Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas with Two and What About After Christmas?


The whole Christmas season has always been my favorite time of year. I get this from my dad. Thanksgiving is celebrated with a big feast and then the preparing begins - listening to Christmas music, baking, shopping for presents, decorating, general merry-making. With the two babes there were fewer things on my to-do list this year. I did most of my shopping online, and no one got a homemade present this year, but there was a tree and cookies and all the Cristmas music we could ask for. We had lunch out one day and friends over for dinner a couple of times. Alessia met Santa in Downtown Crossing and ate her first candy cane. We went to Malden's tree lighting where two youth choirs sang Christmas carols, and there was a countdown to turn on the lights. The countdown was then repeated at home every morning. My friend Jen had us over to decorate gingerbread houses. Pointing out Christmas trees became a regular past time, on city streets, in stores, in our favorite coffee shops. I bought a child friendly manger scene, and we talked about the baby Jesus' birthday. Then, on Christmas Day, presents!


So, what happens now? I know quite a few people who have a hard time with the post-Christmas season. This is my advice. Don't stop celebrating the day after Christmas. Leave the tree up until Twelth Night, and make a special pot of tea or coffee or hot chocolate to sip while taking it down. Celebrate New Years, even if it's just a slightly-more-special-than-ordinary dinner with the family. Have friends over for an everyday dinner for no particular reason whatsoever. If you garden, by seeds. Eat chocolate on Valentine's Day, buy a cake for Fat Tuesday and eat beans on Ash Wednesday, make corned beef and cabbage on St. Patty's Day, come up with your own special days. My sister celebrates her kids' "half birthdays" in January and February. You don't need to go crazy. We're not trying to replicate the grand celebrations of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Just do a little something to acknowledge the day as different than all the other cold and gray days of winter.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tis' the Season

My favorite time of year is here! One of the best things about being a mom is getting to introduce my girls to some of life's simple pleasures. Yesterday we had to go downtown. We went over to Downtown Crossing and there was a brass quartet playing Christmas music and Santa Claus. Alessia was mesmerized. She loved listening to the instruments, and Santa gave her her first candy cane. Oh, what joy in that little plastic wrapped candy cane. Once on the T, I opened it up and showed her how to eat it without biting or chewing. By the time we got home her cheeks and hands were covered with sticky pink. Her hair was stuck to her face. Her coat had dried on sugar all along the collar, and she was as pleased as could be. The candy cane joined the pile of books and paper and crayons on the coffee table and was occasionally revisited all afternoon, even though by then it too was covered in hair and lint from her jacket. Such fun.