Christmas Traditions?

Conor’s first Christmas is quickly approaching and the idea of creating everlasting Christmas traditions has been on mind. I don’t really remember us having a ton of Christmas traditions growing up. There were some activities that were always a constant..

  • When we decorated the tree we had to lay tinsel one strand at a time.  
  •  As we decorated we put on a Nat King Cole Christmas album that my Mom had as a girl, and listened to “I’m the Happiest Christmas tree”  
  • We did not open any presents until Christmas morning
  • When we came downstairs Christmas morning (as a group, there was no pre-entry into the living room allowed), after gushing over what Santa left, we then did stockings while Dad got into position with his supply of garbage bags.
  • Then the remainder of the morning my Dad handed out one present to everyone, and then we all opened together. Putting our wrapping in the bag, and moved on to the next.

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    Conor’s First Christmas

As I write these, I see that they aren’t so much “tradition” as they were protocol. I loved it though, and I have so many happy memories. I seemed to have carried on these “traditions” with R. Minus the tinsel… because, nobody does tinsel anymore.

This year we have made sure to have some photos taken to document the occasion. They turned out beautifully.

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Our sleepy little elf

I think we will make this an annual tradition of having photos taken around this time of year.

I have also been working on a stocking for Conor, so that he will have a special stocking that he an use year after year. R was of the opinion that I should buy a really nice one. I prefer to torture myself, so have been making him one. If it doesn’t turn out I’ll be buying one at a perfect time for discounts.

I thought an annual picture with Santa is a great tradition, and as parents I think we are contractually obligated. So, yesterday we decided to head out to the mall to get the first annual picture with Santa.  We thought we were smart arriving before the stores opened, as I noticed Santa was going to be taking pictures during that time too. Apparently not so smart, as half of the city evidently had the same idea.  We spent the next hour and a half in line, watching parents corral their kids, do their children’s hair and hearing screaming children as they made their way to visit the big man.

Conor promptly fell asleep in line. R kept giving me “the look”, and suggested that maybe we come back another time. I explained to him any other time would be just as busy, and we need to get this done or we are essentially bad parents. After meandering through Santa’s forest for over an hour an a half, with the sounds of Goldfish Crackers crunching below my feet.. I was starting to wish we had opted to come back.  Crossing the wooden foot bridge to the throne area (does Santa sit on a throne?), I caught a glimpse of the man of the hour. My heart sank a bit. From the side I could see his real beard beneath his fake beard, and he just wasn’t the Santa I was hoping to have. I turned to R and said “Seriously?”. R laughed and said, “I’m sure it looks different on camera and from a front angle”.

Luckily he was right. We tried and tried to wake Conor up, but when he is out, he is out. No matter how hard the elf lady jingled her bells or yelled out his name.. nothing. We did get a big yawn, a one eyed glance and then back to sleep. I was also pressured into buying the various packages that they offer. I now own about 50 wallet sizes, a number of 5×7 and 8 x10,  and R and I each have a key chain of this magical moment.

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The magical moment. We were all exhausted. 

So far, we know Santa photo will be an annual tradition. I’ll have to have them done in early November when the lines aren’t horrible. I may scale back on the package!

I know that we’ll hang our stockings and do the cookies for Santa thing, read the night before Christmas etc.

What other traditions are there? I’d love to hear what traditions you share with your families.

 

 

 

 

 

Confessions of An Accidental Co-Sleeper

Some how it has happened. We went from being anti co-sleepers to occasional co-sleepers to it becoming more regular occurrence. How did this happen?  We (me) did all of the research prior to Conor’s arrival, and our plan was to make sure we establish a firm routine of him sleeping in the bassinet.  We started off great, but then as his voracious appetite grew and his love of cuddles increased… the little man has found his way into our bed more regularly.

In an effort to share the “overnight” duties, we have Conor’s bassinet set up in the spare room rather than in the nursery or our primary bedroom.  It allows him to sleep in the same room as us in his bassinet, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and just about every other source out there. Our routine has been to alternate who is sleeping in the spare room so that they other can enjoy an evening of undisturbed sleep. I have returned to work, so Sunday to Thursday R takes the night shift and I take over Friday and Saturday night. It has been working very well.. except for the fact that the bassinet is getting less use than we intended.

Here is a list that Whattoexpect.com wrote regarding the pros and cons of co-sleeping

We notice that Conor has a longer, less interrupted sleep when he is with one of us and it is much easier to feed him and get him back to sleep when we co-sleep.  There is also a bit of selfishness on my part.. I love the baby cuddles.  We take all of the precautions, he doesn’t sleep under covers, he is on a flat surface away from pillows and every other “no no” that is on the list now for baby sleeping. R is already worried about how we will get him to transition to a crib if we are already starting this routine. That being said, Conor co-slept with R last night. So obviously necessity outweighs practicality sometimes. We aren’t able to co-sleep with him in our communal bed.. we co-sleep with 4 dogs. Maybe this was a foreshadow of what was to come. lol

So our goal this week.. become more diligent in putting Conor to sleep in his own bed. Let’s see how long that lasts.

Thoughts on co-sleeping? Would love to hear them..