It is almost my absolute favorite time of the year and I cannot wait to experience Christmas through KJ’s eyes this holiday season. Although KJ was here last Christmas, he was only 9 months old and not very interested in the holiday festivities. However, I feel like this year will be a completely different story with our wild 18-month-old.
By the time you are reading this, our first Christmas tradition should be in the works already. First on our list is a family afternoon of decorating the Christmas tree and enjoying Christmas music and movies. I’m not sure how much help KJ will be this year, but maybe I can get him to sit still long enough to watch one of my favorite childhood Christmas cartoons, "Annabelle’s Wish." My hope is that by the time Christmas Day arrives, KJ hasn’t tackled the tree or used the ornaments as baseballs (fingers crossed).
One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is going to look at lights. Whether it is driving through Mason Park or visiting Lewis Lights, it always brings me back to my childhood memories. With KJ’s fascination with anything and everything bright, I just know that he will enjoy a visit to look at Christmas lights. I expect this will become an annual tradition like I experienced throughout my childhood.
You cannot experience the holiday season without making cookies and gingerbread houses. I love baking homemade sweets to share with my family and coworkers during Christmas time, and I think this year will be extra sweet with a 3-foot-tall helper. If baking isn’t one of his strong traits, I know he will make the best taste-tester in the county.
If you’re anything like me, chances are you will opt for the pre-baked gingerbread house kits at Walmart instead of baking your own. However, we will simply be using it as a fun Christmas activity that will not be eaten, so no harm, right? I can’t wait to watch KJ’s imagination run wild decorating his gingerbread masterpiece.
My childhood would not have been the same without an advent calendar leading up to Christmas day. I remember looking forward to the time of day my parents would let my brother and me eat a piece of chocolate from our calendars. For some reason, that chocolate always tasted so much better. I don’t know if we will introduce a chocolate-filled advent calendar this year, but maybe try a book advent calendar instead. Essentially, KJ will get to unwrap a different Christmas-related book each day of December leading up to Christmas morning. My boy loves any and all books, so I think this may be the perfect advent calendar for this year.
With last year being KJ’s first Christmas, I wanted to give each of our family members a special gift from him. This resulted in a salt-dough ornament featuring KJ’s 9-month-old footprints. However, I think I want to keep that tradition alive by creating personalized salt-dough ornaments with KJ’s handprint/footprint for future Christmases.
I know this next month will be hectic and stressful, but getting to experience Christmas through KJ’s eyes will make the sacrifices worth it all. My hope is that KJ will come to recognize and look forward to these Christmas traditions for years to come. If I’m able to make all of these traditions happen this year and follow through going forward, it will truly be a Christmas Miracle.
Lakyn Prince is office manager of the Leader-Call. Email her at email@example.com.