It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in our house - or at least, in our living room, the one un-babyproofed off-limits place in the house. The tree is decorated and lit up, the stockings have been hung and I'm playing Christmas music in the house every day.
Since it's baby boy's first Christmas and he's not completely oblivious to the world around him anymore, we wanted to institute some new family traditions. I had visions of having a big family gathering in our house, but life has gotten in the way and it's not gonna happen. So it looks like we'll be doing the usual Four Christmases routine again this year, our annual holiday roadshow visiting all the different homes in our family. Only this year, we'll have a pack & play and a pair of baby pjs in our bag.
That being said, I asked around for some ideas of new family holiday traditions we could implement. I got lots of great ideas, some we could start with now and others to try when baby boy's a bit older. Here are a few ideas I was given:
1. Start an ornament collection. Get a new ornament for every Christmas as a memory of your child's year. When the child is older, they can help you choose the ornament.
2. Take a day and make gingerbread houses or Christmas cookies together. Play holiday music and decorate the cookies or houses in fun ways.
3. Spend a day volunteering with your child to help the less fortunate during the holidays. Maybe it's shopping for a Christmas toy or food drive, making gift baskets for families in need or volunteering your time with a local charity.
4. It's no secret that kids get lots of toys and clothes at Christmas. A lot of people suggested that before the holidays, ask your children to go through their toys and clothes and choose a few things to donate to charity. This has a double benefit of making space for the new toys that will come in, and helping others at the same time.
I like many of these ideas, especially the ones that involve giving back. We are blessed to have so many good things in our lives and this year I feel especially thankful to have my own healthy, beautiful baby.
Tomorrow, baby and I will go shopping for some toys for kids and make a donation to a local charity making gift baskets for families in need. I'm looking forward to making this an annual tradition.
Then maybe we'll give visiting Santa another try. The first two attempts were a somewhat hilarious but tearful event. Maybe the third time will be a charm!
What are some of your family