At school, my 3-year-old son, Finn, crafted a pilgrim stating what he is thankful for this year. And in true 3-year-old fashion, he responded, “I am thankful for all my presents that are coming for Christmas.”
Of course, this gave my husband and me a good laugh, and we’ve spent some time (fairly unsuccessfully, I might add) trying to convince Finn that what Thanksgiving is really about is appreciating family and friends and all the blessings we have already. We’ve told him that after Thanksgiving is the time to get greedy. I joke, I joke. Of course a 3-year-old is thinking gifts – this is the first year he’s aware of the whole shebang. And it’s a challenge to teach lessons about being non-materialistic and spiritual when all of the Christmas decor is on full display at Target and Santa is already stationed at the mall ready to listen to lists.
Honestly, holidays weren’t always easy for me when I was growing up, and it’s a delight to have my own child and family with whom I can celebrate now. While I remind Finn to count his blessings I’ll remember to also truly be grateful for my own, and I’ll work toward making each holiday unique and an occasion Finn will always want to enjoy with us. After all, lecturing Finn about appreciating his family and delaying the Christmas excitement is one thing; legitimately creating an environment that is safe, loving, accepting and fun even if there are no presents involved is quite another. I’m working toward meaningful traditions that create a reliable space for comfort and joy: quiet time to snuggle together and talk first thing in the morning, a signature holiday cookie we make together, time outdoors no matter the weather. Do you have any traditions we should adopt this year?
Wishing you the very best this holiday!