Christmas is without a doubt my favorite time of the year, and I hope that I pass that on to KJ and Bradley as they get older. Although Christmas has been on my mind the last two months, it is hard to truly start Christmas traditions (aside from the tree) before the beginning of December. However, in three days, we will begin our 25 days of Christmas in the Prince household.
By the time you are reading this, I’m almost certain our Christmas tree is already up and decorated and probably has been for at least two weeks. Whoops. With the way 2020 has been, it only felt right to enjoy our Christmas decorations for longer than a few weeks. Since KJ is now 2 1/2 years old, I’m fairly certain that I will have a new helper when it comes time to decorate the tree. I hope I am able to turn off my perfectionist mindset long enough to really enjoy the moment with him. Chances are, once KJ goes down for bedtime, I will have some rearranging to do.
Now that KJ is older, I am so excited to decorate Christmas cookies and gingerbread houses with him. My baby loves helping me when I’m cooking, so I know he will be over the moon with this festivity. Hopefully we can manage to keep the majority of the icing and candies on the cookies and off of our clothes and floor, but any mess will be worth it to see KJ enjoying something I grew up loving to do with my parents. Don’t worry, I will be buying him another gingerbread house kit to display this Christmas season.
No Christmas in our house would be complete without the kids receiving their Christmas Eve gift boxes. We started this tradition for KJ’s first Christmas at 8 months old and plan to continue it throughout KJ and Bradley’s childhood, teenage years, adulthood and eventually to our future grandkids. After our Christmas Eve dinner, each child gets a box to open. In this box are their Christmas pajamas, themed socks, a Christmas movie, their favorite snack and a book. We then spend the rest of the evening reading them their new books and watching their new movies in our matching pajamas. (I highly recommend wearing matching Christmas PJs.) It is so special to look back on our Christmas morning pictures and see how we have changed and grown — even if it has only been two years’ worth for us so far.
Some of my fondest memories of Christmas growing up were when my parents would drive my brother and me around town looking at the lights and listening to carols on Christmas Eve. Sometimes, our rides would only last an hour but other trips would span from Collins to Purvis and throughout Jones County. We would reminisce on previous Christmases and share what we hoped Santa would bring. The night never truly ended until our dad made us endure Dolly Parton’s rendition of “Hard Candy Christmas.”
Last year, my mom was relentless on taking KJ and Paisley (his cousin) to Harbor Lights in Gulfport. Thankfully, we were all able to share that experience with Mom this past Christmas. My brother and I had made plans to continue that tradition this year, but I guess it is fitting that Hurricane Zeta canceled Harbor Lights this year. This year’s light show location is still uncertain, but I know one thing is for sure — “Hard Candy Christmas” will be played.
I know as the kids get older, our traditions will grow and evolve some, but I hope that I instill the magic of Christmas into them that they will carry on to their future kids one day. I cannot wait to be able to get more in-depth on the true meaning of Christmas and add special traditions to commemorate the birth of Jesus more than the act of receiving gifts.
Here’s to 25 (and most likely more) days of creating Christmas traditions for KJ and Bradley Kate in a world full of uncertainties