There’s just one more week until Christmas. It’s not my favourite holiday – I find the overindulgence to be off putting. Yes, there are some traditions that I enjoy but I’m more of a ‘if you want to’ as opposed to ‘you must do this’ type of person.
Traditions – the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice – are often viewed as requirements. When it becomes compulsory to participate the enjoyment is sometimes lost.
Personally I love Christmas music and I would enjoy listening to it all year round but I don’t (when other people are around) because I respect that not everyone wants to. I also enjoy some aspects of Christmas decorations but I prefer ‘simple’ over ‘extravagant’.
Every year my step-grandmother used to make Christmas tree ornaments for each of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I have many more ornaments than I could ever use on any tree even if I did put one up especially for the Christmas season. I do use some of these ornaments to decorate the tree in the nature area.
My mother briefly continued this tradition with my own children but many of these ornaments were very fragile and didn’t often get displayed. Last week I found this unconventional tree at Ikea and thought it was perfect for these ornaments. Yes, I continued to defy tradition and hung this ‘tree’ from the ceiling – because I have toddlers, cats, and no extra floor/table space.
This year I am including a Christmas decoration in the gift bags that I will give to the children. I plan on doing this every year from now on. This year I purchased the ornaments but in the future I hope to make some. I also wanted to have some type of free play Christmas activity available for the children so I placed these little gift bags on the shelf.
I gave no directions, I just waited and watched. Of course the infants’ favourite thing to do is fill the bags with various items – they’ll do this with any container.
The older children immediately chose to ‘go shopping’.
There were some sorting games where they tried to place specific coloured items in the bags. They also used the bags for ‘hide & seek’ and guessing games. It took a couple days but eventually they began to exchange ‘gifts’.
I love it when giving is a choice not a obligation.