Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year.

 

I love everything about it - the decorations, the food, catching up with family and friends, the general feeling of happiness and fun that’s in the air. This year is set to be the best yet as our little man is with us for his very first Christmas. I’ve realised that instead of following along with family traditions as we have over the years, the time has come for us to set our own traditions for our own little family. I’ve been thinking about what I hope that Christmas will come to mean to our son, and how to balance the fun stuff (presents!), with the importance of Christmas (giving and family).

 

Kids start thinking of their Santa letters at the first whiff of Christmas, especially as the Christmas adverts on TV start earlier and earlier every year. I want my son to get swept up in the innocence and excitement of it all, to pore over toy catalogues, and write his letter to Santa. I want him to appreciate his gifts on Christmas morning, so I plan to encourage him to only ask for a small number of presents. I also want to teach him that there are children out there who are less fortunate, and for our family to participate in giving at Christmas. There are excellent initiatives out there for this time of year, like the Shoe Box appeal. Locally, there are shelters, refuges and charities that will gladly accept donations of toys, clothes and food. 

 

Christmas is all about family - our own and our extended family. We have always flitted between each family on Christmas Day, but this year we are inviting both sides to our home for dinner. I hope it will be an ongoing tradition, to enjoy Christmas Day surrounded by those we love.

 

St Stephens Day or Boxing day is always spent in my parents, so I am delighted that my little boy will celebrate with his cousins every year. For new traditions for our new family of three, I am excited to take our first trip to see Santa. Decorating the tree this year will be more special than ever, and I’ve already gotten an ornament with his name on it. Gone will be the usual rolling out of bed after too many sociable Christmas Eve drinks, replaced by waking early and rushing down the hall to open the babies gifts under the tree. Christmas Mass will be another tradition to introduce him to, and the meaning behind the holiday. 

 

I am bursting with excitement at what the holiday holds for us this year, Baby’s First Christmas. They say that Christmas is really for the children, which holds some truth. I think, however, that having a child brings the magic of Christmas alive again, and I cannot wait to experience it through his eyes.

Clare is a newish mother to Jack, and blogs about the trials, tribulations and hilarity of being a parent. After 8 years in San Francisco, she has recently returned to Ireland to live closer to her mammy.

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