For me, Christmas has always been about anticipation. I live for the lead up to the big day. I love the nostalgia – unpacking favourite ornaments from storage, baking holiday treats, making an advent calendar and reading all of our packed away Christmas books again. I sort of revert to being a kid at Christmas.
But the season is also about making new traditions – something that my husband and I are trying to set for our two young children. We invite some of the kid’s little friends over for an afternoon of decorating gingerbread houses each year. Our kids open pajamas on Christmas eve (something I always did as a child) and we read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” before leaving cookies and egg nog out for Santa (and a carrot for his reindeer). I always write little notes on kraft paper wrapped gifts for my husband – something that as the children grow older and learn to read, I will do for them as well.
This year, we are also starting a brand new tradition – one that limits what goes under our tree. I followed the four gift rule – something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.
To further build on the spirit to give rather that to receive, we are taking the kids out shopping with us individually to pick something out for each of us and their sibling. That way, they can take part in the thought that goes in to finding the perfect gift for someone and better understand the joy that comes from giving.
In the coming weeks, the kids will help me decorate the house, wrap gifts, and write cards for friends and families. I celebrate the imperfections, like spelling mistakes and backward letters, because I know that these presents will be the recipient’s favourite and truly carry the spirit of Christmas.
I hope that the spirit of Christmas finds each of you and create traditions that make your holiday unique and meaningful to you.