Experience, Opinion

Reflections – ’tis the holiday season 5

Hope, everyone had a nice Christmas!

I’ve only started celebrating Christmas in my adult life, not so long ago really. My parents have never celebrated it (as we’re a Muslim family). We were grateful for the days off and spent it with family, but without a big dinner or any other kind of big ruckus. This year it was the first Christmas as a family with gifts and a tree. Our little one is 1, so I guess we are trying to set some kind of tradition.

Of course, a kid her age doesn’t care much for it. She’s only getting an idea of what it means to unwrap gifts. As a first-time parent I was just excited to see, what her reactions to the new toys would be. But, she’s not old enough yet to care. To me, Christmas is a time that breaks winter up nicely. I love the lights, and I really missed London’s Christmas lights this year. People being excited and letting their inner child loose, is what I enjoy about it, too. So, I get that parents get overexcited for their children. 

But I was still a bit shocked to see, how some families went overboard with gifts for their little ones. Of course, I’m only referring to social media posts I noticed, that need to be taken with a pinch of salt. But those are families with really young kids, where the main excitement is probably on the parents’ side. So, I get it. But as it goes, when you see your behaviour mirrored or taken to an extreme, you begin to question it. Do I want to raise a materialistic child, who won’t be happy about the abundance of gifts and won’t appreciate much else about the season? How do I avoid excess? How can I make the season fun and meaningful?

When I think about, what I’d like to teach my daughter, then number 1 is to give out her time. I’d like her to understand, that we have influence on our environment, and we should be proactive about making it a better and warmer place to live in. What I’ve learned is, that I like to follow people, who live what they believe in. I can’t make her appreciate these things, but I can live them and hope that she’ll pick it up and understand the importance. 

Next year, she’ll be 2 and will have a greater understanding of the world. And I’m excited to see, what her world will be like by then. What I would like to do, is to develop some traditions, which go a bit further than cooking dinner together, spending time with family, watch Christmas movies and giving out Christmas presents (“Bescherung” as we call it in German). 

What do you normally do with your families? What are your traditions? And what do you look forward to the most? Would love to get some feedback from you!

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