Let’s be honest, the holidays are a whirlwind of emotions, travel, and burnt family recipes (I still can’t eat asparagus). On top of that, you add being a new parent and somehow you are still expected to make the fake Christmas tree smell real and act surprised when Grandma gives you socks.
But, what if we went back to the basics of holidays and reveled in the fact that we have the ability to make traditions, memories, and experiences for our kids?
I was usually not-so-patiently collecting scraps of wrapping paper while waiting for my turn. However, for the life of me, I can’t remember what those scraps so delicately held just seconds before. It’s probably safe to say there were some clothes, a game or two, and I think I got a bike one year.
What I can remember is when it snowed in Texas and when Santa left a trail of cookie crumbs throughout my house. I remember the lightning storm of excitement in finding out we were going to Disney. I remember the moments.
THE “FOUR GIFT” GUIDELINES
When planning gifts for kids, try out the “four gift” method.
ONE THING THEY WANT
ONE THING THEY NEED
ONE THING TO WEAR
ONE THING TO READ
In the midst of looking back at past holidays, I was writing Sloan’s Christmas list, and suddenly something occurred to me; if those gifts were nowhere to be found both in my home or in my memories, did they really mean that much to me? Were they more important than the time I spent explaining Frogger to my dad or decorating the “fancy” tree with my mom?
So, I stopped searching “Gifts for Babies” on Pinterest, and started talking with my husband, Reid, about our fondest childhood memories and what they meant to us. Something beautiful happened in this transition from materials to moments and I realized how vital this first holiday season was. It was our chance to start new traditions. It was our chance to make memories that we could laugh about. It was our chance to be the family that goes to the tree farm and forgets the diaper bag on top of the car, and loses the tree halfway home.
Our kids deserve to play with new toys and wear horrid jumpsuits that will haunt them clear into high school, but they also deserve to cherish memories that will hopefully lead to their own traditions.
Travel Tips for Little Ones
LEAVE ENOUGH ROOM IN THE BACK FOR MID-TRIP FEEDINGS AND STORY TIME.
DOWNLOADING THEIR FAVORITE LULLABIES AND NURSERY RHYMES WILL SAVE YOU FROM SINGING FOR SIX HOURS.
DON’T FORGET THAT LITTLES NEED TO STRETCH, TOO. TAKE THIS INTO ACCOUNT WHEN ESTABLISHING YOUR ETA.
It’s crazy to think about Sloan’s own family, especially since she has just mastered the art of fitting both fists into her mouth. What’s even crazier is thinking this Christmas season doesn’t matter just because she won’t remember it.
There is no such thing as a bad time to start a legacy, to start something that carries validity and importance past the roasted chestnuts and Hallmark movies.
What do you give a baby for Christmas? You give them time. You give them yourselves. You give them love. Whether that is taking cheesy pictures or starting their ornament collection, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s yours.
Someone once said your children won’t remember you for the material things, but for the feeling you gave them. Take this giving season as the opportunity to create a feeling that transcends the here and now, and be present this holiday season.