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MANN: The complexities of Christmas with children

Image Credit: SUBMITTED
November 16, 2017 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


Like it or not the Christmas season is here, and yes, it is indeed a season.

I have always LOVED Christmastime. I have nothing but good memories of food, family and festivities.

I’m convinced it is in some way due to the fact that I was born in December and was listening to the cheery chaos of Christmas in the womb.

I have two children now and I am beyond excited to introduce them to the spirit of Christmas. They aren’t quite old enough to appreciate it just yet, but before I know it they will be leaving milk and cookies for Santa and staying up late to catch a glimpse of Rudolph’s nose.

But, with the excitement also comes the fear of disappointment, and the pressure to navigate through Christmastime (this year and the next 20), flawlessly.

Christmastime is supposed to be about love, kindness, sharing, family and comfort food.

But then there are the expectations of the gifts…

This year I won’t be buying much for my kiddos. They are under three, and let’s face it, they don’t quite grasp the whole ‘gift’ part at this point. So I think I’ll keep my wallet safely in my purse. I know in years to come they will be circling toys on the flyers….probably several dozen. Won’t I be happy to have a little extra cash at that time.

And when it comes, I hope I can find a healthy balance of spoiling my children and teaching them (with them drawing the conclusions on their own) gifts are secondary to everything else at Christmas, and receiving them is a privilege.

Then comes the endless questions about Santa Claus. How do I explain why there is more than one Santa around town and why the length and colour of their beards seem to grow and grey from place to place?

And how about the North Pole? Will they be heartbroken when I explain they probably won't be able to find Santa's Village?

Is there a handbook on how to deflect the difficult questions, or do children just believe despite the answers they get because they want to?

I can’t remember my beliefs about Santa Claus, reindeer, or the North Pole. Only that I knew it was all something magical — something that I desperately wanted to be a part of.

And I remember when the time came for the most difficult question, “Is he real,” my parents were honest — sympathetic, but honest.

The final concern I have is the food. I’ve always enjoyed the eats of Christmastime — french toast for breakfast, turkey with all the trimmings for dinner and pie or Christmas cake for dessert.

But I have no idea how to cook a turkey! I’m 33 years old and I have never cooked a turkey.

I don’t want to spoil my children’s whole perception of a festive feast with a festive failure.

Christmastime still makes me feel like I am stepping into a secret world where miracles are a daily occurrence and there are nothing but happy endings to every story.

I just want those feelings to extend to my babies.

I know that it will take time to learn the ins and outs of raising a child through the Christmas season, but I am happy to take on the challenge.

— Becky Mann is a 30-something, red haired, mother of two, trying to navigate this life as best she can. She enjoys talking to people and discovering their stories. Still trying to balance her personal and professional life, she juggles work and play. In her spare time Becky can be found visiting with friends, spending time with her family and saving time by reading while walking. She knows there is so much more to come and is looking forward to the continued adventure.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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