So it’s my turn to post… late as usual but hey ho, I made it eventually!
Last week we all read about Phil’s Christmas movie list and his must have films that make the season for him and his boys. Along with my must have crimbo telly, which I snuck in.
So in an attempt to tell me to sod off and stop hijacking his blog, Phil very kindly drafted a Christmas blog for me to do on WordPress called ‘Christmas with Pips‘. Feel bad really, because he did put some work in to it, at least a whole 15-20 minutes. But as I sat and looked at the screen thinking of what to put under each of his subcategories, (yes he’s that much of a control freak), I couldn’t help but think, who on earth would want to read about what Christmas is like with ME? No one cares for what style decorations I go for, what I eat, who I see, what games I play, and that’s perfectly fine. For me, Christmas is about YOUR family and YOU. How you dress it up and play it out is your business in my opinion.
So soz Phil, binned that idea and going with this… ‘Making Christmas Traditions‘.
A couple of weeks back, I was out with my work colleagues, having our annual Christmas knees up, and I got talking to the girls about Christmas, and what their plans where with their families. We talked about traditions and what festive activities each did for their children every year. The routine of putting the decorations up together, writing letters to Santa and even introducing ‘Elf on the Shelf‘ where all but a few of the meaningful Christmas traditions they each did every year as a family to celebrate the holiday period.
Listening to my friends, I started to think about what Christmas was like in my own childhood, and suddenly I started to smile, as I remembered my Mum taking us to our traditional Panto each year at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool. Hanging streams of gold and red decorations across the ceiling, with strategically placed tinsel around the house – it was the 80s after all. And of course not forgetting her nativity scene she bought from St Monica’s Church Shop, placed in the centre of the mantle piece.
Then it suddenly dawned on me how important this time of year was for my boys development, because I wanted them to look back and think fondly of our Christmas traditions – like I just did.
Granted, for my youngest Teddy (1yo) I still have some time to carve out what I would like him to remember and enjoy at this time of year. He’s still learning were his nose is, so Christmas isn’t high on his agenda, not yet at least. Although he has taken to the traditional opening of his PJ Mask Advent Calendar each morning fairly quickly. Watching him bound into the living room pointing with authority chanting “eh eh eh…” at his calendar until I’ve passed it to him, makes me giggle!
For my eldest, Finn-Bob (3yo) he is just starting to understand what Christmas is about… or at least he knows he gets to eat one chocolate from his advent calendar each morning, and on the 25th day he will awake to lots of presents from Santa and even more chocolate, if he’s a good boy of course! Yuletide Christmas shaming is alive and well in this house… ha!
He knows a little (stress a little) about the story of baby Jesus through practising for his Christmas Nativity at pre-school and he is loving me singing ‘Wonky Donkey‘ at him, in my most tone deaf voice in the hopes he’ll learn the words for his play. So for him, I’m guessing the time has come for me to start our Christmas family traditions.
Now, lets be clear… I’m not suggesting you go out and spend an absolute fortune at Christmas, trying to create the most magical Christmas no child would ever forget, because that’s not my point. Instead, think about simple activities – such as last Christmas Eve, Finn-Bob and I wrapped up as warm as toast, and took a stroll down a road not far from me where all the residents put huge Christmas lights and nativity displays outside their homes, something they do each year to raise money for a local Charity. It was like walking through Santa’s grotto! Finn-Bob loved it!! So my plan is to make this one of our traditions, or at least for as long as the local residents are up for it. (Thank you Warwick Drive by the way, it was a treat!)
However, listening to the girls, and thinking about my own childhood, I’ve started to quickly realise, setting family traditions are so important when your children are of an age to understand. They help build strong relationships between immediate and extended family. They help form a sense of belonging, togetherness and security as those traditions start to embed. And not forgetting, they create those warm fond loving memories that stay with you as you get as old as me, ha!
So if you like me have young children who are just starting to learn about Christmas, take some time to think about what Christmas means to your family. Think about what values you want your children to learn and adopt, and set them as your tradition each year, so it teaches your children the importance of what this festive holiday is all about for your family. It will pay dividends in your children’s development and further cement a loving, strong and healthy family.
And that’s it, apologies for the abrupt ending… but I’m hoping you’ve got the message. I’m still figuring out my own Christmas traditions, so they’ll be no hints and tips from me I’m afraid. Feel free to share yours those!
P.S. Thank you to the Girls I work with for putting this in my head
Have a wonderful Christmas. Pips X