The Adventure Starts Here: Reimagining Christmas

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Reimagining Christmas

Christmas is hands down my favorite holiday.  And because of that, I tend to come up with a long list of things I want to do in preparation for the big day.  I really love spending our December days doing all things Christmas.  I love perusing Pinterest for new ideas to mix in with our existing traditions.  And I love seeing what other people are doing on Instagram.  Yet despite truly loving this time of year and everything that comes with it, sometimes I feel like I can't keep up.  Not that I can't keep up with external expectations, but that I can't keep up with what I envision and hope for our Christmas to be.  Like there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything I want to do. While we have been doing lots of fun activities, I sometimes feel like we've been slacking off a bit this year.  We haven't done as many crafts this year, we've missed some events that were on our "bucket list", and part of me can't believe that Christmas will soon be over!  

But even when I feel like I've got it all under control, it doesn't mean Noah is necessarily interested in going with the "Christmas program". Depending on his mood, he might be very eager to do a Christmas craft or go on a new adventure, but sometimes he does not.  While many of our activities are flexible and can be done another day, that isn't always the case.  And I have to admit that it kind of bummed me out at first when we would miss out on certain events and weren't crossing everything off of our bucket list.  Can you tell I'm a type A planner??

In addition to Noah's strong opinions, I think our biggest obstacle is simply the stage of life we are currently in.  Ever since the time change, I've learned that night time activities don't usually go over well with Noah.  Unless Noah naps (which is an odd occurrence these days and can't be counted on), he will either be in a crummy mood or falling asleep before we even get there.  There have been too many times where Noah has fallen asleep in the car at 5:30 on the way to an event.  This wouldn't bother me (or him) if he woke up in a good mood when we arrived.  But instead, he is out like a light for about 2 hours, only to wake right around his normal bedtime, in a bad mood but not ready to go back to sleep. So far this month, we've missed out on three planned activities because of this dilemma.  A town tree lighting (awake but in a bad mood), Christmas carols at his school (I knew he'd immediately fall asleep on the way), and looking at Christmas lights (which we actually attempted and then had him fall asleep and miss the whole thing).  

While I love the image in my head of us singing Christmas carols as a family and going to all these town events, I've come to the realization that it's not necessarily reality for us right now.  Noah is naturally a homebody and when given the choice will pick staying home.  And I've slowly learned that it's better to skip out on an event than to go and have a bad experience.  There's no point forcing a "perfect Christmas" on Noah if he isn't interested.  Getting my "perfect photo" is not worth it if Noah isn't enjoying it.  Isn't the whole point of doing all this to make our kids happy?  

Don't get me wrong, we have done a lot compared to the average family, and the things we have done have been a lot of fun and Noah has really enjoyed.  Noah loves finding Buddy each morning, doing our many advent calendars, going to Sesame Place, and even seeing Santa.  But as I'm looking back through my photos, I'm finding that we spent more time at home this year.  And to be honest, these simple moments at home have been some of my all time favorite.  I've learned that there's something special about snuggling under a blanket, reading by the Christmas tree, and just spending extra time playing in the bath tub.  Instead of focusing on the activities we are missing out on, I'm loving the sweet and simple moments we are having instead.  When looking back, I guarantee I won't remember all the "missed events", but rather cherish the time we spent together as a family, regardless of what we were doing.      

This Christmas is the year I learned to embrace the simplicity.  That we don't have to be busy every single moment of the day to consider it a success.  The most important part for me is that Noah has a wonderful Christmas and looks back fondly on these years.  And from what I can tell, he's celebrating Christmas exactly how he wants :)

Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram


  1. So good friend. It is all about embracing the current season of life that you are in and you are doing just that. When we get in our head that Christmas (or anything) has to look a certain way, we really miss out/ get disappointed when life happens. Y'all are doing an awesome job.

  2. I love this post and was nodding in agreement throughout the whole thing!! I feel like each year we've got to reimagine Christmas based on what is best for our families. I love that phrase you came up with. I always have to keep my expectations of perfection in check. Your at home activities have looked like so much fun and I know that Noah is loving them because you planned things that would be best for him. We are cutting back on events we say yes to, heading to bed earlier, buying gifts they'll really love instead of tons of toys and opting for simple Christmas treats vs time consuming fancy treats. We've had a great Christmas season working around nap times, family favorites and only saying yes to things we really want to do. I'm guessing next year will look a little different with the kids being older and that's okay with me.

  3. YES! YES! YES! Meg, YES! I think you could have wrote this exact same thing about Connor. One thing for sure, Connor has found his voice and isn't afraid to share his opinion, even when it's the last thing I want to deal with. I often remind myself they are just little kids and I have to be the one to roll with things so that things can go somewhat smooth. I'm sure I wasn't always so pleasant at 4 ;) Lord knows I'm not at 34!

  4. I'm agree with you completely! :-)
    Thank you that you wrote about it! I feel the same about my children and Christmas!

  5. I can totally relate to this. Right now I'm having the dilemma because our church's Christmas Eve services are at 5 (dinner time) or 7 (bedtime). I want to go so badly, but I just don't think it's worth making the littlest ones miserable just to say we did it.

  6. This is a great post! Just this week I found myself sad about all of the time we missed at home this Christmas season. While I love getting out and doing all of the festive Christmas traditions, I have been really craving the time at home to just sit and soak it all in. There just aren't enough days in December.


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