Christmas has come a little early to our house this year. Normally I can’t abide looking at decorations until December rolls around, but last week I allowed our eight-year to get out a select few decorations – just a handful – and our stack of Christmas reading, which grows every year. This child finds waiting for big holidays, especially this big holiday, difficult, and I must say that I like stretching Christmas out so that it isn’t all focused just on one big day. I like the whole Christmas season.
I’m trying to see the bright side of starting so very early this year. The big advantage is that no matter how much planning I do, I’m always behind in some areas, and I end up chopping items from the ‘to do’ list as we get closer to the 24th. I figure I’ve got a big headstart this year: the youngest has already made a batch of homemade cards, including one that was combined with a letter to Santa (put in the mail today), and is thinking hard about gifts. For others, I mean (it’s a given that he’s also thinking hard about what he wants!).
Every year we try to steer the conversation to what we can do for others, and we typically make a significant family gift to a charity that we choose together. We’ve done family volunteering, but never at Christmas and I’d like to change that this year. The conversations about what we can do for others seems to have sunk in with the youngest, but in ways that I could not have anticipated.
YOUNGEST SON: Mum, what could we do that’s special for Santa’s reindeer, instead of just carrots?
ME: Oh, gosh, what about celery or some of the greens that our budgies like? They really loved the bunch of dill we gave them this morning.
YOUNGEST SON: No, I mean something really special. What about blankets? I bet it’s cold for them. Do you think we could get blankets for each of them and stitch their names on them?
ME: Wow, what a neat idea. I’m really going to have to think about that one. Can we talk about this more later?
Um, nine blankets if you count Rudolph? Like when and how? I try to do a little in the way of handmade crafts each year, but seriously, nine monogrammed blankets for massive flying creatures with antlers?
I’ve used many a stall tactic in my years as a parent, but I’m seriously concerned that this idea sticks and rears its head again. The idea of thinking up an alternative is, frankly, exhausting, but is probably what I’ll need to do.
Any ideas? Anyone?