One thing that changes with having children is Christmas time. The whole waiting time including. Actually, including post-Christmas as well. The good thing is that most of these changes are simply wonderful. Most of these changes allow finding the inner child and enjoying everything a little bit more!
After long time of simply “cashing in” on the gifts, putting up the “must have” decorations and eating traditional foods, things are now done for special – magical reasons! By trying to create this magical feeling for children, one also gets a bit infected by it as well. Here is my list of what are the most wonderful changes:
- Decorations: The few candles and bulbs that we took out before having children is nothing in comparison to what we do now. Not that we do much as it is still far away from Christmas wonderland, but decorating here and there is a must. The best thing is actually talking about it. Why do we light the candles? Where does this bulb come from? Can we turn on the lights and see how it looks?
- Giving: buying or making gifts and wrapping them is much more pleasant when you give them to children. At least small children, who instead of calculating in the head on how to exchange them right after Christmas, unwrap them with great excitement and jump around from joy.
- Cookies: every year we open a small cookie factory already in the beginning of December and go on trying different types of dough, shapes and glazing techniques. While most of the creations are far from perfect (little hands need lots of training), it is super cosy and give a completely different meaning than simply sweet stuff. It is all about the process!
- Elves: from the beginning of December we have new roommates, namely Elves that this year live under the couch. It is not me who said that. I prefer not to push the Christmas lie (because it is, technically, a lie), but just give small encouragements to entertain my toddler’s fantasy and see what happens. Elves are also the ones that bring small advent gifts and as of next year they will make some funny tricks… I am already looking forward to that 😀
- Porridge with cinnamon: not sure why everybody is talking about meat for Christmas. The most Christmas-y food in our family is porridge. In December, we often have it for dinner, generously covered in cinnamon. While rice porridge is the most classical, we mix different types of cereals to make it healthier and it all works fine, as long as it is called Elf-porridge.
- Short and cosy parties: I am not fan of grown-up Christmas parties, loaded with alcohol, greasy meats (see above) and sitting with drunk people for hours. Especially work Christmas parties are the worst – I do not want to see my colleagues drunk and behaving embarrassingly nor do I want to be seen as that. Yet with children, all these parties get short and loaded with cosy activities, like making decorations, eating cookies, and dancing without caring if it looks decent or not…
- Weather: cold weather is simply annoying when you are an adult. Thus, whole December is spent inside, probably getting drunk (see above). Not like that with children. We get out every day at least for some time and snow is something we look forward to – not to look through the window but come out and play like crazy.
While this is all wonderful and peachy, I must admit that some things from this time start to suck… For example:
- Travelling: Christmas time is usually related with travelling somewhere to see the family. This is in no way fun once you get kids. Good-bye long cosy talks in the car (now the car is stuffed to the roof and all you listen to is whining and crying….), good-bye sleeping on airplanes and shopping at the airports (now it is running through the airports, changing a few diapers on the way and high risk of crying on the plane), good-bye reading a whole book on the train (now it is replaced with using all possible creativity trying to entertain kids who definitely do not want to stay in one place for such long time). As much as I loved Christmas transit before (Driving home for Christmas playing in my head….), I absolutely hate it now.
- New Year’s Eve and 1st of Jan: the worst holiday for parents with small kids, period. Everything about it (alcohol, loud parties, staying up late, fireworks) is completely incompatible with small kids. If you breastfeed and do not have a baby sitter, that is (and it kind of proofs the point….). Now I understand why I always spent New Year’s at my grandparents. It all makes sense. You know what is the worst thing? Knowing that your kids will get up at exactly same time 1st of Jan. 6:30. It does not matter when they go to bed. It will be 6:30 and you will have to get up with them. And no, champagne for breakfast is not an option here either…