‘Tis the Season

11 12 2011

My sister-in-law recently asked me about our plans for Christmas.  Not this Christmas, but, you know, CHRISTMAS.  As in, the big guy in the red suit, and the traditions Jason and I are going to establish for our family.

It was a pretty heavy conversation for a sleep-deprived mother.

“I NEED TO TALK TO JASON,” I told my sister-in-law, suddenly panicked.  I didn’t understand how we could have left THE MOST IMPORTANT PARENTING DECISION SO FAR until our daughter was almost TWO MONTHS OLD.

Christmas, to me, is the ultimate kid holiday, probably in part because I’m not a big costume person.  Being the socially awkward individual that I am, Halloween was never a big success for me once I was about 8 or 9; I always felt just a little… off.  You know, I wore a giant-cardboard-box-style costume when all my friends were dainty little princesses, or I wore a costume the year that EVERYONE else in my class decided that they were too cool for costumes.

But Christmas… Oh, man.  Santa seemed to know exactly what I wanted.  My mother can give plenty of examples of when Santa was wrong, but, honestly, I don’t remember those times.  And Christmas was huge.  I suppose that it was only a few years when we really managed to get Christmas dinner all of my mother’s side of the family plus some of my stepdad’s family, plus a few friends, but when I think of Christmas, those are the times I remember.  The two dozen or so people crammed around the dinner table, the stuffy adults chatting in the living room while the black sheep had a sarcasm contest in the kitchen…

My (step)dad playing Christmas carols on the piano while we all sang along.

Christmas is still full of anticipation for me, now that I am an adult.  Not that I want anything that Santa could bring (my dad, healthy, alive, and playing piano? do they sell that at Target?).  But the time of year when people really are nicer.  And when you can surprise someone with just the right gift (my mom really did want that doggy DNA test I gave her last year).  But as much as I still look forward to the season, it just doesn’t fulfill the nameless expectation anymore.

But Christmas with kids?  Christmas with my own kid?

Yup.  That’s what Christmas really needs.

Jason and I came up with a brief list of what our Christmases will be like – and it’s nothing out of the ordinary.  Santa will be in charge of stockings, and will probably come through with one bigger gift.  The baby will get a new pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve (this is new to us, but SUCH a fun idea!).  And really, reading that description, it doesn’t reflect the urgent need to pin down some details that flooded me when sister-in-law asked me about Christmas.

All I can say is that when you’re a kid, Christmas is magic and nothing seems better.

Until you’re a parent.  And you’re MAKING the magic for your child.

And, well, that is pretty damn important.  Even if she’s only three months old.

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5 responses

11 12 2011
LisaArd

Love it! Molly took one look at Hazel and said “Ahhhhhh…” Holden ran to get a glimpse too. We had the pajama tradition in our family, opened on Xmas Eve, and I agree, a pretty nice tradition.

Enjoy making your own traditions on Christmas and magical memories for Hazel!

11 12 2011
Karen

I love your posts. Your talk sounds like it went exactly like ours did! Only we made our decisions this year, not last year. Because we enjoy being fashionably late. But to be honest, the kid probably won’t really get it until next year.

At least when Hazel and Carter get together to discuss Santa, he will be bringing the same amount of things to both houses. And we will both have cute Christmas morning PJ photos.

11 12 2011
Karen

ps – is it me, or is she getting cuter?

12 12 2011
Ceci

this one made me cry. good memories, jill. missing all of you so much right now. lots of love to you and jason and hazel. xxx

12 12 2011
julie

Oh, let the magic begin! I wish that Dad-guy were here, too. He would have been crazy over Hazel! Just counting the days now…

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