Last year’s Christmas season was wonderful. Rhys was 2.5 years old and he was getting a baby sister for Christmas. But, more than that, he was finally grasping the concept of Christmas. He understood about Christmas trees (and was so excited about it). He loved wrapping presents and eating candy canes. He knew who Santa was and would wave to him every time we went to the mall.
Even now, when we ask Rhys what Santa says, he says “Ho Ho Ho” and explains in his own little speech-delayed way how Santa goes through the chimney and leaves presents. He also tells us that Santa left him a play kitchen last year.
We love celebrating Christmas. It is actually my absolutely favorite holiday. It’s so festive, so bright, so full of fun, family, and friends. In the weeks before having Evelyn (two days before Christmas morning), we were so busy. We had so many Christmas parties to attend to.
But, while the commercial and festive part of Christmas is really fun, it isn’t the true reason we celebrate Christmas. As a Christian and as a Mormon, I celebrate Christmas because I celebrate the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I absolutely love the Christmas spirit: religious Christmas songs (like Mary, Did You Know), the Nativity story, Advent devotionals, visiting Salt Lake City’s Temple Square, and Christmas church services are the absolute best part of the season.
But, I don’t think you have to separate the two. I want to raise my children to know and understand both parts of Christmas and celebrate them in tandem. And now that I have a 3.5 year old and an almost-one-year-old, it is the perfect time to start really getting into the holiday season. So, I have compiled a list of ways you can really bond with your children and teach them about the Christmas season and spirit.