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Question of the Week - Holiday Moments

Two weekends ago, we pulled out the Christmas/holiday decorations. With the Pumpkin close to 4 years old and the Pookie 18 months, Londo and I were really excited to decorate with the kids this year. These are the ages where they can actually help and enjoy the decorating and be excited by all the of the neat decorations we have.

In fact, this year has been really special with the Pumpkin. She is learning Christmas songs, which is bringing the joy of Christmas music back to Londo (who spent too many winters in retail at a mall). She knows about Santa and Rudolph and Frosty. She knows about the menorah I set out to recognize Jesus's religion. And she was/is super excited about the lights and tree.

So this year, when I pulled out the boxes that contain the Christmas ornaments, my daughter had such a look of anticipation. As we pulled out the ornaments and set them out to decide which to put where, my daughter was delighted by each discovery. As she helped me hang the ornaments on just the right branches, my daughter felt a part of Christmas traditions.

I thought back to the Christmases of my past, when my mom would pull out the special boxes of ornaments. I remembered how excited I would be to see all the ornaments: the delicate ones, the handmade ones, the sentimental ones, the silly ones. I thought about the ritual of pulling out the boxes, opening them and ohhhing and ahhhing over each item with my mom and sister and brother and dad.

Those moments. Those are the treasures of the holidays. The ornaments and the navity scene and the advent calendar and the holiday cookies and candies--they are made special not just because of the holiday, but because they are put out only once a year with loving hands and ritualized behavoir.

Those are the moments that my daughter will start remembering from this age on. Those are the moments that my son is able to start participating in from this age on. Those are the moments I look forward to sharing with my family, just as I remember fondly from when I was growing up.

This week's Question of the Week is:
What holiday moments do you remember fondly and/or enjoy sharing with your kids?

I have spent years looking for a nativity scene that reminds me of my mom's, and this year I found one that was similar, looks generally safe for kid use and was on a fantastic sale! I am looking forward to setting that up with my kids and spending time playing with it, as I did with my mom's set when I was young.

What about you? What moments make the holidays special for you and your family? What are your kids able to participate in and enjoy now? Any special memories you want to share?


Cloud said…
You're right- this is a great age for holidays. Our Pumpkin is really getting into it this year.

One of my favorite traditions as a child was the nativity scene we built out of Lincoln Logs and Little People. The three wise men were Gordon (from Sesame Street), a fireman, and a cowboy. It seems really irreverent now, but I suspect it started because my parents couldn't afford to buy a nativity scene.

Anyway, a few days ago, Pumpkin was playing, and announced "here's Santa!" She had made Santa and his sleigh out of her Little People and some toy animals. Santa was a cowboy on a tractor (the sleigh). The reindeer were a zebra, Pokey (of Gumby fame) and a goose. I took a picture because it reminded me of our nativity scene. Maybe I should buy some Lincoln Logs and let her build one. But since we aren't religious, it hasn't seemed right. So maybe we'll make the cowboy Santa our tradition instead... who knows?
hush said…
Right now we send holiday cards with just a picture of the kids on them. We have a fake tree we set up the day after Thanksgiving. I also put up some greenery on the mantle and around the sconces. We have some very special old school-looking knit stockings with each of our names on them that I love. Each child also gets an ornament with their name and the year on it - when they are grown I will give them their own collection of these ornaments.

We hope to start a couple of traditions when the kids are older. Starting in a few years (after our youngest no longer believes in SC) every Xmas Eve, we want to give them each a new pair of pajamas, and let them sleep out in the living room by the Xmas tree.

DH and I did not have very happy memories of the holidays growing up, nor are we religious, so I feel in a way this background frees us to keep things low stress and just focused on fun family time with low expectations. ;)
Zenmoo said…
I've blogged about our Christmas baking tradition - I can report that Moo has taken to eating gingerbread with great gusto - By next year I'm sure she'll be able to pick out her favourite shapes for me to decorate.

Our other Christmas tradition was the Advent Calendar. My parents have a beautiful one of a tree with ornaments - I remember being so excited when it was my turn to hang up the next ornament. I have plans to try crafting my own in time for next year... Moo will also need a stocking made to match mine and her fathers. I might get my sister to do that though!

@caramama - I know what you mean about all the special ornaments. I helped put up my parents tree and oh the nostalgia! The ornaments from my babyhood, the ones we made at school, the crazy birds, my brother and I made together when I was 18 and he was 11 (he's a pretty competent cross-stitcher!)

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