We got home from our Thanksgiving travels on December 1rst. The next day I was anxious to get the Christmas decorations out. I knew it would be the only day of the week I’d have the time.
I hurried into our guest room (which this time of year I affectionately call “the north pole”) and started opening up the red and green tubs. I began grabbing the decorations, blankets, table cloths, stockings and went straight to set up. Z followed me around with wide curious eyes.
I could tell Z was getting excited by all the hustle and bustle. I was surprised to see him intently focused on items like the velveteen rabbit and it’s stocking, the cloth advent calendar, the big Santa present bag. I could tell they were as exciting as brand new toys.
It took me a moment to realize: these are all new to him. He doesn’t remember decking the halls last year and definitely was not able to participate. Each one of these items was special; a holiday treat.
I was so preoccupied with getting it all out; being strategic about where to put the breakable decor, that I glazed right over what this all meant to my son. Instead of a quick chore to check off the list, I needed to recognize this time as a special holiday moment for my son. I understood then that I needed to slow down, let Z discover all the Christmas items and their significance to our family.
So, I took out the Nativity scene and let Z help me unwrap each piece-like little presents. I asked him to describe what he saw-is it a man? a women? a baby? an animal? What are they wearing? who do you think they are? Then he watched as a I carefully placed each on our mantel centered around “the barn” as Z called it.
Because I have experienced 28 more Christmas than my son I can take the traditions, culture, and sentiments for granted. Concepts like stockings, advent calendars, nativity scenes and decking the halls are all so very new to him. That newness is something to celebrate and cherish.
So lesson learned: I will from now on (no matter how busy the season) take my time to deck the halls, enjoying the process and the curiosity and wonder of my toddler.
How do you deck your halls this time of year?