December has always felt a bit weird and kind of icky to me. I've always felt like I'm not doing enough. I'm not joyful enough. I don't have enough Christmas spirit. I'm not social enough. I'm not enjoying myself or the holiday enough. December always made me feel like I wasn't measuring up.
And then I had Grady. And all of a sudden I was seeing Christmas through his eyes. Christmas light displays blew my mind. Christmas carols filled my heart spaces with cheer. All of a sudden wrapping paper was no longer wasteful and environmentally unsound, it was the best! thing! ever!
Christmas rocks when you have a baby.
But now I have a kid. A kid who has friends and opinions and soaks up everything around him. And I'm starting to feel those twinges of not-quite-right again. Grady doesn't have an advent calendar (neither a candy one like the one I had growing up nor a Pinterest-worthy activity one.) We bought a string of icicle lights for our front railing but neither Shawn nor I can be arsed to go out and buy lights for the house and then, you know, hang them.
I want Grady to have fond memories of Christmas. I don't want to shove meaning and joy down his throat but I also want to show Grady that Christmas means family and love, and not just a pile of presents under the tree (the tree that we don't actually have yet. Christmas is hard.)
How do you help your family feel the Christmas spirit without pressuring them to feel it a certain way?