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…About Learning to Love the Holidays

by The Momma on December 16, 2011

The Daddy: Childhood Awakening to the Joys of the Holidays: Next Exciting Step in His Development or Sad Official Goodbye to Life as a Baby?

The Momma: Honestly, the holiday thing is just totally exciting to me. I mean, yes, it’s a good sign he’s no longer a baby (sob!), but I love the holidays so much I can’t wait to share that with him.

D: Watching him get into stuff like the lights, and really stare at them and ask for them, it’s very thrilling. We’re watching the roots of his excitement for Christmas starting to take hold.

M: He still doesn’t fully grasp the concepts behind Christmas, but he’s getting the joy and pleasure of the lights, the tree, the ornaments…I love it. I’m actually really looking forward to Christmas with a kiddo in our future.

D: I know, as we get to watch it unfurl right now, I get a glimpse of how he’s gonna be next year, every year getting more of an understanding of what it is. At the same time, I can already sense that we’re gonna have to exercise restraint when it comes to gifts, as I already want to spoil the hell out of him. Watching him get excited about something is practically a chemical high.

M: I swear, it’s a good thing we have a limited budget, because I seriously have a hard time not buying him anything I think he might like.

D: I’m sure that’s how it happens–the gifts become a desire to watch him get excited and care has to be taken in how the concept of opening presents is accepted. We don’t want him to expect them and not have an appreciation, while at the same time, you just want to see him happy. A fine balance, I think.

M: A VERY fine balance. I have some ideas in my head for ways we can try to manage that as he gets older (besides putting our debit cards under lock and key in December), but I think the big thing will be to try and build excitement and traditions out of the non-gift giving parts of the holiday season: going to see lights, decorating the tree, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, baking cookies, that sort of thing.

D: Oh absolutely. I think I had a bad time growing up with not getting the right kind of appreciation out of gifts when I was a little boy, and I’m overly sensitive to wanting to get it right with the Knob. But WAY funner than even the gifts, the things I remember the most- the tree, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, baking, A Christmas Story, and the lights. Those are the things that get me even now. I can’t wait for those visceral reactions to start getting imbued, though of course, he’ll have his own triggers.

M: Exactly. Christmas as a kid can be so amazing, and I want to make sure that we share that with him.

D: I think he’ll catch it from us, by osmosis alone. His interest in it should only fuel our wish to make it that much bigger a deal. I know that’s how I feel anyway, Over the past couple years, I’ve felt that the holidays have become more about the stress of getting everything done. This was the first year in awhile that I got super amped about it, through wanting to please the kid alone. That feeling should only grow, I think.

M: I think you’re right. Already, I get excited when he asks for the lights, and when I think about Christmas morning with him. And I already have a lot of things in my head that he’s not ready for this year, but I think will be great for next year. It gives me a LOT to look forward to, even in the season of stress and craziness.

D: It’s only gonna get better, and just think, the more he grows, the more we can make HIM do some of the stuff, like help put lights on the tree, and decorate, and…help put lights on the tree. Did I mention that I think it would be handy if he could help put lights on the tree? Because that would be excellent.

M: Ah parenting—combining sweet memory making moments with child labor.

D: Tis the season!

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