When you get “old,” and the days of grade school and college semesters are a thing of the past, weeks, months and years have a sneaky way of congealing into massive globs of “time.” All of a sudden I can’t remember what happened last month, let alone my own age. “Wait… I was 29 last year, right?… RIGHT?!” Life is no longer divided into neat, clean-cut chunks of time with a first day of school, winter break, and last day of the semester to keep things chronologically organized in my mind. Instead of academic dividers in the proverbial “filing cabinet of life,” I find myself relying more and more on holidays to add definition to my time…
…holidays and my daughter’s age.
Having a child really puts “time” into perspective. Time has become more personal to me now that I truly understand the value of it – how quickly it comes and goes… how powerless we are to stop it from slipping by. The only control we have lies in what we choose to DO with the time we are given.
These days, with mass media cramming the holidays down our necks after the evening news on October 31st (Thanksgiving? What’s that??), it’s no wonder so many of us feel completely rip-your-hair-out crazy overwhelmed by the time December 25th actually rolls around. With all of the hustle and bustle – it seems like no matter how well you plan, there is never enough TIME. And that, right there, is my goal now that I am raising a little lady.
Every holiday season, I want to make time for “time.”
I want to create and share holiday traditions with her that are ours as a family, and hers to carry throughout her life. I’d like to start by teaching her the value of time. I want her to understand that she doesn’t need money to help others, so long as she has time to offer. Whether it’s time spent at a soup kitchen, or reading to children, or playing cards at the nursing home… she will always have something to give. I’d like to make an extra effort to volunteer our time as a family to make the Christmas season special for others.
I’d also like to spend time each year teaching our daughter how to write some serious Christmas lists. Notice I said, lists, plural. The first list – her Christmas wish list – is up to her. Dream big, girl, Santa is listening. For the second list, I want to challenge her to create an equal “to-do and to-give” list of ways we can do good in the community or within our family/friends, and what we can give to others at Christmas time and throughout the coming year. “I want a new shoes… I can donate clothes I’ve outgrown to kids who need them.” “I want a new wagon… I will help daddy rake leaves.” I want… I will. I want… I can give. You get my drift… There will be no Veruca Salt-ing in our house.
So maybe my plans to begin special and meaningful holiday traditions are sort of ambitious for our one year old. That’s okay. I get that. There will be plenty of walks around the neighborhood to see Christmas lights, pictures with Santa, and tree trimming traditions as well. I’m just excited to make the holidays memorable and truly meaningful for her. Someday I want to hand her a scrapbook chock full of Christmas “to give” lists, and photos of us volunteering our time together. My wish is to teach Nora the true meaning of this season through example and tradition that will last throughout the year.
What are your special holiday traditions? Tell us how you celebrate and share your time with the ones you love…..
Katy Stager, proud mom and wife, is a fan of all things "active." She's a marathon running, swimming, cycling, hiking, art loving, community volunteering, book reading, Instagraming, Animal Kingdom shopping kind of mom who does it all with her little girl in tow. A Bloomsburg University grad, she now studies homemaking, successful childrearing, and thriftiness through the school of life's successful parenting program.