Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Traditions

You don't think about traditions very much when you're a kid. You think about how something is fun and you look forward to it. But you don't think about any preparations or planning involved. You just do it and have a good time. Looking back at growing up, there are things that I'm glad we did every year, especially at Christmastime. Some of these traditions, I want to pass on to the Bear. This year was the time to get started.

The first thing I wanted to start doing with him is building gingerbread houses. We had a lot of fun with this. Growning up, we used graham crackers instead of actual gingerbread most of the time, but that was so you could decorate your house any way you wanted to. So that's how I did it with Bear.

For some reason, I didn't realize until this moment, the second he stuck his hand in the icing that this was going to be a messy project. What was I thinking?

Believe it or not, I did get all four sides up and a roof on before he took one of the walls and did this...


And a sticky sweet kiss when we're all through. He did this on his own, no prompting. Maybe he's thanking me for letting him eat all that icing.

This is the final house. It looks more like a gingerbread house after a tornado. I bought candy to decorate the house, but Danny and I ate it instead. Trust me, the Bear didn't miss it at all.

The day after we did his gingerbread house, we went to Lenox in Atlanta with Mom, Brandon, and Dylan to ride the Pink Pig. What is the Pink Pig, you ask? It's a pig that rides on a monorail. My mom rode it and we rode it growing up at Riches in downtown. The real Pink Pig has been retired to the Atlanta History Center but her little sister (who is really a train) is now riding kids around in Macy's parking lot.

We waited in line forever. Even Aunt Kathy came to keep us company in line! I don't know that we'll do this every year, but I like being able to say that Bear has done things that I did growing up. I feel like I'm keeping the torch going that way, giving him all the things I so enjoyed growing up.

We finally made it! Here we are on the Pink Pig's little sister. You can see Priscilla the Pink Pig (the real one) in the background. He had a lot to look at as we rode!

And to round out the holiday traditions, a trip to see Santa! Until recently (like two weeks ago), I assumed that everyone went to see Santa every year. It was something we did every year. Sure as there was Christmas, we went to see Santa. I wanted Bear to see a good Santa, not some young guy with a scratchy fake beard. A real Santa. I think this Santa is pretty dang real.

Bear was completely serious the whole time. He looked at me and Mom. Looked at Santa. Looked at me. Looked at Santa. Then wailed. It was pretty cute.

It was a busy weekend for the Bear. He was sick the whole next week. So I'm glad we went on and did it all at one time. I'm glad that we started doing some of the things that I want to pass down to him. Things that he can look back on and remember doing every year or most years. He'll really have a blast when he has cousins or siblings to do them with. This parenting thing can be pretty dang cool.

I haven't just dosed him up on commercial Christmas. We talk about the nativity in the entry at home. I point out Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. We've talked about the meaning of Christmas. Not that he understands any of it now, but I figured this was as good a time as any to start.

Hope y'all are having a good time preparing for Christmas as well. Check back soon...I've got new Bear tricks to share!

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