I’ve been talking a lot with my friends recently about what kinds of holiday traditions we do now that we have children. Here are some of ours:
- On the first weekend in December:
- Going out for dinner/breakfast and then getting a Christmas tree
- Decorating the tree, house, and putting up the outdoor lights
- On the second weekend
- Building and decorating a gingerbread house
- In the first 1-2 weeks, writing and sending out holiday cards
- Christmas baking – usually 3-4 recipies
- Christmas Eve
- Lobster dinner
- Drive around to the best decorated homes in town
- Kids always get PJs
- Christmas Day
- Some kind of special breakfast
- Opening Gifts
- Turkey Dinner
- New Year’s Eve
- Bunch of appetizers
- Try to stay up as late as we can
These are all pretty normal, and I’m sure lots of others do the same, but we still love them anyway. We’re starting to put our own personal touches on them, and I’m sure they’ll evolve as the kids get older.
We also took part in the Angel Tree program at the boys’ school – someone sets up a tree in the school that is decorated with tags with information about a child in need (age, M/F, clothing size, what they’d love to get for Christmas), and then you can choose a tag and buy a gift for that specific child. This year, we choose a 5 year old boy and bought him lots of toy cars (think Hotwheels), a car-hauler truck for them, and a Connect 4 board game. The boys enjoyed picking out the gift and also learned about how not every child will have a Christmas like they do.
What are your favourite holiday traditions?
I’m done teaching my university and college course, so I’m heading into the post-secondary summer (yay for 4 months!).
E will stop attending before/after school program starting tomorrow, and I’ll be walking him to and from school every day. I’m excited about it because a) it’ll force me to move and b) I get to spend some good 1-on-1 time with him.
C will be going back to part-time at the daycare and will be home with me on Tuesday/Thursday each week. This will allow me to have some nice 1-on-1 time with him as well.
I’m a bit nervous, because the summer last year was very hard for me because it was just TOO MUCH kid time after a very stressful and busy academic year. But, I’ve put some things into place that will hopefully make this summer more enjoyable:
- I’m taking a couple additional qualification courses for teaching (special education and getting my physics teachable). This will help me make strides toward my goal of getting into a public school board, but shouldn’t be too stressful (I hope!)
- I’ve registered E in 3 summer camps, so that’s 3 weeks with him out of the house and being around kids his age
- Both sets of grandparents will be visiting
- We have booked a cottage for a week
- I have joined a women’s soccer team in the hopes it will motivate me to move more AND I get automatic social time every week
At the end of summer last year I was more frazzled than at the beginning and ended up taking a not-so-great job just so I could BE AWAY. So, here’s hoping this year will be better (and hopefully with some kind of decent employment in September.
As we were channel surfing last night, we came across Just for Laughs Gags
(a comedy show done with no verbal communication), and it immediately reminded me of one of my favorite memories:
We were on a plane in South America – flying from Lima to Cuzco. The flight was full of people from all different countries, since Cuzco is the city where most Inca Trail hikers acclimatize to the altitude (so, therefore, full of tourists).
Most people couldn’t communicate with each other but, at some point, they put on Just For Laughs Gags on the overhead TVs. At first, it was nice just to see something from back home, but then I quickly realized that – in spite of the different languages and cultures on the plane – the language of humour is the same everywhere. When someone dressed as a bear jumped out from behind something to scare someone, or some guy got hit in the balls, everyone laughed.
I loved humanity that day.