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.

 

 

 

 

 

Back to Work Tomorrow…

Tomorrow I return to work, after the most amazing 3 weeks of my life.  Three weeks of baby snuggles, a full heart and feeling as though everything you have dreamed of has finally all come true.

It is hard to believe that just a few weeks ago I was anxious knowing that I would be out of the workplace for 3 weeks.  Now, I’m most anxious knowing that I’m leaving Conor and that I might miss something.  He and I have developed a routine, a rhythm and a connection that I can’t explain.  I know his every squeak, noise and when he’s upset he immediatly settles when placed in my arms.  I was worried that it might be a difficult transition of him, that it was going to be difficult for R to adjust to being a stay at home Dad.  Then tonight after fighting sleep, I went into Conor’s room and saw him sound asleep on R’s chest and knew immediately everything was going to be ok.

img_2437This is going to be a great opportunity of R.  He is going to get to experience the joy and fun that I have.

Our little monkey is amazing, he is already wise beyond his age (all three weeks of it). When snuggled up with one of his Dad’s I just see his future, the chance to give him every opportunity, and when he stumbles he has two loving Dad’s to pick him up and cheer him on to keep going.

I knew we always wanted to be parents, but now I completely understand the unconditional love, the feeling that you want everything for your child and the shift from your needs being first to suddenly your needs are those of your child.  Parenthood is amazing, and we are rocking this.

Yes I return to work tomorrow, but everything is going to be ok. I’m letting go of my need to handle everything and realize that this is a great opportunity for Conor and R to really bond.  All is good. Back to work tomorrow.. thank goodness for FaceTime, texts and telephone calls!