One of my favorite things about being a mother is creating my family’s own Christmas traditions with my husband and our two daughters. Though we may disagree on a few details (mostly regarding when to start decorating the house and the specific weather guidelines under which it is acceptable to go cut our tree) my husband and I have finally - for now - agreed on our plan for giving our daughter’s Christmas presents.
We are in our second year of doing four gifts: something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read. While my children are quite young (3 and 1) my older daughter’s reluctance to actually play with toys has left me with no desire to fill my house with junk. Focusing on four gifts helps me think about what their interests are, and how I can happily coexist with those supplies in my living room. I am genuinely excited for them to open their gifts this year because I think they really capture their interests. I’m also really excited that there won’t be piles of toys everywhere that they both trip over as they race to unload the tupperware drawer and scatter its contents across the kitchen.
My three year old is a tried and true “threenager” and it is taking some real work to teach her, and remind myself, about the Spirit of Christmas. If only she could read I’d get a shirt that said “Love and Kindness, that’s what Christmas is all about”, but until then I will just keep saying it 100 times a day (along with “Fine. I’ll just call Santa then.” sprinkled in for good measure). Her rotating Christmas list includes: ballerina slippers, a monkey, Oreos, and a Christmas tree. My one year old would probably also enjoy any of these items as long as her big sister was currently trying to use it. This is to say, their needs are minimal. I am, however, quite happy to establish a gift giving tradition that can grow with them throughout the years.
Though I really think my girls will like their gifts, I will not be disappointed on December 26th if they are scattering kitchen utensils from one end of the house to the other while I sit contentedly coloring with their new art supplies. My true Christmas wish for them is that they know how to love unconditionally and I hope that they feel loved in return. I pray that they are kind to each other, themselves, and others, today and always.
Love and Kindness, that’s what Christmas is all about.
Mrs. Eileen Barendse
Assistant Principal and
Assistant Principal and
Director of Early Education