Between the mall Santa’s and the sales, holiday gift lists and the daily routines of life, it’s easy to get up caught up in the “season” and forget to reflect on what this time of year can really mean. As a family, whether you believe in the meaning of Christmas religiously or simply exchange gifts because 40% off was too good to pass up, or even if you celebrate at all, the fact is most of the western world is on vacation and that means the opportunity to unwind, unplug and spend time together. For me, that is the most important part of the season.
Growing up in a different part of the world, we had no tree and there were no presents or visits from Santa, but there were 10 glorious days off school, spent in the company of favourite cousins- sometimes travelling to see them, sometimes being visited from abroad ourselves. It meant sleepovers, late night dessert feasts under the dining room table long after the adults had gone to bed, endless games of tag, and extra bedtime stories because you didn’t have to wake up the next morning for school. It meant a vibrance and liveliness had arrived to add variety to routine.
I’m trying really hard to replicate the same carefree, joyous times for my little ones. And why now at Christmas? Because it is a part of the Mr.’s traditions, and if not now, when? The Baby is still too young but the Boy, at 4.5, is much more aware. He’s been missing family a lot lately. We’ve had discussions on “do I have cousins/who/where are they” a few times now, and he’s always wondering when my parents will be moving in with us. I grew up in an extended family with a firm and secure net of people surrounding me with their companionship, their wisdom and love, and I want for him to have the same. I want him to grow up appreciating the familial bond, being aware of his roots, and being thankful for what it means to belong to a place, a people, a way of life and traditions. To revel in the sheer numbers when it comes down to sitting at the dinner table. There were never less than 20 of us at any given time. Parenting is a group effort on the best of days, but during holidays and traditions is when I miss my group the most.
In lieu of that large crowd, we’ve stepped up our holiday game big time. We took a train to find a Christmas tree and saw a Backstreet Boy instead, LA life, amirite? (Hi, Kevin!). We didn’t like any of the trees so then we visited the petting zoo, the Boy rode a pony, we walked to a dodgy Mexican restaurant and had tacos for lunch. The day after, we drove to the Christmas tree lot at Orchard Hardware and came home with a 7 ft beauty. Boom! New traditions.
To continue that trend, in addition to our tree, there are trips to Target to buy many string lights and even more ornaments, there will be marshmallows over the fire, a dozen gifts to be opened, lots of day trips and play dates, and every effort I can possibly make to create two weeks of magic and wonder. We will spend time together in companionship and love and make a boatload of memories and get the warm and fuzzies. Lord, give me patience, amen!
But seriously, we are so lucky that Mr. Tall’s parents are flying in this year to spend Christmas with us, and one week after they leave, my parents will be with us for a whole month (Sleeping in! Mom food! Such luxuries, I can’t wait!). The next two weeks will be a whirlwind of things to do and places to be, and so I’ll be stepping away from the blog briefly, but will always only be a quick minute away on Instagram. Follow me @sofreshandsochic and keep up with our holiday season adventures!
Have a very merry holiday season, friends!
Until next time,