I am trying my hardest to catch up on Holiday spirit around here. This weekend Mom and W purchased a beautiful fresh tree. We spent Sunday finishing the touches to our home-made star ornaments and decorating the lush pine with trinkets. I am very aware of how different Christmas is for W than it was for me.
I grew up within a pretty decent sized family. I had aunts, uncles, cousins, Grandparents, and a Mom that went above and beyond to make December 24th (my birthday) and Christmas magical. We had traditions that involved how and when we opened gifts, traditions about what food was prepared and served. Traditions about holiday music and stockings.
As I got older many traditions faded away. Relatives that used to attend every family holiday meal were no longer able to come. Other relatives passed away. And now my family that once filled a large dining room table is a party of three.
I feel an obligation to make Christmas wonderful for W. At least as wonderful as my Mother made it for me. So I have been putting a lot of thought into just HOW to do that.
Making holiday crafts together is a tradition now. Last year we all worked together to create a fun Advent that ran down the banner of our staircase. This year we did the star ornaments. Having a holiday photo with Santa is also a tradition. (although we have yet to do it this year – PLEASE don’t let me forget!)
Sending a letter to Santa is also a tradition for us. Last year was W’s first year to really begin to understand the concept of Santa. His teachers helped him dictate a letter that we sent to Santa. THIS year he recorded a message to send to Santa.
Hallmark has these great cards for Santa that are perfect for toddlers who can say what they want but aren’t so savvy with the handwriting just yet. Since W knows what “record” means this was a cool concept for him.
After we decorated the tree on Sunday we talked about what would be nice for Santa to bring him (aka a moment to rehearse) and then, when he was ready, we recorded his message. I tried to figure out a way to share his recording online with you guys, but alas you will have to imagine his adorable voice asking Santa for, “I want a FORKLIFT! And BOOKS!” We will be mailing his card today.
We then read one of the “be a part of the story” books. W rarely quietly listens to a book being read to him – he, like most kids his age, like to talk TO the story, respond to favorite phrases, and ask questions. What is cute about these books from Hallmark is that when you (the reader) says certain phrases within the story Santa interjects with questions for the listeners. Depending on how the listener answers the question Santa will have a different response.
For example if you are reading about something an Elf dropped santa might say, “What did the Elf drop?” If W says, “he dropped a letter!” Santa will respond about the letter.
I know many of you guys will be visiting family for the holidays and this is a great thing to bring to get the entire family involved. We are going to give W’s class at school this book because I think it would be a hit during circle time.
I am so thankful for my perfectly sized family.
How are you spending this holiday season with your family? Any new or old traditions happening?