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I’m joining in with the Timberdoodle Blog Hop. Here’s a little about the what and why of our holiday traditions. I would love to hear yours… Enjoy!
We decided early on we weren’t doing Santa. It just doesn’t make sense. Pause for gasping and sputtering… it’s okay, everybody does. Don’t even get me started on that elf!
I did worry a lot about the boys missing out on the wonder and excitement, especially early on. I also worried they would feel like they were being left out. But, I also didn’t want them caught up in the commercialism of Christmas. The first few years we just didn’t mention the S. man. They were too little, no need to discuss it. We had our tree and did our gifts and moved on with our holiday. No Santa required. Then, Mr. Man’s fears began. He was seeing green faces coming out of walls. The idea of someone he didn’t know coming into our house at night was terrifying. Why on Earth would we perpetuate that? In fun? Absolutely not. He must have heard of Santa somewhere because he once pointed to a display and said, “HE isn’t coming to my house, right?!”
Recently, Monky asked for something and I responded with the typical “Maybe for Christmas” response. To which he replied, “Oh, we’ll have to ask THAT man.” This made me chuckle.
Besides this, I really never understood the point. I felt like we lie to our kids then try to teach them not to lie. Not to mention the confusion between our spiritual beliefs about Christmas and Santa… I mean come on, Santa wins, hands down! No, it just made more sense to have the Jolly Old Elf pass by our house altogether. By the time Mr. Man was old enough to ask about Santa, he was past the age of belief anyway. Plus, he struggles so much between what is real and make-believe. We saw absolutely no reason to confuse him further.
I don’t feel the boys have ever felt left out or that Christmas was any less of a magical time, at least not that they have expressed to me so far. We’ll see…
So what DO we do to celebrate?
We’ve always focused on Christmas being Jesus’ birthday and a time to show others that we love them. We do decorate a tree, mostly because of sentimental reasons for Mama. Mr. Bean could do without that tradition.
We do a lot of baking, looking at lights, special movies, and hot cocoa- time together. We always pick one charitable activity to participate in. We do advent calendars, candlelight services, and special days with grandparents. Focusing on the true value of the season. I use to cook a Christmas dinner, but decided I didn’t enjoy spending the day in the kitchen and not WITH my boys. Now, Chinese take-out is our Christmas Day tradition and the boys LOVE it. I do make a special breakfast, which is mostly for the fun of a parent torturing their child while they are made to wait even longer for their presents.
I have to avoid social media on Christmas. While I do love to see the trees, decorations and family photos, I have noticed a trend that occurs every Christmas Eve. More and more posts appear in which parents try to show-off how much Santa left under the tree. For SO many reasons, this is a phenomenon that I need to avoid. The one upness is a behavior I just don’t have the patience for. I also don’t want the boys to see it. We are trying to teach them that Christmas is about more than how much stuff we get, and this perpetuates feelings of envy and discontentment.
Yes, as a parent I absolutely love giving my children gifts and watching their eyes light up with excitement. However, I don’t like having to fight off the little green-eyed monster that pops up when we overindulge them. The first few Christmas’s we overdid it…absolutely. To be honest, this Mama is constantly having to place herself in check in this area. But, we have definitely toned down the amount under the tree and the boys haven’t seemed to notice or care in the least. We aim to follow the Three-Gift Rule. Just as the Wise Men brought three gifts, the boys get three gifts. Usually, it’s something they want, a game and something creative, fun or educational. If I struggle with keeping myself in check, I tend to throw some books in the mix.
One other thing we find important is teaching each boy to think of his brother. We take each one out for a special one on one time and give him $20 to get a gift for his brother. This is still hard for them, but a great opportunity to learn to think about what someone else would like. This time is so special to me, and I hope its something they remember as they grow up.
What do you do during the holiday season that is special to your family? However you celebrate, enjoy those around you and remember the true meaning of Christmas!
“I love Christmas cookies!”~Mr. Man
“It cools down and snow!”~Monkey