’t think that that as a well thought out decision this year?,” she asked with a wink. I hope Santa is good to Ms. Sensible this Christmas.  And, I hope he’s good to all of you, because you’ve been amazing to us this year.

I’m planning on taking a blogging-vacay from here until 2012.  I’ll see you when I return, right?   Cheers!

About raisingmyrainbow is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
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30 Responses to Christmastime 2011

  1. Meg says:

    I just discovered your blog. I’m reading back to the beginning and enjoying it all. You are a wonderful mom, and Mrs Sensible brought a tear to my eye.

  2. Very interesting subject, I enjoyed reading it so I am going to bookmark your site for future.

  3. A truly powerful idea, when you devote your life to it, can actually make an impact beyond your own life to the lives of countless others.

  4. The Hook says:

    Monster High? My 13-year-old had us jumping through hoops all winter looking for those! She still does!
    Your C.J. has great taste!

  5. grumblekitty says:

    That is the best teacher, ever. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I love your blog!

  6. Lola says:

    Haha I love the percy jackson series! Also in case CJ’s older brother reads all five of the books, there is also a second series by rick riordan, also0 dealing with Greek mythology. The second series also has Percy and some new and old characters. How old is CJ’s brother?

  7. danielle says:

    Riley’s take on children’s gender specific marketing 🙂 smart girl

  8. PS William’s Doll is a book I read about online regarding a boy who is gender creative.


    This is a link to a website written by a mother who blogs and writes for the Huffington Post. I saw this and thought of CJ, maybe they’d get along.

  10. bigredinohio says:

    I just want to say that I so enjoy reading your blog! You are a phenomenal writer who so colorfully describes your life with CJ. “Raising my rainbow” takes me on a emotional roller coaster; I become angry at the ignorance and hate you encounter, but then laugh and celebrate when You, CJ and your family have wonderful experiences with those who love and accept you! You often bring tears to my eyes, but for that I thank you. You really touch my heart! I wish more people had your love and understanding, including my family. Miss Sensible is a great teacher and I also hope Santa is very good to her. I thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your journey. May you have a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous 2012!!

  11. Tommy says:

    Merry Christmas to all of you for sharing your lives with us. Isn’t is amazing what happens when one “different” child is free to express his truth? Imagine all the people…it’s easy if you try…

  12. irisgirl says:

    Happy Holidays full of love and glitter! You and CJ and this blog, and your supporting cast of family and others, are awesome beyond words.

    Looking at the photo of CJ in his angel ensemble reminds me of a sweet, sweet movie called “Bruno” (no, not the Sasha what’s -his-name one)–w/ Shirley MacLaine, Gary Sinese—it shows up regularly on cable–maybe HBO?

    Anyway, all fans of Raising My Rainbow MUST see this movie! I don’t want to give anything else away. Trust me on this. Have kleenex ready.

  13. Kat says:

    I am so pleased that Ms Sensible came up with such a good idea!

  14. Merry Christmas to you all. Oh, I always wanted a Rock Tumbler when I was growing up!

  15. Denny Spargo says:

    Happy Holidays to your wonderful family. CJ and his brother are blessed to have two such compassionate and loving parents. Thumbs up to Santa also!

  16. Joe says:

    This 35 year old gay man also wants the Monster High dolls for xmas. Good taste CJ!

  17. Karen says:

    Our son got his Xbox for his birthday and it has completely changed our lives. The online play has completely changed his social life. If you can, it is what I would highly recommend. With xbox live. 🙂

    • Franklyn says:

      I say get the Xbox Kinect for cjs brother and get cj Kinect Disneyland adventures…he will flip and it can be something both of them can enjoy.

      Id stay away from Xbox live online gaming unless you are there with them…some of the things people say on that service makes bullies look like peace negotiators.

  18. Kathleen Guillory says:

    Kudos and blessings to that Santa and to Ms.Sensible. And showers and showers of love and joy for your very special famiy. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas – even if you won’t have any snow! I shall be looking forward to your return.

  19. Lyn~ says:

    Blessings to You and Yours!!! Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year!!!
    Looking forward to new posts in 2012<3

  20. Ellen says:

    Beautiful…CJ really lucked out with Ms Sensible and of course her awesome family!! Enjoy the holidays.

  21. *willow naeco says:

    “Backpack with only one cross-body strap”

    Does he mean he wants a messenger bag *and* a bike? Too cool!

    Here are messenger bags made by Isaac in Chicago:

    An interview with Isaac:

  22. Mark says:

    Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays for anyone who celebrates their own traditions, to all of you and your families, blogger and reader alike. May all have the best in the new year!

  23. Andi Lea says:

    Wishing you and the whole family a wonderful, sparkly holiday season!

  24. mfarris70 says:

    Enjoy your holidays with the boys and dad. I’ll be anxiously awaiting your return.

  25. Vic Anne says:

    That’s awesome! Congrats and Merry Christmas to you and your family. 🙂

  26. pat says:

    I hope Mrs. Santa Claus brings CJ and CJ’s brother the gifts they desire.

  27. I personally love how CJ is dedicated to supporting women in non-traditional work roles, i.e. “Mrs Claus”. Maybe he’ll be instrumental in passing the ERA one day 🙂

    Will definitely be back to read more of y’alls adventures. Enjoy your time off! 🙂

    • Oh, and if you have a moment to do some reading while off on vacay, I recommend (if no one else has yet) the book “Whipping Girl” by Julia Serano. It’s perhaps the most intelligent (but fairly easy to read) book on gender theory and equality that I’ve ever read, written by a transgender woman who became a feminist after she noticed how differently she was treated after she changed sex. The book has a lot to say about how, even though women have made great advances in their rights and careers, things that are “feminine” or associated with being femme are still largely denigrated (something I’m sure you can attest to). Really, really good book. My eyes felt so opened after reading it, and I’m no newbie to gender activism.

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