I'm getting excited for Christmas this year. B is really starting to take an interest in all the festive-ness that's going on around him. He loves the lights, the tree, the ornaments (we're working on this) and even loves playing with the snowmen and Santa dolls that sing and dance. I'm even getting excited to take him back to the Midwest for the holidays and hopefully getting to see some snow and do some ice skating! There are a couple things I'm struggling with though as I write this.
Christmas is not about presents and Santa. It's about the birth of Christ. I want B to recognize the Nativity scene as easily as he recognizes Santa. I want him to know why this day is important, and I want him to sing "Away in a Manger" as often as he sings "Jingle Bells". How do you teach this to a toddler, when do you start? How do you know he's following what you're saying/doing/teaching?
What about the family members that aren't with him anymore. The holidays always seem to exemplify the absence of loved ones who have passed. The traditions I remember as a child will not be the same memories B has. He will not get to have memories with such important people in his family. With all the spirituality that surrounds the holidays, how do you remember and honor those people without feeling the sense of longing that accompanies such amazing memories?
I'm sure as time goes on we'll figure all of this out, but I always want B to remember how special the holidays and family are, and not just focus on what's under the tree (or ON the tree as it seems this year :)).