Tis the season to be……...jolly? Exhausted? Thankful? Stressed? You fill in the blank. To be honest, I usually feel all of these. Especially since becoming a parent. And I think this is especially true for mothers. Most of us do it all. The hosting, the shopping, the decorating and the wrapping. Since we tend to be responsible for most of these tasks, how could we (moms) not approach the season with a small ounce of dread?
If you’re like me, you want the holidays to be perfect. Especially for your children. I think about my childhood. The songs, the movies, the magic, the traditions. As adults, we might repeat traditions, or create our own.
A practice our family seems to have adopted over the years is a reading tradition which is surprising, because I’ve never been a “bookworm.” This tradition has to be intentional, due to all of the business around us. My husband and I read parts of the Bible (the gospels), or Christian devotions to our children every night in the month leading up to Christmas. We want them to know the real reason why we celebrate. We also enjoy Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer by Rick Bunsen, Twelve Days of Christmas in Kentucky by Evelyn Christensen, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg and The Elf on the Shelf by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell. Additional titles include The Nativity, The First Christmas, The Christmas Pageant and A Christmas Prayer.
We always hear about how important it is to read to our children. I never gave this much thought until my oldest son (Kason) started school. Or until I started staying home with our youngest son who is two years old (Rhett). Right now, Rhett is fascinated by all of the Usborne touchy-feely books. He loves the “That’s not my…...” collection series. He looks forward to rubbing his stubby little fingers on the boards to feel the variety of textures. That’s not my Tractor by Fiona Watt is his favorite. Mostly because he is OBSESSED with tractors, and that word makes up the majority of his very limited vocabulary. That’s not my Bee by Fiona Watt is on his Christmas list this year! It is very fitting since his daddy is a beekeeper, and he has always wanted to touch a bee without the threat of being stung.
Recently I was shopping online and had my head buried in my phone. My two-year-old walked over with a book, tapped me on the leg, then patted the seat of the recliner in an effort to get me to stop and read to him. So, I did. What’s REALLY more important after all? I want to enjoy this season, and I’m not just talking about the Christmas season.
Whatever your holidays might look like, or whatever traditions you might begin, end, or continue, I encourage you to not become so overwhelmed that you miss the magic. Don’t get so consumed by the food, that you forget the fellowship. Or the money, that you forget the manger. Or the wrapping, that you forget to read. Don’t overspend at the expense of your family. And don’t get so caught up in trying to get the best deals that you are blinded to the value of those in front of you.