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?