Christmas was always a BIG deal in my family growing up...
Christmas was no joke in our house. We had massive gatherings and days of celebration (My family still does. I see the proof when they skype me in for the traditional family dinners). The tree, the lights, the parties, the entire house covered in decorations, and the Christmas music that began playing on loop as soon as December 1st. For better or for worse, this was Christmas in my house growing up.
We also have a long-standing tradition that in order for your Santa gifts to appear and your stocking to be stuffed, you must believe in Santa. All of the kids are grown and over 30 and have children of their own, but I can tell you we are ALL believers.
To be honest, coming to NZ was a bit of a relief, even if it didn't always feel like the Christmas I was used to. It took some adjusting to get used to seeing Santa in boardies and grabbing my sunnies instead of warm boots. It made way for new traditions and now I have an NZ version of Christmas. I have always felt that Kiwi BBQ's and family time is much more in line with my values around Christmas than any department store decorations. It also is much more in line with being mindful of our impact on the environment and making thoughtful choices instead of mindlessly buying.
But this year things are changing again. Miko grew up with very little emphasis on on the holiday, so the adjustments I made for our NZ Christmas (driftwood Christmas tree, less red and green and more pink and lime colours) are completely lost on him. He humours me, which is sweet, but the whole Christmas thing doesn't really make sense to him. Now we have our little Kiwi to think of and it's his first Christmas. It kind of feels like a big deal. Which begs the question, what traditions do we create for our little trio?
That feels a little tricky.
Luckily, we have a little space to figure these things out. Bubs will likely only remember this one in photos and we are not in the States to be swept up in the relentless commercialism that is the holiday season over there. But part of me sometimes misses the hubbub and hoo-ba-ba, just a little.
In the end I think simple is best for us. Our best days are the ones we spend together when nothing else is demanding or asking for our time. We usually choose to spend time together on a walk or just sitting in the garden on a blanket. Oddly, those days and moments can be challenging to make space for. So maybe that will be our tradition. Just being together and enjoying the simple things. Maybe we will even pack a picnic and when we unwrap our food it will be like unwrapping gifts that were waiting under the tree- Christmas Kiwi and LilyBee style!