Thursday, December 8, 2011

Making Christmas Meaningful, Tot Style

We here at the Pretty - yes, "We", it's been a while since we've dusted off the Royal plural, hasn't it? - generally try to reserve our more profound pondering for global issues like the state of our shoe collection. Alas, 'tis the season for being thoughtful and giving, blah blah blah . . .

Being totally serious - for once - the Anonymous Husband and I are (ok, I am) trying to decide which Christmas traditions to establish for our new family. When it was just the two of us, it was easy enough every year - we'd go to Midnight church services on Christmas Eve, then do presents & Christmas dinner at a relative's house the next day. Last year, I was too sleep deprived to remember what we did for Master P's very first Christmas, but I know it involved some plane travel & prayer.

Now that we're celebrating at home with sufficient amounts of sleep, however, we're mulling over what we'll do tradition-wise for Master P. . .

Which traditions from our parents do we want to pass down to our children? From mine, I want to carry on the traditions of leaving cookies out for Santa & exchanging one gift on Christmas Eve; perhaps we'll leave out the Christmas card letter as authored by the family cat (yes, really). From the AH's team, we hope to continue the traditional Italian meal on Christmas Eve.

How do you make a holiday meaningful, in both the spiritual and the fun, secular sense, for a child who is fluent in a mystery toddler language, but not yet the English you yourself speak? We (I) have been singing Christmas songs and reading holiday books - this is a current favorite - while a "Master P Can't Possibly Break This, Can He?" toddler nativity set is en route to Pretty HQ:

Just look at that weeble wobble baby Jesus (who is mysteriously European looking, but that's a subject for a different post) - photo credit: Toys-R-Us

How many gifts does a one-year-old need, when he's privileged in that department already & more likely to enjoy/ingest the wrapping paper anyways? Should I just wrap up the contents of my Tupperware drawer (even though I'm a gift buyer by nature and am constitutionally incapable of following sound advice like that)?

What about you - any family traditions you're looking forward to passing along to your children? Any chance they involve Christmas card letters written by the family feline?

7 comments:

Danielle said...

We stole an idea from some friends and let the boys open 1 gift on Christmas Eve. That gift just happens to be Christmas pj's that they then parade around in and take copious amounts of pictures in.

We also have a traditional Christmas Eve meal at my parents house. Then I prepare a Christmas breakfast that has us so miserable we just want to sleep the rest of the day!

Have fun creating your own traditions.

Mrs. Type A said...

I've been thinking about this lately, even though we are sans babies and will be for the next few years. In our case it is made more complicated by the fact that I was raised secularly Christian (i.e. we appreciated Santa but not really baby Jesus) and my husband Jewish, and our kids will likely be Jewish kids who go to their Grandpa's house for Christmas. Eeesh I'm confused just thinking about it.

AEOT said...

I don't know at what point we will actually spend Christmas in our own house (last year at my family's house, this year at his family's), so I'm not sure which actual Christmas Eve and Day traditions we will establish in the future. Church on Christmas Eve will always be involved, and, while midnight mass is a favorite for us, I doubt we'll do that for the next few years. Hard to get a babysitter on Christmas Eve :)(and no one wants a crabby toddler there!!). We do have an advent calendar and a few Chrimstas books as well as a nativity scene that he gets into daily. all are really fun for him. He also LOVES the lights on all the trees and the bell ornaments. I don't know if we'll do a gift on Christmas Eve (currently we only have one gift for him this year- bad mommy!)or if we'll open stockings first or if we'll always get Christmas jammies. I don't think we have true traditions yet. I am getting him an ornament each year if that counts though!!

Lisa @ Trapped In North Jersey said...

I haven't implemented it here, although I'm thinking of it--the Read, Need, Want, Wear theory. Kids get one gift in each category. I love the idea, especially since I know that with our zillion relatives the kids will get a zillion toys. So if I get a zillion toys for them they will 2 zillion toys, and we do not have room for that.

Naptime in Suburbia said...

This is definitely something that I've been contemplating as well. At four months old, my little one is too small to get it...there's suddenly a random tree with lights on it in the house, but that's about the extent of what he knows. But, I want to establish our own personal traditions for him to (eventually) look forward to each year. We tried to cut down our own tree, but that didn't happen. Maybe next year!

P.S.
Very cute nativity!

Jennifer said...

we've decided to adopt our very own elf on a shelf and are also celebrating St. Nicholas day. then when santa visits our house he brings lots of wrapped presents, but also 1 present that's not wrapped that you can play with right away (so the parents can sleep in of course!)

Amy @ Forever 29 said...

We are big fans of the LP Nativity!
I enjoyed your Elf on the Shelf convo on Twitter. We have him but BB doesn't really "get" it...so he's been hanging out in his stocking for 5 days now. Nothing to do with the fact that I keep forgetting to move him.

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