Kara Evans writes about parenting for the Armchair Mayor News.
COLUMN — Nothing brings the magic back into Christmas more than being able to celebrate with your kids. From rekindling your own personal childhood traditions to creating something exciting and new for your kids to carry on down the road, it’s easy to get lost in the Christmas spirit and ultimately end up exhausted and burnt out.
When my daughter’s first Christmas came around, I am 100 per cent guilty of being the parent who wanted to “do it all” with her; I had a mile-long list of wintery things to do that I was just itching to start crossing things off of.
From touring the town to check out Christmas light displays to visiting Santa at the mall to watching all the classic Christmas movies, I wanted to start creating those warm and fuzzy holiday memories right away. Of course, it was brought to my attention that my daughter, at the time of her first Christmas, was only six months old and fell asleep if in a moving vehicle for more than 15 minutes, thought everyone who was taller than her dad was scary, and only watched television because she enjoyed the bright colours.
Yes, doing all these Christmas activities that were so near and dear to my heart quickly appeared to be rather pointless and not worth wasting those “first-time” memories on. We opted to do the obligatory photo with Santa at the mall and the Wildlights at the B.C.Wildlife Park, but drew the line there. There will be plenty of time in the future when my daughter is old enough to appreciate bigger and more exciting activities.
My grand plan of trying to cram all of those memory-making opportunities into one Christmas season has made me realize how easy it can be to get swept away in the madness that arises this time of year. In many cases, doing all of these different things with my daughter was more about my own personal desires than her own. I could get pumped up for looking at Christmas lights while she didn’t understand what on earth was going on; I’m sure in her head she was only thinking, “Ah great, I’m stuck in my car seat again. Joy to the world!”
Nowadays, when the Christmas season comes along and those urges to do every Christmas related activity there is come on, I remind myself that cramming our days, nights and weekends with things my daughter “would love to do,” will only leave us feeling drained. When you add all of that on top of the mandatory Christmas dinners with family, Christmas becomes a little less fun and a bit more of a chore, and you lose the Christmas spirit that matters the most.
While Christmas is only a couple of days away, I challenge everyone – not just parents – to simplify Christmas a little bit, if not this year then maybe the next. Find the enjoyment in just being together and try to resist the urge of packing every little adventure into one holiday break. Your kids will be around for another 18 years to create all these memories with, so there’s no sense in making them all at once. Take the time to remember what Christmas really means to you, and know that sometimes, that’s more than enough.
From my family to yours, I wish each and every reader of The Armchair Mayor News a wonderful and merry Christmas.
Kara Evans tweets from @KaraEvs and blogs on http://www.shewriteswords.com.