Simply having a wonderful Christmastime

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas was always a really big deal for our family when I was growing up, and now that I have a little family of my own, I've been trying to strike a balance between fun and festive and over-the-top. And it's tricky! Everyone likes to talk to Eli about Santa, and what Santa's going to bring, and what he hopes to get for Christmas. Fair enough: he's a three-year-old. But I don't want him to equate Christmas with getting stuff. Obviously presents are part of the fun but I don't want him to grow up too focused on what he stands to gain from the holiday.

We've been doing a lot of fun little Christmas activities: decorating the tree, baking gingerbread and shortbread cookies, going for drives to look at Christmas lights, and decorating a gingerbread house. Recently, we donated a toy to the local toy drive, and tried to make a big deal out of the idea of giving back and making someone else's Christmas special.

Pete and I, too, have been gearing up for the holidays with boozy festive drinks, Christmas movies, and a trip to the theatre. I embarrassed myself at our office party by demanding too much champagne and then requesting Juicy and going nuts on the dance floor. Because nothing says "happy holidays" like Biggie Smalls.

This is the stuff I want Christmas to be all about: the activities, the experiences, the drunken interpretive dances to 90s hip hop that you unfortunately will never be able to erase from your coworkers' minds. When you think back to your favourite Christmas memories as a kid, what comes to mind first? Is it that particular doll or truck or Lego set you got from Santa one year? Or is it decorating cookies with your mom, or hearing your dad cursing a blue streak as he untangles strands of colourful lights, or the way you used to drink candy cane milkshakes and have a sleepover in your sister's room on Christmas Eve?

Those are the kinds of memories I want Eli to have when he gets bigger and looks back on his Christmases. A warm, cozy house, full of good smells and fun decorations. Lots of music and great food and laughs. Spending time with our favourite people and feeling comfortable and loved.

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  1. I love the idea of having Eli pick out a toy and then donating it. That's a great way to reinforce that Christmas is for giving. And I'm sure he's going to remember all the wonderful activities, just like you do!

  2. Oh, Amy. This really struck a chord with me. Memories of sharing a twin bed with my little sister at Christmas time are my favorite memories. We would giggle all night and then panic when we realized it was too late to be still awake. Then in the morning, she'd wake super early and need me to walk her to the washroom, which meant covering our face so not to see whether or not Santa came and knocking over things. As for everything else, I couldn't agree with you more!

    Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!