so, now that we have a child we are beginning to rethink our normal christmas traditions. we've known for some time that presents are center stage for most of us and the true mystery and joy of the season is hard to find. in fact, as a kid i remember a sense of let down when the last present was unwrapped... and i remember already thinking about the next gift i was going to open before i had even finished opening the one in my hands. i've heard of children saying things like, "baby jesus is the one who brings us presents on christmas morning". and tantrums seem likely to happen on one of the most holy days of the year.

now, it's not that i'm against gift giving and receiving. besides being super fun, i think it's important for children to know how to give gifts and how receive them. no, i like presents. but... i don't want simon to be like i was.

we've been brainstorming some ideas... (and not really for this year because we'll just be busy keeping him from eating the wrapping paper at this stage.) for one, i don't think we'll have simon write a list of things he'd like. this takes away the surprise and excitement and sets him up for disappointment if he doesn't get everything he wanted... or sets us up for bankruptcy if he does. i'm not sure we'll do a traditional santa clause either. i really love mystery and fantasy and pretend but we're thinking of creating a space for that on st. nicholas day (dec. 6th) when children (and adults too!) put their shoes outside their doors before bed and wake up to little treats in them in the morning, brought by st. nicholas. another opportunity for gift giving is three kings day... january 6th. but on christmas day i think we'll do stockings (because i love them) and leave the presents at that.

but i still want that day to feel special and magical (and be about baby jesus). so, i'd love to hear about your ideas or traditions! when do you decorate for christmas? do you go out somewhere as a family? play games? how do you celebrate the wonder of baby jesus coming into the world?

please share them on facebook or in the comments!