While I have had the last three years to contemplate the traditions my little family will look forward to each Christmas, I let each season go by half-heartedly; partly because we lived as expats without family during the holidays and partly because ev didn’t ask any questions.
Now, ev is asking if Christmas is here yet.
So, how do I prepare for two magical arrivals on one morning? Do we wake up Christmas morning and open a pile of gifts from Santa’s midnight delivery? Or do we exclaim the baby in the manger after a long advent month of watching and waiting. Do we move from one unrelated story to the other, reveling each arrival in its own magic? Is it possible for Santa and Baby Jesus to hold their own wonder without one taking away from the other?
To complicate my confusion, ev’s Papa has his own set of traditions from Italy. Gifts are given on the sixth of January when the wise men appear in the nativity with their offerings to the baby. As sensical and sweet as that sounds, how do we make space for January sixth after ev is bombarded with “what did you ask Santa for?” and “what did you get for Christmas?”. Not to mention, on the sixth of January we will likely be packing lunch boxes and heading back to school.
For God’s sake, I want to visit a little village where traditions are older than grandparents and everyone celebrates the same way, free from marketing and globalization!
What are your Christmas traditions? How do you combine those from your childhood with those of your spouse? Do you introduce new ones? How do your kids learn about Christmas in modern childhood?
I grew up with no Santa Claus but with the Befana the 6 of January which represents the 3 wise men.
So Ev can enjoy both the Latin and Anglosaxon traditions.
Thank you ev’s papa! I’m sure we’ll get it straight before Christmas arrives:)
You already know what I think…… there is def room for both! We have balanced it quite nicely:) Heck do all 3! Why not?!
Yes, you do have a great balance. I hope to find ours THIS Christmas!
I find that, since we’re in North America, the Santa tradition has a vibrant life of it’s own. Without us fanning the Santa flames (i.e. we didn’t ask them for “lists” nor did presents arrive from Santa at our house) they still enjoyed all the fun “Santa things” around us (he’s at the mall! he’s at the work Christmas party! he was at Grandpa’s house and left stockings! he has a parade!) I found by being low-key about Santa, the kids were more pleasantly surprised by whatever things Santa left for them, if he did – they were less demanding of the poor man. [smile] The Jesus tradition, on the other hand, doesn’t get as much air-time or bandwith out there so we try to help it out a bit. Or a lot.
Sounds like a perfect balance. I like the ideas on
Santa. Neither my husband or myself believed
In Santa but I don’t like to leave him out altogether.
Thank you for your input.
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