17 December, 2008

The Little Things

Due to the late timing of the party dates selected by the school, my child’s class will have their party at Valentine’s Day over before Christmas.  This is good given that we will not be here.  Instead of the party, they are going to do a special social studies project on Friday that will allow them to share a tradition or annual affair that they do for the holidays.  It is to be something that makes this time of year special to them.  

I just read this e-mail so have yet to mention the project to the Diva so that she can collect her thoughts and find props to share, but I am considering what I would share were I asked to do this project.  

What makes this time of year special for me?

When I was little, I loved the family time.  We played games Christmas night, had wonderful family meals, and delighted in a day spent together.  I loved receiving the annual tree ornament as well as the pajamas.  You hear about the kid that sneaks into the room with the stockings late at night to see Santa?  That was me.  I couldn’t sleep until I had inspected the goodies located in our designated chairs – and then was the first up ready to actually enjoy the treasures.  Christmas was decorating and cooking; baking and giving; and family.  (And lots of stress but that didn’t make it special)

I consider my DC life – my adult, parent with child life – and the differences are striking.  

The season starts with a family Thanksgiving which is stress free and wonderfully nice.  (Dare I say special?)  Watching my daughter on stage is definitely something that shapes the holiday as is all that goes into the performance.  There is the joy of finding the little treats, either with her or on my own… and the celebration of her birthday – the greatest gift I received ever, in my whole entire life!  This year we added a Christmas with the NSO Pops which was delightful and promises to be a wonderful tradition for the two of us.  I love playing secret Santa, sending little gifts to friends, and receiving the wonderful updates via cards.  But, for the most part, the little things that used to make the holidays special are no longer part of my life.  

I wonder if, given that I am now an adult – and an adult that travels cross country for the holidays – the season is missing something magical that my parents provided when I was a child?  Due to our schedules and performances and such, the house doesn’t get decorated, baking is not done, and the little details are lacking.  The Diva’s dad informed me (his house completely decorated, mind you) that were he me, he would not put much effort into decorating either.  (I have not even done the stockings this year – yet)

And yet, is this the holiday I want my daughter to have?  Is there the magic in it that I enjoyed so very much?  Is there anything about this holiday season that she will be able to talk about Friday; anything that makes it special for her?

I do not know what my daughter will share with her class.  Knowing her, I know that she will bubble and smile; she will charm her classmates with some part of our holiday season that she finds special.  I hope that, before she shares it with them, she will share it with me!


What makes the holiday season special for you?  


dadshouse said...

I didn't get the Valentine's Day reference...

I strung lights on my house this year, but so far that's it. No tree. No stockings. No shopping. No holiday cards. I'm just not feeling the magic. And that's okay with me, because I feel at peace. That's the important thing, right?

The Exception said...

The school says that they can only have 2 parties a year. So, rather than a holiday party, they will have their first for Valentine's Day.

And yes, peace is nice....peace... *sigh*

KennethSF said...

To me, Holidays are special because they bring out the best in some of us. Suddenly, I see estranged neighbors greeting each other, a stranger buying sandwich for a homeless man, a diner waitress getting a $10 tips, and I feel like the world is in a good mood--for a week or so.