Wednesday, December 2, 2009

To Celebrate or Wait?

The holidays are upon us and I am beyond delighted.  I am absolutely as shameless as any 5 year old. I want to sit on Santa's lap and tell him the 87 things I'd LOVE to have and eat sugar cookies for dinner for the next 23 nights. 'Tis the season, baby!!!

Unfortunately, I know better. And the joining of festive and reverent are not coming easily for me.

Today is the fourth day of Advent.  The first purple candle was lit on Sunday and Monday nights with the appropriate prayers being said.  I begged off on cooking dinner last night and the tradition is suffering already.  I am not proud.

I know that you can't spell Christmas without Christ, but have no idea how to translate that message meaningfully to my children. The expectations are high, but our traditions aren't solid.  I am looking for answers and not finding them.

If I am struggling with how to balance the waiting and vigilant preparations then what are my kids thinking?  They are looking to me to set the example and, like always in my parenting career, I just don't know how.  How can I possibly be a role model when I want to wear reindeer ears everyday?  If you know the answer, please reach out.

12 comments:

Theta Mom said...

Hard to find a balance, no? I think being festive and everything is ok, but as you said, be sure they understand the message and the meaning. BTW, are you getting my updates or is my feed still wacky?

Tooj said...

Forgive me...but why CAN'T you wear reindeer ears everyday? I mean....finding joy in a full month is really beyond any parent's wildest expectations anyhow, right? :)

I think lesson time each night could be had, WHILE wearing reindeer ears....and possibly sucking on a candy cane.

shortmama said...

What about reading books with messages with them that teaches the true meaning of Christmas? Or searching the house for change and taking it to the bell ringers at your local Walmart, explaining where that money goes? Packing up old toys and dropping them off for those less fortunate? If your Walmart has an angel tree, pick a gift off of there that they get to help you shop for? All of these things can help to teach the true meaning of the holiday.

Desert Rose said...

I think you can do all of your desires and still teach the meaning. Like for shortmama's suggestions...you could do all those things and wear your reindeer ears while doing them! Add some joy to the joy of giving!

Emmy said...

I wish I did know the answer.. it is so hard to find that balance. Last night I read my kids the story of when Santa appeared and was sad and said to teach the children, and then tells what the different things are symbolic of. I am trying to drill that into their heads, so when they see all of the commercial things they will know they have a deeper meaning.

MiMi said...

It's SO hard. The other day my oldest asked me what Xmas was. Cuz he read a sign that said Merry Xmas. I told him somebody got lazy and decided to put an X instead of spelling out Christ. And you should never cross Christ out of Christmas. He is what Christmas is about. I hope he understood it.

Menopausal New Mom said...

I think I would wear the reindeer ears anyway while teaching the children the true meaning of Christmas. I mean, why not make it fun and entertaining at the same time!

KaLynn said...

Joy and happiness are from God. He gave us our sense of humor. There is a movie that tells the story of Jesus' birth. The Nativity Story. We started watching it last year and we will watch it again this year. I think you can teach your children about giving in all the ways that each of your commentors have stated. Sometimes it's the little things that count. God wants us to share, not necessarily in a big production. Maybe bake cookies and take to a Senior's home or to a family with kids. Put them in pretty bags, have the kids run to the door, knock or ring the door bell and run back to the car. Do not wait for them to answer, just leave it. My grands love to do that at Halloween. Make whatever lesson you teach your children fun. Start a new tradition this year to add to your old ones.

God Bless.

tori said...

This is one area where I still struggle with my kids (I hate to admit). I think that it's awesome that you are brainstorming about what to do while they are still this young. I love the ideas others have supplied and I think it would be great to with a few new "traditions" each year and see what works with your family. I also think it's okay to have a some "silly" traditions in there too. Like you said- balance. :)

Dorkys Ramos said...

OMG Tooj, I was about to ask the exact same thing. Maybe it's because my family is not exactly the most religious around, but I always thought Christmas was about sharing with others, having fun (with reindeer ears obviously) and do good. I'm sure there are simple ways of incorporating faith and lessons in between all this.

Summer said...

It is hard to find the balance...I'm struggling with what is right too.

We just continually talk about the real meaning....and decided that on Christmas morning, we are going to bake a cake for Jesus!

TT said...

Mrs. M. - balance is difficult, but you will find it. You always do, whether it is business or personal. Find the right combination of faith and secular delight (tree up now, reindeer ears), and you will work wonders. You have lots of folks commenting on great things to do to help that out.

I very much enjoy reading your blog, and have been for awhile, first comment or not.

To Mimi: I don't know you at all, and don't mean this following comment at all negatively, as I thought the same thing and had to do some research on it. The X in Xmas isn't crossing out, negating, impugning or otherwise ignoring Christ. X is Greek for Chi, the first letter of Christ's name in that language. It is an ancient abbreviation. While contemporary etiquette finds it less than appropriate to use, and I personally don't care for it, it is certainly not anything negative. Ancient Greek isn't exactly widely well known these days :)

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