About Christmas when our kids were younger
Almost halfway through November and as Christmas approaches, I am sure you are already starting to sharpen your plans and the list of Christmas presents and those of your family!
Christmas has always been about family for us. On one hand, when we became parents, Christmas became kids’ centric, and on the other hand, when we started living abroad, we have always returned to Spain to spend some “cocooning” time with our families.
As our kids get older, the way we live Christmas also evolves with them and every year we try to make it equally special but I must admit there were some very memorable moments when they were very little.
I remember vividly when our children wrote their first letters to the “Three Wise Men” (a Spanish tradition which is celebrated on the morning of the 6th of January in remembrance of the passage in the Bible when they offered their presents to Maria and Joseph in appreciation of Jesus’ birth). We also had amazing times when building together the Nativity sets (another Spanish tradition consisting of recreating the moment when Jesus was born with small figures. On a funny note, there is a particular figure that is “added”, where I come from, called “Caganer” …whose story is for another day…and which I just show in the 3rd picture below for your own interpretation). And of course, I will never forget those Christmas day mornings when our children would wake us up very early and would run like maniacs toward the Christmas tree to find their presents.
And speaking about presents, we always tried to explain to our kids back then that Christmas time was not all about presents, let alone “many” presents.
The appreciation of the value of things is often misguided during this period due to the massive marketing noise surrounding us.
And in our case, this was turbo-charged as they did not have just one” initial long list” for us but they also had another one for their “Avis” (grandparents in Catalan, who were my parents and who would explain very “kindly” to us that “The Three Wise Kings” had a special stop at their house in Barcelona).
To make matters more complicated, they also had a third list for their “Aitites” (grandparents in Basque) as according to the Basque tradition (my husband is from Bilbao), there is a coal miner called “Olentzero” who on the night of the 24th of December, brings coal to the naughties or lovely presents to the goodies…and of course, my kids believed they were part of the latter team.
Those conversations about appreciating the value of things remain even more pertinent this year at our home, given the macro environment we are in, as we reflect together on our luck vs others around us and how we must find ways to support our community through whichever means we can afford, whether it is a contribution to a charity, a donation of personal items to the relevant organisation, etc.
Christmas time is arriving and as Santa Claus is coming to town…I wish you a great time with your family and friends and that your Christmas tree “takes in” many presents from your list!
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