This is it, the last day of #12daysofparenting :-(. Today’s theme is: the first year Santa came / didn’t come / is coming. Thanks for hopping from Having a Baby and Living at Home if you did. 🙂 Massive thanks to Baby Bundle, Bambini & Me, Sand Art, Lycrawidow (Younique), Cuddledry, Fresh Photography, Gumigem, and Snooze Shade for our fab grand prize. Entries (UK Residents Only) are via the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. See the 12 Days of Parenting page for terms and conditions.
Christmas growing up when others are organising and making it happen for you, is one thing; making Christmas happen for others is something else. I can’t remember thinking of Christmas beyond my experience of the season when I was young, and even through university. Then zoom to last year with my 11 month old, my first Christmas as a mum … bring on the niggling about what Christmas should be like for us.
One of my parenting ideals is about making our own family traditions about different things all year round. Well, on my first Christmas as a mum, ‘how should we engaged with Christmas’ was my question. This is one instance when I can’t bring my self to go with the flow.
Wrapped up Christmas presents were one of my pre-motherhood no no-s … ‘this ain’t happening at our house’. I didn’t grow up with it, and my little experience of children getting presents, usually the latest toys on the market, just didn’t go down well with me.
I enjoy seeing well-lit and beautifully decorated Christmas trees, but when it came to my chance to have a go, I wasn’t keen. A real Christmas tree was out of the question, cleaning up the needles that generously fall off it was definitely unappealing. Also, whilst the hassle and cost of getting rid of the real deal never entered my mind, looking for storage space for a fake tree that will only be used once a year seemed too much effort. In any case, my first Christmas as a mum got me wondering, ‘why Christmas trees anyway’.
As for Christmas cards, I wrote none; I’m metaphorically saddled with addressed but never posted cards from years past. Even then, the guilt of receiving them without reciprocating is one I can do without.
My first Christmas as a mum was hence filled with a struggle between my casual approach to Christmas and my new interest in having a firm stance on it in relation to how we engage with it as a family.
This was because of the knowledge that it is unlikely that Jesus was born on December 25, its non-religious significance in my upbringing, and my disregard for its huge commercialization. And also, my desire to do right by my little man in terms of his childhood experience of this season.
So, last Christmas period over a number of days, I listened to David Pawson’s teaching on Youtube about the truth of Christmas untruths. This further challenged me about the kind of value I attach to Christmas and the importance of deciding whether we celebrate it or not in our household.
My traditional laissez-faire approach to Christmas became really inadequate during my first Christmas as a mum. There was someone else involved now, something bigger than my husband and I to consider . We now have another person whose idea of Christmas for years to come will depend on what we tell him / teach him about it.
I definitely can’t just go with the flow now, I know too much that bugs me, and I don’t find the ‘just have fun with it’ attitude satisfactory. Also, the idea of just doing it like most people do isn’t adequate for me. I’ll just have to live with the ‘cruel parent’ or ‘you’re just rebelling’ accusations for my attitude to Christmas.
In the end, we hung out with our dear friend who celebrates Christmas, like we have done over many years. She had her decorated and lit Christmas tree and house, gave my little one and us a card and presents. She wined and dined us as usual, albeit in more Christmasy type of way.
My little one wasn’t so well, so we both spent lots of time in the room we stayed; boobing and puking :-(, and wondering lots about whether my breast milk had gone rogue on me, in between praying for him to get better.
We also read, played, chatted, walked, and had a fabulous time. I also received some advice that hunted me for a while about my child’s night sleep.
We went back home and I left my Christmas wanderings most untouched, until last week. 🙁 🙂
Here ends my words capture – my giveaway code word – of my first Christmas as a mum.
~ How was your first Christmas as a parent or in your current status in life? ~
Off to Life with Baby Kicks‘ about Santa’s visit to their house, and for your chance to gain another entry into our fab grand prize giveaway.
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