Happy Holidays!

Posted by on Dec 20, 2013

hannah santa smallChanukah was earlier this month – we had latkes galore! Our friends south of the border gave thanks, ate turkey and watched football. And now we head into the end of December – the busiest time – end of term, papers due, concerts, and “getting ready.” Increasingly through the month I get asked “Are you ready for Christmas yet?” It makes me crazy. I feel as though everyone is checking in on my progress – or procrastination.

When my children were small, I felt rushed all month. I wanted Christmas to be magical for them, and it meant a continuous frenzy all month. Until one year, when I was sitting in a coffee shop (we were waiting for our dentist appointment time) with the three of them – they were 10 and 8 and 6 – and I asked, what do you want us to do for Christmas? What traditions are important to you?

I discovered the food and the baking were not important. But the tree and the presents were. I discovered they really DID like to go to see the Nutcracker and the carol concerts. But mostly what they liked was sitting in the living room with a fire and reading stories and watching movies. I found out that they really liked doing all the preparation WITH us. Hannah said she liked wrapping presents for people! (MY least favourite job.) Daniel liked making fires in the fireplace and setting up the tree. Simon liked making gravy.

Most of my readers here are the parents (or the parents-to-be) of babies. And your kids will not be helping you to make gravy or wrap presents for a very long time. But you can remember that your babies are very sensitive to how you feel. If you feel tense and rushed, your baby will pick up on it. If you feel happy and contented, so will your baby. So as you get ready for this first Christmas with your baby take it easy! Do things that are fun and relaxing. Don’t let family pressure you to participate in too many big events. DON’T host Christmas dinner – it’s too much work. It might be easier to have one or two days crammed full of visiting than to have many days in a row where you have to go out. Plan for some time with just baby and your partner to create some traditions of your own, where you do some things together that you will all enjoy doing every year for may years to come.

May this dark month that takes us to the turning of the year be a happy cozy one for you and your little ones.