Holidays With Kids: An Essay

November 19, 2016

I have loved the holidays for as long as I can remember (nothing profound about that). It was my favorite time of year growing up, mostly for selfish reasons: the gifts, the cookies, the number of relatives who came over to love on me and my brother. And then things took a turn somewhere around age 16 or 17. I’ve still loved the holidays since then, but some of the charm wore off: the grandiosity of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade floats, the anticipation of waking up on Christmas morning. At some point, sleeping in became the greater gift.

But it’s different this year, and I knew that having a kid would make it so. Even if said kid is only three months old and cares mostly about my boobs, not my baking; sleeping, not Santa.

Admittedly, I’ve dragged my feet a bit on putting up the decorations. By this time last year and the year before, our tree was up and wreaths were hung. I know Christmas will fly by, and so by rushing into it, we’ll be rushing past it in no time, and then my baby will be that much older and that much bigger. I want to soak in his baby freshness for as long as possible, so it’s still pumpkins and cornucopias around this joint.

But like I said, it’s different. Thanksgiving will be different this week. Christmas will be different next month. And even though little babe doesn’t know to wake up on Christmas morning because there are presents under the tree, we’ll surely be up by 5:00 a.m. because I hear that’s what four-month-olds do.

I look forward to honoring the traditions my family celebrated and my husband’s family celebrated when we were kids with our kid: standing in a circle saying one thing we’re thankful for, decorating cookies, looking at Christmas lights. I look forward to starting some new ones: books we’ll read on Thanksgiving Eve and Day, an Advent calendar, Elf on the Shelf (yes), matching family pajamas (my husband doesn’t know about this one yet). I also heard earlier this week about a kid whose aunt has made him an ornament every year since he was born (okay, it was season 9 Voice winner Jordan Smith and it was on the Hallmark morning showno shame). I love this, and I plan to adopt it for Jack. Handmade ornaments ’bout to be my thing.

Happy holidays, friends. May your days and weeks ahead be merry and bright.



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