When you think of your childhood Christmas', what comes to mind?
For me, I remember waking mum up well before the sun, then creeping down the hall to see if Santa came to our house. The rule was we could open one present and that was it until a reasonable hour to actually start the day!
We chose carefully and opened a present we thought would give us hours of fun (like rollerblades) and patiently waited until the rest of the family woke up. We spent the morning at home, just our family.. Mid morning we either had family arriving or we made our way to the family for a big family Christmas lunch.. It was the big, traditional Christmas lunch every year..
Our children’s Christmas morning, however, have looked quite a bit different.. Not bad by any means, but different all the same..
Like many families, our kids do not have any of their extended family within an hours drive of the house.. We value the opportunity to spend holidays with our extended family and very much want those memories for our kids..
So what does that mean?
We travel. Every. Single. Year.
It also means that for all of their young lives our kid’s have woken up somewhere other than home on Christmas morning.. And although our Christmas’ weren’t the traditional kind we grew up with, they have been special and memorable and our kids have loved them all the same..
Road trips, camping, bunking in with cousins, travelling from one side of the family to another around the holidays has been all they’ve known. Santa always found them wherever we were and delivered their gifts...
For 5 years now this has been our normal Christmas..
But this year in the lead up to Christmas we looked at our kids, realised how fast they are growing up.. how fleeting those early years of childhood are.. when they still believe in the magic of Santa.. And we started asking ourselves what are OUR family traditions.. And we had a hard time answering that question..
So we decided to make a change this year..
We will still travel to see family around the holidays — as being with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins is an important and valuable part of our children’s lives.
However, this year Christmas is ours..
The news of this year may come as a shock to our family.. but in the end when everyone thinks about their own Christmas mornings, the memories made with their own families – it is just Mum, Dad and the kids – opening presents in their pj’s, sipping coffee, throwing wrapping paper around, sharing special treats for breakfast at home.. I think they will understand..
See it won’t be long before the kids work out the secret of Santa, and even sleep in on Christmas morning.. The pitter-patter of feet at 5am will be a sound of the past.. For that reason, we decided to grab a hold of these last few years of true childhood and preserve whatever traditions we can.. And make some memories of our own…
This year we are taking Christmas and making it ours..