With December upon us, all talk seems to be about the holidays. I enjoy Christmas, and get into the spirit of it, but I've found that I'm often left in January with a bit of a feeling of bewilderment. All the buildup and suddenly the season just disappears.
I enjoy seeing decorations, hearing the holiday music and the cold, crisp, sunny winter mornings that to me define the season. I don't get all worked up over when decorations should be put up, if November (or October for that matter) is too soon to be hanging lights or to see Christmas pop up in the stores. I am tired of shopping though. I've never enjoyed shopping, and quite frankly get stressed about it more than anything else over the holiday season. We've scaled back quite a bit over the last 2 years - with us only buying stocking stuffers and items for the kids on my side of the family, and drawing names on my husband's side.
While I love watching Jax open his gifts and enjoy them, I don't really see the point of it all. When I was a kid, I remember that Christmas was about the presents. Not that my family had a focus on them or anything, but the gifts just seemed to eclipse everything else. My sister and I were allowed to open the stockings first thing in the morning, then we had to wait impatiently for a family brunch to be served before we could go back the the tree and we would all open presents one by one.
We recently attended a kids Christmas party for my sister in law's work. It was at a great location and Santa came and got the kids up dancing and singing carols. Jackson had a blast. He was initially slow to warm up to the idea, but soon was dancing with all the other kids there. Later, Santa gave out gifts to all the kids. Jackson wanted to go up to Santa, but needed me next to him as he was nervous. He had told me that he wanted to tell Santa that he wanted "balloons, face paint and puzzles" for Christmas, but was too nervous to say it himself so had me pass the message along. It was cute. Later he got to open the gift, a very fun marble tower game, and was thrilled. we stayed and played for another hour or so at the location before heading home. We let him set up the game and play for a little while before nap time, and he loved it.
I dropped him off at daycare the next day and he told his provider that he got a new toy and explained it to her. He was very excited, but I can't help but to be a little disappointed that he said nothing about the singing, dancing and playing with the other kids at the party. How do you instill the Christmas spirit in a three year old without their focus shifting to the gifts they've received?