by Alexa Weathers @alexac
Nothing could have prepared me for how magical every season and holiday becomes once you have a child. The small, mundane, and often overlooked details of the day to day become absolutely magical when seen through the eyes of a newborn or toddler. Parenthood is such a gift, and when we look back on holidays of our childhood, it is not the specific gifts we remember or much money was spent, but the traditions, the wonder, the time spent with family, the magic of it all. As adults, we all realize that Christmas magic was really a mom or dad who knew they had the importance of our childhood in their hands.
Here I will share some of our favorite family traditions, some old, some new, so that you can think about how you want your own family holiday legacy to look. We use traditions to shape our Christmas story and focus on what really matters.
As my family continues to grow and we figure out what traditions work best for us and create new ones along the way, I hope to use them to foster joy and contentment in a busy holiday season.
I will list our favorites below, but before I do, I invite you to list your current family traditions and then focus on which ones bring you and your family the most joy and point to the true meaning of Christmas. Traditions may change as your family grows & your children age but the meaning of the holiday season for your family should always be at the center.
December 1st: This is a new one for me! I remember coming downstairs on Valentine’s Day to a special breakfast and a gift from my mom every year. I don't remember what any of the gifts were, but I remember all the pink and red hearts and how special she made me feel and I’d like to incorporate the same to kick off the holiday season.On December 1st, I decorate the breakfast table for Christmas with Santa plates, holiday decor, and have a special Christmas themed breakfast of pancakes and bacon shaped like a reindeer. I will give a Christmas basket with a new santa toy, books, and some of my favorite Nella Pima Christmas pajamas.
Ornaments: every year my mom bought me a new ornament to represent the year and I will be continuing this tradition with my children. I will save the ornaments in a storage box with a little note listing the year and the significance behind the ornament I chose. This past year, we celebrated my son’s first birthday in Italy, and I purchased a beautiful hand painted ornament of the Tuscan countryside to represent this memory.Book Advent: I love advent calendars, but with little ones who don’t yet eat sweets, it can be hard to come up with ideas. I saw the idea of a book advent and absolutely loved it! I am wrapping up all our Christmas books and putting them under the tree so that we can open up a new one each day and read them throughout the holiday season.
Santa letters: Our family photographer sent a letter from Santa this year before our pictures with Santa, sharing that our son was on the nice list, and while he is still a little young to understand the concept of Santa, I love the idea of writing a letter from Santa sharing all the ways your kids have impressed him this year, all the good deeds they have done, and how proud Mommy, Daddy, and Santa are of them. Not only is this an great way to celebrate your child, it serves as a precious keepsake to look back on that commemorates the year.