Last year I wrote a post about the Christmas traditions we have, or plan to adopt. I tend to be an all-in person, and being a parent is teaching me limits in a whole new way. One of those limits I’ve learned is that I can’t throw myself in and make everything I ever want to see happen start at once. For one, I will make everyone, starting with myself, miserable. And two, some things I want to do eventually the kids just aren’t ready for yet. This is my second Christmas as a parent (well, third, technically, but that first one I had only been a parent 12 hours, so it doesn’t count). Thus far I’ve determined:
- Consistency is key. Kids will remember anything we call a tradition with fondness, as long as we do it consistently and lovingly.
And to that end…
- I would rather do simple things and enjoy them thoroughly with my family, then check all the boxes on the Best Christmas Ever checklist.
This December Aria is turning two, and Noah is 5 months. We’re sticking to these simple and fun things:
- We listen to Christmas music. There are a lot of albums I enjoy, but I try to mostly keep it to a few favorites. Part of the nostalgia the kids will feel when they look back will be over those specific artists they heard over and over. We’re choosy about who they are. (These are our non-negotiables, and here’s another list of good options.)
- We decorate the house only with things we love. That includes a real Christmas tree, and some other simple decorations. I love Christmas decos, but I can’t get too carried away because I purposefully keep very few surfaces in my house. (I hate clutter, and I hate to dust.)
- We read a different Christmas picture book every evening before Aria’s bedtime. She gets to choose the book from a festive box full. She loves it! Actually, it’s made her more receptive to the idea of bedtime, because she looks forward to choosing and hearing a book. On Christmas Day we’ll read Luke 2.
- We attend Christmas music concerts. This year the kids went to the performance of the kids’ choir I direct. We also plan to attend our area orchestra’s Holiday Pops concert.
- We open a Christmas Eve box. This will be our first year to do this. I’m sure it will change over time, but this year it will include new pajamas for each of the kids, a new Christmas book (the last one we’ll read before Christmas), and the new Veggie Tales Christmas DVD. I like the idea of including a snack, as well, but I haven’t decided what that might be, because we’re working on making our diet cleaner.
There are a few other things we’ll work in if they feel doable. I read this great idea to get the kids all ready for bed one night, then before they really go to bed surprise them with hot chocolate, bundle them up, and take them to drive around and see Christmas lights. That’s easy, and so fun, and the kids would love it. Another idea I like is to draw a bubble bath by candlelight for each kid, and then sit with them and read (or not – whatever works). Aria is at the age to love baths, and she’s never had a bubble bath, so I definitely intend to do this one. The original idea I saw was to do it on Christmas Eve, but that’s already a packed day for us, so I think we’ll do it on the 23rd this year.
That’s about it. None of these are big things, really. They’re simple to do, and most don’t take much time. Perfect, eh?
I’m linking up to List It Tuesday over at Many Little Blessings.