Today I thought I would blog about the Christmas traditions that I am starting and hoping have a big impact on our family so we can carry them on throughout the years.
A is 20 months old, so she is starting to get to the age where is understanding things a bit more.
Right now, we are just going with the flow. We brought her to see Santa, and it was a fail this year. No Santa picture. She wasn't scared of him. In fact, she was extremely curious. However, she didn't want him holding her. My thing is as long as she isn't scared of him I'm happy. She walked up to him, shook his hand, and talked to him. But just didn't want to sit on his lap. Fine by me.
We don't really thought much about Santa in this house. Probably because she is still a bit young. Mr. Man didn't grow up with Santa or even gifts, and I grew up with it all. With that said, I really didn't want her to have huge Christmas's and it be about the gifts. But I definitely didn't want her to not have anything at all because I know at some point she will start learning from other kids and seeing what they receive and so on and so forth. We decided to meet in the middle. I have a few simple rules that I follow that I started last year.
Since our families spoil her with Christmas, we DO take that into consideration. 1 - because they are mailed to us and placed under the tree for Christmas day and 2 - I personally do not feel a child needs a new playroom every single Christmas.
This year my Mom and Grandma bought her some things as well as Mr. Man's Dad and Grandma. I'm sure others have bought as well, but none have told us anything or what they got. We just go by what we know.
With that said, my rules are simple. Each child gets an outfit or two, a movie or two, a book or two, educational toys, something they "need", and one large gift. We definitely stuck with that, but my Mom bought her about 5 or more (she lost track) of DVD's. We pulled that thought from our list and bought her something she would want. We got her a bath time baby doll.
She's definitely getting a lot of things, and most are not from us! How pathetic. As bad as I feel about it as her parents, I really can't justify doing it without getting rid of some other toys. I figured this year was our year to relax because next year we will have two and she will REALLY understand. We bought her 3-4 gifts and stocking stuffers, that's it.
One of the new traditions is a Christmas Eve gift to open. Since we aren't close to family, we have decided that we need to do our own tradition to bring in the next day. I have decided to do one large gift for the whole family. Each year it will be different. Last year, I bought a few Christmas movies and the original Christmas story book. This year that book along with one Christmas movie will be placed in the gift, along with Christmas PJ's for the whole family, and a hot cocoa set. Yes, A is probably too young for a hot cocoa set but we have been letting her have it. She takes a few sips and is done, so I don't see any harm in it. I bought her a special penguin cup for her hot cocoa and a cup for me and Mr. Man. Next year, I will probably do a game of some sort or something that the family can do together to have family time and fun on Christmas Eve. I will rotate it out so every year is different.
Another tradition I am going to start with her next year, since she should be old enough by then, is to fill a bucket with 25 gifts or envelops. Each day we will schedule a Christmas-y activity to lead up to Christmas. Maybe it will be a book or a movie, maybe a simple note that says "donate toys" or "make a snowflake ornament" and so on. I think that will be fun to do!
Mr. Man and I have always donated to a variety of angel trees and Toys for Tots. Last year, A was really too young but we still walked her around the trees and she chose the tags for us to buy for. This year I chose two tags (one around her age and one infant). I talked to her about children in need and buying/giving to others. Then I brought her to the toy section of the store and told her to pick out a toy for a girl that is similar to her. She picked out a really cute "My Little Pony" horse that is also a baby. It has a pacifier, bottle, and you can teach it to walk. Ironically, we also bought that for her to help teach her about things for Baby E and taking care of babies. Then, we told her to pick out something that she thought that "new baby" would like to give to another baby. We went to the infant section and she picked out a couple of small toys - one was a bath toy (Minnie Mouse squirters) and the other was Lamaze attachment toy. Mr. Man and I also did older children, both boys to even out the gender choices. Even though A is really to young to understand this right now, it has to start somewhere. And I believe that the more we do this with her and explain to her, the sooner she will get it and be more giving.
With that said, these are our family traditions so far. I will start baking with her this year, too, and I also let her wrap her father's present. Other than that, we keep it pretty simple.
I would love to hear other people's traditions and their thoughts on Christmas. How it is handled, when they celebrate, what they cook/bake, and so on. I really enjoy this time of year!
Hope everyone has a great day!
Oh, almost forgot. I am also linked up today at Wednesday Walkabout! Come check it out!