In 2015 and 2016 Gavin was 4 months and 16 months old, respectively, and we had a little mini Christmas together with the three of us on an off day before traveling to Ohio to spend our actual Christmas with Eric’s parents. These were fantastic years and first Christmases as a family of three, but they weren’t spent in OUR home. I’m not complaining about that, but it’s just a fact and reason why I give pause regarding this year’s Christmas situation.
I’ve enjoyed thinking up our own Christmas traditions to do as a family to make the holidays special. It’s so fun experiencing Christmas as a mom. It’s like getting to experience childhood all over again. I am really looking forward to Christmas this year because Gavin is almost 2.5 years old and is starting to understand a lot more now, and that makes things extra fun. He knows who Santa Clause is, he’s extremely enthusiastic about Christmas lights and snowmen, the music, the trees and decor, etc. - he seriously is so adorable I can’t even stand it! We are working on teaching him the true meaning of Christmas too but he’s still a little young to grasp that part of it. I bought a book called “I Believe In Santa Clause” that I read to him at night. It is simple with pictures and compares Santa to our Savior. I love it and highly recommend it for kids.
I have been really impressed with how well behaved he has been too. For example, with our baby due around Christmas/New Years Eve I wanted to be ahead of the game with shopping and wrapping gifts, etc., so we literally have had a huge pile of wrapped gifts under the tree ALL month long, and Gavin has left them entirely alone! Only once or twice has he tried to play with the ribbon on a present and quickly stopped after we reminded him it’s not a toy. He has also been really good about the ornaments on the Christmas tree. He is particularly fond of a Nutcracker ornament that he stares at sometimes and points out to me, “cracker, yeah”, but other than that he doesn’t take the ornaments off the tree at all! I have no idea why! Maybe he remembers me telling him so many times last year not to play with them? Who knows... Regardless of why, I am just grateful and not complaining because I wouldn’t have the energy to keep on top of him over stuff like that right now.
It has been a little difficult getting out of the house to do as many festive and/or service activities as I would have liked to do leading up to Christmas, (No Polar Express for us this year!). Being so pregnant and tired and a little less social has made things challenging for me. On top of that, Eric has been working a lot per usual which makes getting out even harder. But regardless of those limitations we have still checked a couple of essential things off my list to stay in the holiday spirit. I’ve taken Gavin on walks throughout the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights. We went to the Mesa LDS Temple Christmas lights display and had dinner with my mom. We went to our ward Christmas party which was fun. Donated clothes and gift cards to those in need. Had Gavin’s picture taken with Santa. Watched lots of Christmas movies. Ate lots of candy canes and cookies. And of course we listen to nonstop Christmas music.
One of Gavin’s favorite things this month has been our advent calendar. My brother Garrett bought it for me as a gift a few years ago because it reminds us of the one we had growing up. It’s a little wooden Christmas tree, and you open up a little box each day and get to hang a new ornament on the tree as you count down to Christmas. Gavin is totally obsessed with this thing and lights up each morning as he pulls out that day’s ornament and hangs it on the little tree. It’s so cute and I am glad he loves it and am so grateful for such a thoughtful gift from my brother that not only brings me joy but has become a fun little tradition for my son.
Assuming the baby doesn’t come before Christmas, I am looking forward to Christmas Eve together as a family and waking up Christmas morning and opening presents and having a fun and lazy day in our pajamas watching Gavin play with his new toys. We’ll FaceTime with the grandparents in Ohio and the Uncles in Pittsburgh. We’ll enjoy our traditional Biscuits and Gravy with orange Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast, Tamales for lunch, and then I am going to cook a fancy Beef Tenderloin Christmas dinner before Daddy has to leave again for work. What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions to do with your kids? I am always open to ideas! ...Just don’t say gingerbread houses!
Of course we’ll see if any of this happens as it should! It all just depends on when Baby boy #2 is ready to join us! It’s very possible I could be in the hospital delivering a baby over Christmas. While technically that doesn’t SOUND like a magical time - I am confident if that is what happens that it will make for the most magical Christmas of all. Because honestly, what greater Christmas gift could you ask for?