It’s December! That means holidays, family time, cookies, and making memories. This is such an exciting time for kids. For my two little ones it’s the excitement of Santa coming, bringing gifts and the possibility of a white Christmas.
Every I year I try to develop family traditions with my kids. I didn’t have many family holiday traditions growing up and I really want to have some with my children. What I’ve realized is, yes it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most unrealistic. For your amusement here are some of the traditions I try every year with my kids. There are visions of what I think it will be like and then BAM reality hits.
Baking Christmas Cookies
Who doesn’t love those sugar cookies? You see them all over Pinterest with these amazing decorations. Every time I think of baking with my kids I envision the three of us at the kitchen island taking turns cutting out Christmas tress and bells. We would put some sprinkles on them and have some hot cocoa while we wait for them to bake.
The Reality: We are three minutes in and my 3 year old son sneezed in the dough. My 8 year old daughter is frustrated because she can’t roll out the dough as good as I can. She does an eye roll that only an 8 year old can master when I try to show her how to do it. The cookies are between 1 millimeter and 8 inches thick. It might not be snowing but it looks like my kitchen had a white Christmas because of all the flour everywhere. I try to salvage what I can by making hot cocoa only to find out my son doesn’t like it and my daughter guzzles it down and returns to her iPad.
Putting Up The Christmas Tree
We are fake tree all the way family and we are not ashamed. The kids get so excited when we tell them that Mommy and Daddy are going to bring in the tree to set it up. I think of all us putting on ornaments with A Muppet Christmas Carol on in the background. We get our children a new ornament every year that has to do with their favorite activity, toy, etc. I think about how fun it will be for them to look back and see what their interests were that year.
The Reality: By the time my husband and I move all the furniture to get the tree into the house the kids have lost interest. We have high ceilings in our family room so we need an anxiety inducing high ladder to get all the pieces in. I’m covered in fake tree from crawling underneath to try and figure out why sections of the tree are out. When we finally have the tree assembled we start with the ornaments. I turn my back for two seconds and my son has already broken three ornaments and my 8 year old put all of our ornaments in a 2-inch section of the tree. My OCD takes over and I end up moving the ornaments around which prompts an eye roll and, “Nothing I do is good enough.” A Muppet Christmas Carol IS on but the only one singing along is me.
Oh and no one even noticed their ornaments.
Decorating The House
If I’m being honest I hate decorating the house for Christmas. It looks great when it’s done but it’s a tiring thing to do. With the house being decorated I feel like it will get the kids even more excited. I even have some Christmas houses and I thought it would be fun this year to put them in the family room with some fake snow where everyone can enjoy them. I thought of how nice it would be for them to come home from school and see the house all decorated for Christmas.
The Reality: I had to beg my daughter to go around and look. All I got was an unenthusiastic, “That’s cool.” My son WAS very excited, especially about the houses with the fake snow. Here I am thinking “score one for Mom.” Then I hear the inevitable crash and I know that he broke something. Sure enough two little ceramic people have lost their legs and the fake snow I spent so much time stretching and getting perfect has now become a race track for his monster trucks.
This is a good one. I’m so full of excitement for my kids on Christmas Eve that I can barely sleep. I don’t mind if they wake me up early. My husband and I look forward to running downstairs with them. We look forward to seeing their faces light up when they see their gifts and that Santa ate some cookies that were left for him (definitely not the ones we baked).
The Reality: For once the reality exceeds my expectations. It makes the messy kitchen, burnt cookies, broken ornaments and decorations worth it.